By MICHAEL LETENDRE
ENFIELD – When the Plainville High School baseball team went to Florida for a couple of games at Disney World this past week during April vacation, the Blue Devils left its bats at Bradley International Airport.
But when the squad got back to Connecticut, it quickly found its bats – its collective offense – and pounded the next opponent it faced.
And on Saturday, April 19, the team from Fermi paid the price as an extremely hungry Blue Devils squad pounded the Falcons from start to finish in a 10-4 CCC Interdivisional thumping from Enfield.
In was Plainville’s first victory of the season as the squad moved to 1-2 on the campaign.
Fermi entered that day as one of six CCC teams with an undefeated ledger but Plainville quickly put an end to that winning streak, leaving them at 3-1 on the year.
And a two pronged- attack ultimately sank the Falcons.
The first came in the form of an aggressive attack at the plate as the Blue Devils collected 10 hits on the afternoon.
Once the hits started flowing, Plainville never stopped until it had a commanding 10-1 lead in hand after 4 1/2 innings of work.
“Today, we attacked the baseball,” said Plainville coach Lou Mandeville. “The first couple games we played, we were letting the baseball go by. And (today) our goal was to attack the baseball. We were letting the umpire dictate our at-bats.”
The other part of the equation came at the hands of pitcher Brett Snowden as the lefty practically shut down the Falcons’ offense.
Snowden struck out eight and walked only one and by the time he physically left the mound, he had yet to give up an earned run.
His curveball was working and from innings two through five, Snowden posted six strikeouts and allowed just two hits as a couple stunned batters looked at strike three.
In the end, the junior went 5.1 innings, gave up just five hits and two earned runs on the day in a big game effort.
“He got comfortable on the mound (after the second inning),” said Mandeville of Snowden. “Then we started mixing it up and keeping (Fermi batters) off balance. He worked really, really well. (But) just mixing it up and keeping them off-balance, when you do that, it’s tough to hit the baseball.”
“He did a nice job.”
For Fermi, Josh Pasini and Greg Kraucunas tallied two hits apiece but other than that, there wasn’t much offense to speak of when it truly mattered.
But Plainville smacked the Falcons around for 10 totals hits and just about everybody got involved.
Captains Cody Charneski went 2-for-3 with a double, scored a run and tallied two RBI while Shane Pugliese was also 2 of 3 with a run and an RBI. Kyle Beloin added two hits for two RBI and drew a walk in a big effort in the bottom portion of the line-up. Rob Pezzulo added a hit and a run, Mike Munson drew two walks and tallied a run while Buzz Adams zipped up a hit in the winning effort.
But the duo of Matt Sauvron and Marc “Bubba” Milo did some serious damage to sway any chance of Fermi winning the contest.
Sauvron drilled a double to the centerfield fence while scoring three runs and gobbling up three RBI while Milo had a big single and added two big RBI.
Fermi pitcher Charles Smith battled but gave up nine earned runs in the fray during his four innings of work and absorbed a tough loss at the hands of the Blue Devils.
The Falcons got on the board in first inning off a Plainville fielding error but trailing 1-0 going into the second frame, it was all business for the visiting squad.
In the second, Sauvron drew a walk, moved to second off a sacrifice bunt by Jon Lindgren, sprinted to third via a ground-out by Milo and scored off the power of a Beloin single to left as the game was quickly knotted at 1-1.
In the top of the third, Plainville put the thing away for good.
Charneski started the inning off with a little shot down the third base line and beat out an infield hit while Pezzulo found the gap in center to put two runners on.
Off a Munson ground-out – which moved both runners up -Sauvron came through with his huge double to the fence, scoring both Charneski and Pugliese, as the Blue Devils led 4-1.
After a walk to Lindgren, “Bubba” fell via strike out but Adams drew a walk to keep the drive alive.
Beloin followed up with an RBI single to left to make it a 5-1 game and off an Adams base-on-balls, the bases were juiced for Charneski as Plainville had batted around.
And the veteran made Smith on the mound pay.
Charneski dropped in a neat two-out single – scoring both Lindgren and Beloin – as Plainville nabbed a commanding 7-1 push after three.
And then in the fourth, the Blue Devils added a couple of insurance tallies to the (non-existent) scoreboard.
With one out, Munson and Sauvron drew back-to-back walks and with the runners on second and third, Milo sent a blazing shot to center as the duo scored to make it a 9-1 game.
On the other side of things, Snowden simply kept Fermi batters guessing and quickly struck out the side in the fourth in dominating fashion as the game remained a 9-1 affair going into the fifth frame.
And in that fifth stanza, Plainville added one more run as Pugliese drew a two-out walk and eventually scored off a Sauvron grounder that was botched by the Fermi second basemen – scoring Pugliese – and the Blue Devils edged in front 10-1.
While Plainville was getting all the big hits, Fermi couldn’t generate much at the plate in the least.
“On the offensive end, you want to get two-out hits, you want to get timely hits,” said Mandeville. “On the defensive side, you don’t want to give up those two-out hits and those timely hits. When you get runners on, you’ve got to battle in and don’t give up those two out hits and those timely hits and those are ballgames you’re going to win.”
With one out in the sixth – and Plainville still in control by nine runs – Snowden departed the game and though Fermi ramped up three runs in the inning, the Blue Devils still led 10-4 as Mandeville brought in his bench for a little spot duty.
And that six-run deficit would be as close as the Falcons could get in the game as Plainville won for the first time this season in a big victory – the first game the Blue Devils played in the state this year.
“When we left Florida, I said (to the players), we’re going to familiar territory, we’re going back to Connecticut,” said Mandeville. “We played two good baseball teams in Florida. Rocky Hill and Windsor, they’re two good baseball teams. But we’re happy to be back home.”
By MICHAEL LETENDRE