By KEN MORSE
The Plainville baseball team is stepping up their game having won five of the last six, including four in a row. The Blue Devils erased a slow start to improve to 5-4.
The team is doing it with sturdy starting pitching, a lock down effort from the bullpen and an offense that is swinging a timely bat as of late.
One of the most encouraging signs is they have been successful against teams that are not only competitive but at the top of their game as well.
“Playing with confidence has an awful lot to do with it,” said Plainville head coach Lou Mandeville. “When you start to believe in yourself good things happen. Lately we have seen good things happen and it’s a direct result of having that confidence, especially late in the game.”
Three times in the last five wins it was a sixth inning rally that closed the deal. Plainville battled back twice against (4-2) Terryville after being down 3-0 and 5-4 and it took a three run outburst in the sixth to pull away with an 11-8 win.
Tyler Bonney had a day belting four hits including a double and triple driving in five runs to lead the comeback. Alec Couture had three hits, a run scored and two RBI.
Tyler St. Onge had two hits, two RBI and three runs scored with Brady Callahan adding two hits and two runs scored. Relief pitcher Ryan Snyder got the win on the hill throwing two innings, striking out two and adding a double and scored a run.
On April 24 the Blue Devils faced another tall order taking on Simsbury (4-2). Tyler Mandeville more than met the challenge throwing three innings surrendering just one hit and striking out three.
Once again it was a sixth inning uprising plating three runs to erase a 3-2 deficit that allowed Plainville to put this one in the win column escaping with a 5-3 win.
Juan Camacho delivered two timely RBI. Wyatt Lacombe and Brennan Staubley added key RBI in the sixth inning rally.
Lou Passaretti, Christian Collin and Riley Millette scored runs with Couture going two and a third in relief earning the win striking out four.
“Tyler (Mandeville) came out and really set the tone for us shutting them down over three innings,” said coach Mandeville. “He developed a blister and had to come out but he got it into our heads that we could win this game.”
Plainville wasted no time in their next game against Bulkeley jumping out to a 6-0 first inning advantage. By the time the dust settled the Blue Devils were well on their way to an 11-0, mercy-rule, 5-inning win.
Tyler Dufour three innings, two hits, five strikeouts and Alex Grabowski two innings, no hits, three strikeouts combined to shutout the Bulldogs. Lacombe led the attack with two RBI, Staubley two hits, one RBI, St. Onge one hit, one RBI and Callahan two hits paced the offense.
Confidence is like a boulder rolling downhill, once it starts it’s hard to stop. Plainville showed that on Saturday April 27 as they man handled (6-3) Manchester in another mercy rule win by an 11-1 margin.
The Blue Devils were not about to wait around for another sixth inning rally. They went right out and took control of the momentum building a 3-0 lead in the first inning.
A seven run fourth inning blitz turned a 3-1 seat grabber into a comfortable lead and winning pitcher Nate Johnson 5 innings, 3 hits, 5 strikeouts made sure it held up. St. Onge led the offense with three hits and three runs scored.
Camacho and Mandeville had two RBI each and Sarra added a run scoring double to ignite the seven run fourth inning.
Plainville will look to continue its winning ways this week when they take on E.O. Smith away on Monday, and finish the week at home on Thursday against Maloney and RHAM on Friday.