By MICHAEL LETENDRE
PLAINVILLE – In the second game of a doubleheader against Hartford, Plainville – trailing by four runs early – made a huge comeback to tie up the game and looked to be on the verge of taking over the situation.
But once again, the visiting team found all the answers as Post 33 fell 8-6 in a Zone 7 challenge from Alumni Field on Sunday, June 30 in Plainville.
Plainville trailed 4-0 but tied it up in an impressive four-run fourth.
However, once Hartford reacquired the lead, the visiting squad kept it and never gave it away again.
“We always find a new way to lose a game,” said Plainville coach Jim Tufts. “It just doesn’t seem like (we can catch any breaks).”
Hartford netted four of the final six runs scored in the game and off an infield RBI single by Josue Diaz – putting the visitors in front 5-4 – Plainville never found a way to get back into the fray.
Hartford picked up 12 hits in the game as Tommy Dinda posted the loss for Plainville.
But to save the pitching staff for future games and outings, Tufts turned to Cody Charneski and Shane Pugliese in relief and the duo did more than a credible job to hold the fort.
Charneski allowed three runs in 2.1 innings of work but struck out two and never looked lost on the mound while Pugliese allowed just one hit while striking out one, mopping up in the seventh stanza.
Merlyn Herrera tallied three hits, scored three times and reached base safely in all five of his plate appearances to lead Hartford while Henry Villa and Angel Moreno pasted up two hits apiece.
For Plainville, Tyler Favreau went 2-for-3 and Mat Thomas tallied two RBI in the tough loss.
In the top of the first, Glynn Baron was hit by a pitch to force in a run while one batter later, Jona Satiago drilled an RBI single to center as Hartford led 2-0 right off the bat.
In the third, Hartford struck two additional times as Moreno singled to left to net a run and Baron smashed a sacrifice fly to center, giving the visitors a 4-0 push before Plainville responded in the bottom portion of the frame.
With two on, Pugliese singled to right with no outs and Jon Lindgren – with the bases loaded – was hit by a pitch – to force in a run as Plainville trailed 4-1.
The bases still juiced when Thomas was walked to score Gage Spencer and Pugliese scored off a passed ball and quickly, Post 33 trailed by just one run at 4-3.
With the bases loaded again, an infield hit by Favreau netted a run as the game was tied at 4-4.
The only miscue in the inning was off the bat of Charneski.
He hit into a fielder’s choice and the play was at home-base.
With Lindgren charging the plate from third, the Hartford catcher already had the ball and was waiting for the Plainville runner.
Lindgren didn’t slide as Moreno looked to have the plate blocked and the Plainville runner bumped into the Hartford catcher.
He was called out and was immediately ejected by the home umpire for not sliding in a very controversial ruling.
Diaz put Hartford up 5-4 with his RBI base hit and in the fifth, Villa nailed a single to right as Christian Taveras scored to put Hartford in front by two.
Favreau’s single to right scored Charneski in the bottom of the fifth to cut the deficit to 6-5 but Hartford netted one run in the sixth and two in the seventh to stretch its cushion to three runs.
Trailing 8-5, an RBI single by Thomas scored Tony LoPizzo made it a two run game.
However, with the bases loaded and no outs, Plainville failed to score again as Marc DeMartinis was gunned down at home plate for the second out of the sixth and Spencer flew out to end the inning to still trail by two runs to Hartford after six.
In the bottom of the seventh, Plainville was put down in order as Hartford won the contest by an 8-6 final.
“I know there other things on their minds and it’s not just baseball but I’m done making excuses for them,” said Tufts of his players. “You’ve got to come here, ready to play and not everybody does it. Seven out of the nine come ready to play. The two that don’t, it shows.”
“And it always seems to find that person.”
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