By KEN MORSE
The Plainville Post 33 American Legion baseball team has been looking for that timely hit to get them started this season. That came on Father’s Day at Fuessenich Park in Torrington when Jon Olson belted a sixth inning bases loaded three run double leading Plainville to a 9-6 slugfest over Post 38.
“I was just looking to put the ball in play,” said Olson. “After seeing this pitcher in my previous at bat I missed a pretty good fastball and I wanted to be sure I didn’t let it get by me a second time.”
“The last few games have been tough. We haven’t been getting the hits at the right time. So it was good we were able to put the ball in play today. It’s good to finally see it come together.”
On a scorching day when the temperature hovered near the triple digit mark Plainville came out and plated the most runs they have scored all season in just their first at bat.
Brady Callahan (3 runs, 4 stolen bases) got it going drawing a walk, stole second and went to third when Ryan Rodriguez reached on an error. Olson grounded out sending the first run home and Tyler Mandeville brought in a run on an infield single up the third base side.
Juan Camacho drilled a solid single up the middle to score Mandeville from second and by the time Torrington came to bat they were trailing by a 3-0 count.
Post 38 had to face the menacing figure of 6 foot 3, 245 pound right hander Alec Karol and the big guy made it look easy setting Torrington down in order. Plainville upped the margin to 4-0 in the third when Olson walked and came around to score on singles from Mandeville and Ryan Snyder.Karol struck out the first two batters in the third but a walk and a dropped fly ball in the outfield opened the door as Torrington crossed the dish to make it a 4-1 game.
Once again it was Callahan reaching base and then a steal got him in scoring position in the top of the fourth. Rodriguez lifted a sacrifice fly to left putting Plainville ahead 5-1.
Torrington closed the gap in the bottom of the frame. Coleby Bunnell, Kyle Banche and Ben Richardson belted consecutive singles off Karol to score a run and a hit batter had the bases loaded with one out.
An infield error extended the inning but Karol dialed it up striking out two batters to get out of the inning but Torrington had closed the deficit to 5-3.
Karol got a little help from his fielders in keeping Post 38 in check with catcher Alex Grabowski pulling in a foul pop up to end the second inning with the bases loaded. Snyder laid out and hauled in a diving catch in left field in the fifth and Karol finished his duties going five innings scattering four hits striking out seven and walking four.
“That fifth inning we just needed to get the outs,” said Karol. “I kind of took it upon myself to get it done and my catcher called a great game. Coming out in the first inning and having a 3-0 lead really
helped me to settle in and just try and throw strikes.”
Clinging to a 5-3 lead Plainville was looking for that timely hit. Callahan led off the sixth reaching on an error. Couture had a single drop into short right field and Rodriguez reached on a fielder’s choice to load the bases when Callahan avoided a tag at third.
With the bases loaded and no outs Olson sent a rope down the right field line that got by the fielder for a bases clearing three run double. That was the timely hit Plainville had been waiting for all season. Mandeville delivered his third hit of the game scoring Olson and Post 38 was back in control holding a 9-3 advantage. Tyler Davis followed and got all of it sending a line shot to third that ended up as a double play to end the uprising.
Mandeville took the hill to close it out and surrendered a run in the bottom of the sixth on a single by Richardson and triple from Aaron Bainer. An error and two walks loaded the bases in the bottom of the seventh as Torrington mounted another rally.
Bainer came through again belting a two run single. It was a 9-6 game when Torrington sent the go ahead run to the plate with the bases loaded. Mandeville kicked the door shut striking out the final batter to end the slugfest.
“The kids did an amazing job coming out and going right after it,” said Plainville head coach Brian McCarthy. “They have been playing as hard as they could and it all came together today.”
“I think we can be very competitive and we showed that today. Alec went out and showed the kind of focus we need from our pitchers and our hitting is coming around.”
Plainville is back at it this week taking on Bristol at Trumbull Park for a 5:45 start. On Thursday Post 38 will host Avon for a 5:30 showdown. Sunday will see Plainville taking on Wolcott at home for an 11 a.m. contest.