By PHIL BRODSKY
Orange Live Sports Writer
On Sunday, Orange Post 127 battered Stratford pitching for 19 hits enroute to a 14-1 thrashing of visiting Post 42. The same 2 teams met again Tuesday night at Brinley Field and the results were much the same. This time the hosts banged out 18 hits and pummeled Stratford 15-3. With its latest victory, Orange improved its record to 13-3 and remained atop Zone 2. The Black and Orange need only 1 more win to qualify for the American Legion state tournament that gets underway later this month. On the other side of the ledger, Post 42 sits in Zone 2 cellar.
While he struggled with his control all night, Orange pitcher Dane Simone went 5 innings and upped his record to a spotless 4-0. In addition to striking out 6 Stratford batters, Simone also walked 8, allowed 6 hits, and had runners on base in every inning.
According to winning Coach Bob Mirto, “We won tonight but the game was not a thing of beauty. Dane just didn’t have good control tonight, but he was determined to hang on. Having 6 strikeouts and 8 walks is not a good strike out to walk ratio, but he did go 5 innings and throw 127 pitches. Fortunately, we hit the ball hard again tonight. We’ve done that consistently throughout the season.”
Once again the winners jumped out to a quick first inning lead. Following Grayson Amoroso’s lead-off double over the head of Post 42 center fielder, Ryan Sosik, Nick Baviello’s fielder’s choice, consecutive singles ff the bets of Ted Ballou and Paul Gusmano and with an error by Stratford catcher Nick DiIullo and a bases-loaded walk to Brian Speer staked Simone to an early 4-0 advantage.
After leaving the bases loaded in the top of the first inning, Stratford did scrape out a run in its next at bat. DiIullo led off with a free pass and raced over to third base on Alex Tyler’s 2-base blast into right-center field. DiIullo scooted home on Sosik’s infield roller.
Orange extended its advantage to 6-1 in the bottom of the second inning. Mark Boland singled and advanced to third base on Baviello’s double down the right field line. Both runners raced home on the front end of Ballou’s base hit.
With the bases loaded in the top of the third, Simone forced in a run when walked Mike Cody, but the winners tacked on 2 more runs in the bottom of the same canto, on base hits from Spear and Nial Dimmondo, a throwing error by DiIullo, and Amoroso’s drive up the middle.
Leading 8-2, Orange batted around and exploded for 6 more runs in the bottom of the fifth inning. Making his first start for Post 127, Matt Ronai led off with a 2-base blast off the left-center field fence. Dimmondo singled Ronai over to third bases and Chris Katz cashed in both runners with his double into the right-center field gap. Amoroso, Baviello, and Ballou followed with RBI base hits that chased Stratford starter Jordan Weiss and extended the Post 127 advantage to 14-3.
Orange recorded its 15th and final run in the sixth inning on another Katz double, a throwing error by Post 42 third baseman Jamie DeStefano, and Adam Kyasky’s RBI single up the middle.
“Ted Ballou is red-hot,” Mirto said. “He had 5 hits on Sunday and 3 more tonight. That’s 8 hits in a row. Nick Baviello has been crushing the ball too.”
Included in Ballou’s offensive efforts were 2 doubles, a single, 3 RBI, a stolen base and a run scored. Baviello’s tally sheet included a double, a single, 3 runs scored, and an RBI. Ronai added a single, a double, a run, and an RBI. Dimmondo also contributed 2 singles, 2 runs, and a stolen base. Amoroso doubled twice, scored twice and added an RBI. For the second game in a row, every batter in the winners’ starting line up recorded at least 1 hit and scored at least 1 run.
Sosik and Weiss each had 2 hits for the losers.
The 3-game series concludes tonight with a 5:45 game at Penders Field in Stratford . Mirto was trying hard not to look ahead to his teams upcoming contests with East Haven Post 89 and Branford Post 83, but then noted, “Things won’t be as easy as this later in the week. We have a make-up game with Shelton on Friday and then we move on to East Haven and Branford. We look to end our regular season for 6 tough games. Our pitching is all set up. Hopefully, things will fall into place for us. We’ll see what we are made of and how good we are in those 6 games.”