SOUTHINGTON - The Southington boys baseball team put together an offensive onslaught against Berlin’s pitching staff on Monday afternoon.
The Blue Knights had 16 hits and used a 14-run fourth inning to blowout the Redcoats by a score of 21-2. Each player in Southington’s starting lineup had at least one hit, one run scored and one RBI in what was a truly dominating performance by the bats.
“We swung the bats well,” Southington head coach Charles Lembo said. “I think it was a mindset. Today was a good day at the plate and sometimes these games just happen no matter what level of baseball you play at. When guys are feeling good and seeing the ball well games like this can happen, so hopefully this continues.”
Southington (5-2) jumped on Berlin early as leadoff hitter Tyler Cyr dropped down a bunt that starting pitcher Matt Vernacatola threw away to allow the leadoff man on base. Cyr would come around to score the first run of the game on a Brandon Kohl double and that was one of four runs the Blue Knights scored while batting around in the first inning.
Southington grew the lead to 7-0 in the third inning when Brayden Cooney had an RBI double and was followed by a Jeremy Mercier two-run single. Then came the 14-run fourth inning which made the game a laugher as the Blue Knights sent 18 batters to the plate in the frame.
Mercier had a team-high four RBI in the game and was one of four Blue Knights to have multiple runs batted in. The others were Jake Babon (3), Cooney (2) and Kyle Leifert (2).
“We are starting to come together on offense,” Mercier said. “It was hit after hit today instead of just solo hits, like one an inning. We were driving in runs and we all came together today.”
A good number to show how well Southington’s offense was working on Monday is that the team left just four runners on base. There were base runners on throughout the game but the Blue Knights didn’t waste many opportunities to tack on.
That wasn’t the case for Berlin (3-5) as the team left 10 runners on base despite only mustering four hits. Southington starting pitcher Ryan Sheehan, who got the win, was a little bit wild in his start and walked four batters but the Redcoats had difficulty taking advantage of it.
Between the second and fourth innings, when the game was still within reach, Berlin left eight men on base. The only run the team scored against Sheehan was unearned after Gianni Fanelli reached on an error and scored on a Adam Willametz single. The Redcoats did add a run in the seventh inning on a Mike Patterson double, but nothing went right for them the entire afternoon.
“I haven’t seen a beat down like that, maybe ever,” head coach Leo Veleas said. “Our pitchers found way too many bats, our defense didn’t do much to help them out back there and we couldn’t get the big hit to at least keep us in the game.
“There isn’t much to say after a game like that and I honestly don’t know what I am going to say to them right now.”
While Sheehan picked up the win for Southington, Connor McDonough came in to pitch the fifth and sixth innings and was dominant. The senior faced seven batters and struck out four of them. The only base runner allowed was when he hit Fanelli but he recovered to strike out Dan Piruccio looking.
Everything basically went the Blue Knights way in the rout of Berlin, but in the end it was the offense that was the story. Southington had a .470 team batting average in the contest and scored at least four runs off of all three Berlin pitchers. This is the second straight game that Southington has erupted for 10-plus runs and 15-plus hits so the bats are starting to round into form.
“We have been working on the approach and it is starting to show results,” Lembo said. “We weren’t necessarily struggling early on, I would say it was just early season. We weren’t putting up as many runs but now it seems like we have found our groove.”
Michael Woolfson can be reached at 860-801-5203 or firstname.lastname@example.org
On Twitter: @bigwoolf5