The West Haven Post 71 U16 team made a run for the state tournament only to eliminated in the opening round, 5-1 to Next Level. Enroute to the playoff run was an up-and-down road. That road started with a even record, and the hope of improving in the last weeks of the season.
It was a tough two weeks entering the final run as the Westies fell under the .500 mark during a five-game losing streak. The Westies rebounded to win a pair and are now 8-7-1 entering the final week of the regular season.
Post 71 opened the week with a 3-0 loss against Grind Carolina. Grind scored three times in the fourth inning and made those runs count as West Haven was held to just five hits in the game off the bats of Mike Madera, Evan Jones, Ray Gilbert, Haygen Axelrod and Chase Supan.
Jones went four innings for West Haven, allowing three runs on four hits, while walking four and striking out four.
West Haven was unable to string anything together as Gilbert singled with two outs in the first and was left stranded. Axelrod and Supan led off the second with singles, and West Haven loaded the bases with one out on a walk to Cam Cruz, but the Westies could not get a big hit.
Madera and Jones laced one-out singles in the third and each advanced on a wild pitch, but neither crossed the plate. Mark Lynch walked in the fifth and a pair of walks in the seventh with one out had West Haven in business, but the Westies could not produce the big hit in the loss.
West Haven then fell in a doubleheader against the Shoreline Breakers, 8-4 and 4-0. Madera and Jones led the offense in the opener with two hits and a run scored each. Trailing 3-0, West Haven got on the board in the second when a sacrifice fly by Cruz scored Axelrod, who had walked to open the inning.
Shoreline had leads of 5-1 after four and 6-1 in the fifth, before Anthony Constantinople delivered Jesse Buonocore with a single in the fifth.
Trailing 7-2, West Haven rallied in the sixth as Madera singled, Jones doubled, and Madera scored on a single to center by Gilbert. Jones scored on a fielder’s choice by Axelrod to get West Haven within three, but the Westies never got closer.
The Westies were held to just four hits in a game stopped after five innings in the nightcap. Axelrod led the way with two hits, and Jones and Harp also singled in the loss.
Post 71 fell to 6-6-1 with a 5-3 loss to Grind Carolina. Madera led the offense with two hits, while Buonocore allowed five runs, three earned, on three hits, while walking seven and striking out five in the loss.
West Haven took a 1-0 lead in the second as Buonocore and Constantinople singled, and Buonocore scored on a fielder’s choice by Josh Trager.
Trailing 5-1 in the sixth, Jones and Axelrod sandwiched walks around a hit batter by Gilbert to load the bases. Supan walked to force in Jones, and Gilbert scored on a wild pitch, but the Westies stranded the tying runs on base.
The Westies fell under the .500 mark for the first time this season with a 7-5 loss in the nightcap of the doubleheader. Madera and Gilbert led the offense with two hits and a run scored apiece, while Jones scored twice, and Buonocore knocked in two.
Trager allowed five runs, four earned, on three hits, while walking eight and striking out four in four innings of work.
West Haven took a 2-0 lead in the first as Madera singled, Jones reached on an error, Gilbert singled to score Madera, and Jones scored on a sacrifice fly by Supan.
Trailing 6-2, Post 71 scored three times in the sixth to get within a run. Madera led off with a single, Jones walked, and Axelrod walked to load the bases. Buonocore laced a two-run double, and a balk scored Axelrod, but West Haven stranded the tying run on third.
West Haven moved to 7-7-1 with a 10-4 win over CT Hank Yanks in the first game of a doubleheader. Axelrod scored twice, Dylan Supan drove in a pair, and Madera, Jones, Gilbert, and Constantinople each had a hit and a run scored in the win.
Dylan Supan picked up the win in relief, tossing five innings of one-hit ball. He allowed one unearned run while striking out five, needing just 51 pitches.
Trailing 2-0, West Haven cut the deficit in half when Gilbert’s double scored Jones in the bottom of the first. Dylan Supan walked to force in Gilbert, and Constantinople singled to score Axelrod, who had walked earlier in the inning, for a 3-2 lead.
Trailing 4-3, West Haven rallied in the fourth. Dylan Supan and Constantinople walked, and Madera singled to score Dylan Supan with the tying run. Jones followed with a single to score Constantinople, and Madera scored on an error for a 6-4 lead.
Post 71 increased the lead to 7-4 when Dylan Supan’s sacrifice fly scored Harp, who reached on an error in the fifth, and Axelrod and Chase Supan scored on wild pitches,
Post 71 improved to 8-7-1 with a 3-1 win in the nightcap. Chase Supan pitched a one-hitter and struck out nine in the victory.
West Haven took a 1-0 lead in the third as Constantinople was hit by a pitch and scored on Madera’s two-out single to left. After the Yanks evened the game after picking up their only hit of the game in the third, Post 71 took the lead for good with two runs in the fourth.
Gilbert led off with a double and scored on a double by Chase Supan, who scored the second run of the inning.
Post 71 picked up its ninth victory of the season with a 12-11 victory over Northeast Clutch. Cam Cruz led the offense with two hits, two runs batted in, and two runs scored, while Madera, Jones, Chase Supan, and Buonocore all scored twice. Harp, Buonocore and Hume each drove in a pair.
The Westies jumped out to a 10-1 lead after two innings before Clutch battled back and took an 11-10 lead in the final inning. With the bases loaded and one out, Hume singled to right to drive in a pair and send West Haven home with the win.
Post 71 then played the Edge in a doubleheader, winning the opener, 17-5 ,and falling in the nightcap, 12-6.
Buonocore led the offense in the opener with two hits and two runs scored, while Chase Supan scored three times, and Madera, Axelrod, Dylan Supan, Hume and Lynch each scored twice. Madera and Harp also drove in a pair apiece in the win.
Dylan Supan went the distance, allowing six hits, while walking one and striking out three.
In the nightcap, West Haven scored six in the third, but saw the Edge score six in the final inning for the win.
Trailing 2-0 in the third, West Haven took a 6-2 lead. Lynch opened with a single to left, Madera lined a single to right, and Harp walked to load the bases.
A sacrifice fly by Chase Supan brought in Lynch, Axelrod reached on an error to score Madera, Trager singled to score Harp and Axelrod, and Hume reached on an error to score Buonocore and Trager.
The Westies then traveled to play Next Level in the opening round of the state tournament. Held to just three hits in the game, West Haven never got on track and watched as Next Level broke a 1-1 tie with four runs in the sixth to end the West Haven season with a 5-1 defeat.
West Haven’s only run came in the sixth as Axelrod was hit by a pitch, Buonocore walked, and one-out walks to Trager and Constantinople forced in a run. Gilbert, Chase Supan, and Cruz had the lone West Haven hits.