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Orange Legion: Ballou Hits It Out Of The Park

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Jun 272012
 

Ted Ballou takes off running after hitting a homer onto a rooftop way beyond left field fence.

By PHIL BRODSKY

Sports Writer

Sturdy pitching by Austin Pokluda and Ted Ballou’s towering 3-run home run combined to lead Orange Post 127 past Post 196 of Milford 5-2 in a Zone 2 contest Tuesday night at Brinley Field. The victory prevented Post 127 from being swept in its 3 game summer series with the Sixers. Milford (now 3-3) took the first 2 games by scores of 9-2 and 2-1. The win also improved the winners’ record to 8-3.

Pokluda’s victory upped his mark to 2-1. He allowed 2 runs on 9 hits while walking 2 and striking out 9. He had only 1 bad inning—the second inning when he gave up both Milford runs.

According to Post 127 Coach Bob Mirto, “ Austin really picked us up tonight and we needed that. He got off to a slow start He became much more effective once he began to spot his change-up in the third inning. It’s his most effective pitch.”

Trailing 2-0 after Milford had scored twice in the top of the second inning, Orange struck back in the bottom of the third. With 1 out, Mark Boland slashed an opposite field double into the left-center field gap. After Brian Speer’s 2-out walk, Nick Baviello slashed a single down the right field line to drive Boland home. Ballou stepped in and walloped a towering drive far over the left field fence to put Orange on top, 4-2.

“Teddy just mashed that ball,” Mirto said. “He put it onto the roof of the building beyond the left field fence. He launched a 3-run rocket.”

The winners played with 3 regulars—Vin Siena, Paul Gusmano, and Chris Katz who all missed the game with a variety of valid reasons.

Milford scored both of its runs in the top of the second inning. Pokluda issued a 1-out walk to Christian Baglini and served up a base hit to Nick Pinto. Following a double steal that put both runners into scoring position, Sean Cameron ripped a 2-run 2 bagger into right center field.

Pokluda avoided trouble when he ended a bases-loaded jam in the top of the first inning by striking out Jake Saley.

Mirto was pleased to note that after leaving 21 runners on base in the 2 previous losses to Post 196, this time, Orange cashed in on its scoring opportunities, getting 6 hits and stranding only 4 base runners.

He added, “We didn’t get a lot of hits tonight but we made the ones we got count. We didn’t leave guys on base like we did in the first 2 games with Milford .”

Boland, who banged out 4 hits in the weekend losses to the Sixers, added 2 more safeties and scored a run on Tuesday night. Ed Michaud singled twice for the losers.

On Monday night, Dane Simone tossed a 1-hitter as Orange battered Hamden Post 88 and improved his record to 3-0. The winners were led by Baviello, who belted a 3-run homer.

Orange is on the road tonight and tomorrow night, visiting Post 76 of North Haven at DeMayo Field. On Friday, Mirto and Co. are off to Rhode Island to participate in the annual Firecracker Tournament. They open tourney play on Saturday at Bryant College in Smithfield , R.I.

Orange Legion Is 4-0

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Jun 192012
 

By PHIL BRODSKY

Sports Writer


 

Adam Kyasky on the mound.

Following narrow 2-1 and 4-3 victories over West Haven Post 71, Orange Post 127 unloaded the big bats and clubbed post 71  11-2 Monday night at Brinley Field.  In addition to sweeping its 3 game summer series with the losers, undefeated Orange improved its Zone 2 record to 4-0 while winless West Haven saw its record dip to 0-4.

Noting that his team banged out 9 hits and received 12 walks, winning coach Bob Mirto said, “We hit the ball hard tonight but they also got caught short on pitching and gave up a lot of walks.”

Of the dozen free passes handed out by West Haven ’s 3 hurlers, half of those base runners came around to score.

Post 127 wasted no time jumping on the losers’ starting pitcher, Jeff Hill for a pair of first inning runs. He walked Nick Baviello and Grayson Amaroso, the first 2 batters he faced. Vin Siena then ripped a one hop blast off the left-center field fence to drive in Baviello. Hill then loaded the bases by hitting Brian Speer with a pitch to load the bases and then forced in another run when he walked Mark Boland.

Trailing 2-0, things went from bad to worse for West Haven in the bottom of the third inning. An error by shortstop Alex Palmieri was followed by back-to-back 2-baggers by Speer and Boland. Boland’s double down the right field foul line drove home both Paul Gusmano and Speer and extended the winners lead to 4-0.

 Clearly rattled by the booming Orange bats, Hill lost his control and proceeded to hand out free passes to Sean Butler, Adam Kyasky, and Nial Dammando. Baviello’s high drive into right field easily plated Butler . Successive bases on balls to Amaroso and Siena forced in another tally and opened up a 5-0 lead for Post 127.

At that point, West Haven Coach Dan Chambrelli brought in Alex Scranton to replace Hill.  His control proved to be worse than Hill’s as he proceeded to walk 5 of the 6 batters he faced. By the time the inning ended, 3 more Orange batters marched across home plate and extended their advantage to 8-0.

 

Orange roster

Baviello doubled home another score in the bottom of the fourth inning and was quickly driven home on Amaroso’s infield single. Post 127’s final run came as Ted Ballou’s fielder’s choice erased Amaroso but also enabled Dammando to cross home plate.

Speer started and hurled 5 innings to pick up his first win of the summer. He allowed only 1 run on 1 hit and struck out 1 batter but also walked 6.

“Brian played outfield and also pitched some for Western New England College this spring.  He threw the ball hard tonight but also gave out a lot of walks. He needs a couple more starts to get into a good rhythm. Brian has a great curve ball but he didn’t have commando of it tonight and as a result, was out of the strike zone more than he usually is,” Mirto said.

A fifth inning walk to Mark Lowe, an infield out by Jamie Brown, and successive wild pitched spoiled Speer’s shut out bid. The only hit he allowed was a fourth inning double by Eric Flores. Palmieri, who had previously drawn a free pass, tried to score from first base but was gunned down on a strong throw from center fielder Amaroso to catcher Paul Gusmano.

Kyasky came on to mop up the final two West Haven at bats and he gave up an unearned run in the top of the sixth inning.

Baviello led the winners with a pair of doubles, 2 runs, and a pair of runs batted in. Amaroso singled twice, scored a run, and added an RBI. Siena, who played only 3 innings, double home a run and added another RBI when he walked with the bases loaded. Boland doubled, scored a run, and added 3 RBI. Butler and Dammando each walked twice and scored 2 runs.

Mirto added, “Vin Siena really drilled that double off the fence and Bavs (Baviello) also hit the ball hard tonight.”

The undefeated winners go for their fifth straight victory Wednesday night with a 7 PM road game against Post 88 of Hamden. Last Friday night, Dane Simione hurled Orange to a 6-1 victory over Hamden . On Saturday, Nick Fusco made his Post 127 mound debut and defeated West Haven 4-3.