By KEN MORSE
The essentials needed to be a competitive ball club begins with stellar pitching and a solid defense. Over the first weekend of the American Legion baseball season, Plainville Post 33— the new entry into Zone 1— is showing they have the tools to compete with the best of them.
The hitting at this stage is still a work in progress and as head coach Brian McCarthy explained, “Going from an aluminum bat to a wood bat takes some time to adjust. But I’m pleased at where we are with our pitching and defense. That is two-thirds of the battle right there.”
Post 33 got the season underway last Friday in Winsted going up against Post 43. Tyler Mandeville took care of business on the hill going three innings surrendering four hits and striking out three.
Peyton Clark came on in relief and threw three innings of three hit, three strikeout ball. In the bottom of the sixth Winsted broke up the scoreless pitcher’s duel and plated the only run of the game resulting in a 1-0 loss to Plainville.
Post 33 had their chances with hits from Jaylen Dias, Ryan Snyder, and Tyler Davis but Plainville couldn’t get the timely hit to break through.
“Tyler went out there and did a good job and the defense was making the plays,” said McCarthy. “Peyton came on and was just as effective but Winsted did manage to push one across and we didn’t get the timely hit we needed.”
On Sunday, Plainville took on the two-time defending Zone 1 champion Post 201 in Avon. Post 33 showed they are more than up for the challenge as they battled through seven innings and came up on the short end of a 2-1 final.
Once again, it was stellar pitching and solid defense that kept them in the game with Nate Michalek went the distance on the hill striking out six and allowing just one earned run.
Plainville trailed 1-0 after Avon plated a run in the fourth. Post 33 came to bat in the sixth and Peyton Clark scored on a fielder’s choice off the bat of Mandeville to tie the game at 1-1.
Post 33 got hits from Dias and Jonathan Olson but couldn’t push another run across the plate. Avon managed to score in their final at bat improving to 2-0 on the season as Post 33 fell to 0-2.
“Nate pitched an outstanding game for us,” said McCarthy. “We did manage to get a run across and that shows that we are improving offensively. We have some good hitters in the lineup and it’s only a matter of time.”
Plainville will be on the road over the next three games starting Tuesday at Wolcott for a 5:30 contest and Thursday in Simsbury at 5:30. On Sunday (Father’s Day) Post 33 will be in Torrington at Fuessenich Park to take on Post 38 before returning home to Trumbull Park next Tuesday, June 19 against Bristol at 5:45 p.m.