Weingart pitches well but P-38's fall to Winsted, 2-0.
TORRINGTON: It’s been a challenging year for the Torrington American Legion P-38’s and their first-year head coach, Doug Pergola.
His team, now 2-13, has not been able to consistently make plays when they needed to, either at the plate or in the field and in a 2-0 loss to Winsted on Tuesday night, we saw how it has cost them all season.
Pergola certainly got a great start out of Northwest Regional standout, Casey Weingart who deserved a much better fate than he got for working into the sixth inning, allowing just an unearned run on five hits.
Sure, Winsted got an equally terrific start out of Jayson Reola who shut down the P-38’s for six plus innings, allowing just four hits while striking out eight but it was the visitors who took advantage of their opportunities while the home team did not.
Sometimes you can see the big picture of a season in a single inning and in this one, that inning was the third, top half and bottom half.
In their half of the frame, Winsted got the first two runners on thanks to a flair that found the ground in right field by centerfielder Mike Oley and single to center by Reola.
Winsted right fielder and clean-up hitter Joey Grantmeyer was then asked to put down a sacrifice and boy did he ever.
His bunt, which traveled just a few feet in front of home plate was impeccable and led to Weingart and Torrington catcher James Gaskins colliding before Weingart gathered it but threw on to first too high, pulling Mike Paniati off the bag.
The visitors were truly in business with the bags full and nobody out with the prospect of a big inning looming.
To his credit, Weingart buckled down and struck out the next batter, Kevin Sullivan to give himself a little breathing room.
That room seemed to be expanding when Weingart induced a lazy fly ball to left-center off the bat of second baseman Vinny Tancreti that looked to be the second out before it bounced off the end of Casey Navin’s glove, allowing the first run to score.
Navin would recover and get the force at third but the damage was done.
Weingart would get out of the jam by getting the next batter on a pop fly to short.
In the bottom of the frame, gaskins laced a one out double to left center field, Torrington’s first hit of the night leading to an unfortunate missed chance that was based on aggressive base running but maybe a bit to adventurous.
P-38 second baseman Ben Richardson went down swinging on a ball in the dirt that was not handled by Sullivan behind the plate.
Hustling, Richardson took off for first and perhaps thinking Sullivan would not check him, Gaskins took off for third but in a head sup play, Sullivan was looking third all the way and the through got Gaskins for the second out.
Hard to fault aggression but when things are not going right, those things seem to happen.
That aggression is something that Pergola has been preaching of late.
“We’re trying to get something going.” Pergola said. “Because in the last two or three games we haven’t been producing any runs.”
Torrington would put runners on in the fourth and fifth innings but lost one on a caught stealing in the fifth when Sullivan gunned down CJ Root on what may have been a missed hit and run sign.
Weingart would pitch his way around trouble in the fourth and fifth innings with help from Gaskins, who threw out Noah McDonald trying to steal in the fourth while and himself as he caught Grantmeyer trying to take second with a fast break off first while Weingart was in the set position.
Nick Balducci would relieve Weingart with runners on second and third in the top of the sixth and got a pop to second to get out of that jam.
An errant throw with two outs in the top of the seventh led to the second Winsted (9-5) run.
The P-38’s will be back in action on Thursday night when they take on Plainville (4-11) at 7 p.m. right back at Fuessenich Park.