Orange Legion Baseball Blanks North Haven 3-0

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Jun 282012

File photo from June 26

After a couple of back-to-back losses, the boys of Orange Post 127 American Legion baseball are back!

The team was victorious Wednesday night beating North Haven 3-0.

Tonight they are back in North Haven again. Go get ’em guys!


Orange Legion Is 4-0

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Jun 192012


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. 

Pokluda Pitches No-Hitter For Legion Season Opener

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Jun 152012


Sports Writer


Orange Legion Pitcher Austin Pokluda

Following the postponement of the first 3 games of the regular season, The Orange Post 127 American Legion baseball team finally launched its 2012 season Thursday night at Brinley Field. It was a brilliant launch to the season as Austin Pokluda  not only defeated West Haven Post 71 2-1, he did not allow a base hit.

According to Pokluda, “From the fourth inning on, I knew I had a no-hitter but I tried to keep it out of my mind. The guys talked to me on the bench but nobody talked about me working on a no-hitter. We were more concerned about us not hitting the ball.”

While Pokluda was holding Post 71 hitless, his teammates managed only 2 hits off West Haven hurler Tyler Gambardella over the first 5 innings and trailed 1-0.With 1 out in the top of the first inning, Alex Palmeri walked, moved over to second base on a fielding error by Orange shortstop Nick Baviello and came around to score on Wes Gambardella’s fielder’s choice.

Thanks to Tyler Gambardella’s clutch West Haven clung to that slim lead for 5 innings. R.J. Moquet singled with 2 outs in the bottom of the third inning and Adam Kyasky did the same thing with 2 outs in the bottom of the fifth.

After not having a runner reach second base during the first five innings, the Post 127 bats finally showed signs of life in the bottom of the sixth. Chris Katz led off by beating out a bunt that he rolled down the third base line. Mark Boland’s sacrifice bunt moved Katz up a base. With 2 outs, Katz swiped third base and raced home on Paul Gusmano’s game-tying 2-strike double past third base and down the left field. Following Ted Ballou’s base hit, Gusmano scored on an error by Palmeri, the West Haven shortstop.

Now leading 2-1, Pokluda quickly set the visitors down in order in the top of the seventh and put his no-hitter into the books. In addition to holding West Haven (now 0-2) hitless, the UConn-bound Amity senior struck out 6 and walked only 1 batter. He allowed only three balls out of the infield—all easy fly balls that were snared by right fielder, Ballou, in the final 2 innings.

“ Austin pitched only 1 game for us last summer and that was in Rhode Island . He wasn’t as polished as he is now, but we saw that he threw hard, had good control, and was cool as a cucumber. For the most part, he worked out of the bullpen this spring for Amity, but he did start and was the winning pitcher against Shelton (the eventual CIAC Class LL state champs) in the SCC championship game,” Coach Bob Mirto said. “Tonight he threw only 80 pitches and proved that good things happen when you consistently throw strikes.”

He added, “Their pitcher kept us off balance with sliders and knuckle balls. For the first 4 innings we couldn’t hit the ball. Starting in the fifth inning, (our third time through the batting order) we got used to him, settled in, and began to hit the ball hard when he got it up in the strike zone. Our offense wasn’t explosive tonight but we did what we had to do to win the game. I liked seeing how we came from behind to win. It always feels good to open the season with a victory. This is a good team and the most experienced team I’ve ever had. They work hard and are focused on winning.”

Pokluda admitted that he has one style of pitching when he comes on in relif and another style when he is the starter.

He said, “When I come on in relief, I mostly concentrate on throwing my 2-seam fast ball hard. As a starter, I use more of my pitches (fastball, curve, and change. Tonight I began experimenting with a slider and tried hard to hit my spots more.”

The 1-0 Mirtomen return to Zone 2 action tonight with a 7 P.M. contest at Hamden Post 88 ( Hamden High School .) On Saturday, they visit West Haven in a 10 AM contest at Piurek Field ( West Haven High School .)

See our Orange Live Facebook Page for all photos.

Chris Katz steps up to the plate.