By MICHAEL LETENDRE
PLAINVILLE – Not even a 4-0, second inning deficit would deter the Plainville baseball team from snatching a victory over Bulkeley in a CCC South encounter on Monday, May 5.
The early setback simply made things more interesting for the home team.
But the Blue Devils showed just enough poise to get past the first two innings and quickly rang up six unanswered runs as Plainville defeated the Bulldogs, 6-4, in a showdown from Alumni Field in Plainville.
The Blue Devils (5-4) easily could have folded in this one but no one from the Plainville dugout ever pushed the panic button.
In fact, the home team simply took it one inning at time, one at-bat at a time to eventually chop the deficit, tie the thing up, and go ahead in the contest during the fourth frame of play.
“The object was to not panic,” said Plainville coach Lou Mandeville. “I said to the players, I don’t care how we put crooked numbers up (on the scoreboard), let’s just find a way to get some crooked numbers up. Bulkeley made a couple of mistakes and we took advantage of their mistakes.”
“We started to hit the ball a little bit better and we found a way to win the game.”
Bulkeley (3-7) caused Plainville problems to start the game and, in unusual fashion, the Bulldogs used several sacrifice flies to score three of its four total runs.
Christian Taveres hit two of those long ball outs and tallied two RBI in the game while Wilmer Vasquez smashed out the other sacrifice.
Angel Moreno went 2-for-4 in the contest while teammate Carlos Ortiz scored a run and was also 2 of 4 in the showdown.
Plainville starting pitcher Buzz Adams battled but was eventually lifted in favor of Matt Savuron.
He threw a strong 5.2 innings in relief to rack up the win.
Savuron showed control, refused to give up a run and simply shut down the Bulkeley offense when it looked like it could have run away with the game.
“Sauvron did a great job,” said Mandeville. “To me, it’s amazing in sports how important senior leadership is. And Sauvron showed senior leadership today. He did a great job.”
Offensively, everyone did a little something to propel the Blue Devils in the winning effort.
Jon Lindgren went 2-for-4 with a wind blown double to his credit while Rob Pezzulo also came through with two hits, two runs scored, and an RBI.
Mike Munson zipped up an RBI single and laid down an impressive sacrifice bunt; while Cody Charneski – batting in the sixth slot after a stint at the top of the Plainville batting order – stroked out a critical RBI single in the second stanza while drawing a walk and scoring a run.
“We’re trying to find a way to get (runners) in,” said Mandeville. “We’ve had some spots in the line-up they we haven’t been able to drive in any runs so I shuffled around a little bit and put some guys in some areas where there have been opportunities to drive in some runs.”
“Cody had a (big) hit today which was nice.”
Savuron helped his cause out at the plate with an infield hit and a walk while Kyle Beloin added an RBI single to tie up the game at 4-4 by the completion of three innings.
Shane Pugliese, Marc “Bubba” Milo (two walks) and Sam Lindgren all gave something in the winning effort.
Defense also ruled the game as stops by Pezzulo and John Lindgren kept potential momentum building runs by the Bulldogs in check.
But over the first two tilts, it was a battle for the Blue Devils.
Bulkeley put its first two batters on base to open the game and off a fly-ball to centerfield, the sacrifice scored Vasquez from third base as the Bulldogs led 1-0 after one frame.
In the second, Bulkeley tacked three additional runs onto the board to make it a 4-0 game in the visitors’ favor.
Off a walk and two consecutive singles, the bases were loaded for Thomas Broadhurst – the ninth batter in the order.
Adams forced in a run as the RBI base-on-balls to Broadhurst made it a 2-0 contest.
Vasquez followed up with a sacrifice fly to right and finally, Taveres drilled one of his own and quickly, the Blue Devils fell behind by four runs.
But in the bottom of the second – with Sauvron stabilizing the game on the mound – it was all about Plainville baseball.
Milo and Charneski led off the inning with back-to-back walks and “Bubba” scored off an error as the deficit was cut to 4-1.
Eventually, Charneski crossed the plate via a passed ball and by the completion of two frames, the Bulkeley lead was chopped in half at 4-2.
In the third, Plainville notched two additional runs off the power of a two-out rally.
Pezzulo singled up the middle and Milo reached base of a dropped ball at first base as the error gave the Blue Devils extended life in the frame.
With two on, Charneski responded with a single up the middle – scoring Pezzulo – as Plainville was within one of the lead, 4-3.
Sauvron walked to load the bases up and with Beloin at the plate, he had the at-bat of the game.
Beloin smashed a shot to left as Milo crossed the plate to tie the score at 4-4.
But as Charneski tried to score, he was gunned down at the plate as Plainville evened the event up going into the fourth inning of play.
The Bulldogs wasted a one-out single in the fourth and when Plainville got up to the plate in the bottom of the tilt, the Blue Devils nabbed the lead for good.
Sam Lindgren walked to open the stanza but was thrown out off Pugliese’s fielder’s choice.
Pugliese stole second and Pezzulo jammed a game-winning single to center as the RBI tally gave Plainville a 5-4 push.
Adding a little insurance to the board, Pezzulo stole second and advanced to third off a passed ball.
Munson came through with his RBI single to left as the Blue Devils’ edge reached 6-4 by the completion of four innings.
Bulkeley tried to get back into the fray in the fifth, putting two runners on with two outs but a fly-ball out to Lindgren in center ended the threat with Plainville holding on to its 6-4 cushion.
Plainville had runners on second and third with one out in the sixth but relief pitcher Bulldogs’ Christian Taveres killed the rally and Bulkeley was down to its final three outs of the afternoon.
And the Bulldogs had a chance to tie it up late but simply couldn’t put all the pieces into play.
Mareno started the inning with a hotshot to center for a single but when he tried to squeeze the at-bat into a double, John Lindgren made the runner pay the price.
Lindgren chased the ball down in center, hustled a throw into second base, and off the easy tag-out, Plainville quickly tallied the first out of the stanza in grand fashion.
“Johnny did a nice job getting on top of the ball,” said Mandeville of the play by Lindgren. “The thing was, he got it in quickly. That’s the key. Any time there’s a ball in the gap, get it in as quick as you can.”
“He did a good job there.”
And it was a critical stop because with two outs, Bulkeley made things interesting once again.
Off a walk and a single, the go-ahead run was at the plate for the Bulldogs.
But Colon ended the contest with a fly-out to Munson in right as Plainville moved above .500 with a big 6-4 victory over Bulkeley.
“The goal was to get number five,” said Mandeville of the win. “I said to (the players), sometimes, it’s not always pretty. You’ve got to give Bulkeley credit. When a team comes in here and they have a uniform on, they’re coming here to beat you. And I don’t care who they are. Bulkeley did a nice job.”