The West Haven baseball team has been one of streaks this year. Starting the season with two straight victories, the Westies are now on the other side of the run.
After cruising to a pair of victories to start the season, the shoe was on the other foot for the West Haven baseball team. Scoring in every inning but the second, Branford easily defeated West Haven 12-2 in a game stopped after five innings due to the mercy rule in Branford Monday afternoon.
West Haven (2-1) managed just five hits in the contest and did not score until two runs crossed the plate in the fifth. Branford, which led 8-0 before the Westies got on the board, ended the game with four runs in the bottom half of the inning.
The Hornets pounded 13 hits, with Alphonse Suppa picking up three, while also driving in four runs. Suppa also struck out five on the mound.
Nick Flammia led West Haven with two hits and a run scored, while Ty Reeves had a hit and drove in both West Haven runs. Reeves also took the loss on the hill.
Just two days after suffering its first defeat of the year to Branford in lop-sided fashion, the Westies looked to get back on track Wednesday afternoon.
Unfortunately for West Haven, the bats went silent and West Haven fell to Guilford 8-0 at Guilford High School. With the loss, West Haven fell to 2-2 on the season.
West Haven looked to snap the skid against East Haven. Since opening the season in disappointing fashion against Hand, the East Haven baseball team has been an entirely different unit over the last five games.
Using timely hitting, clutch defense and effective pitching is always a good measure of success. Throw in some resiliency, and the description of the Yellowjackets thus far is complete.
Behind a complete game effort from junior lefty Jack Kabel, clutch hitting from senior Ryan Spano, and a resilient effort in the latter innings, East Haven topped West Haven 7-4 in a Southern Connecticut Conference interdivision contest at Piurek Field in West Haven Thursday afternoon.
East Haven, which has now won four of its last five games and two in a row, improved to 4-2 on the year with the victory. The Yellowjackets have won all three road contests they have played and capitalized on some West Haven miscues to tack on much needed insurance runs late in the contest.
“Starting 4-2, I will take that any day of the week,” East Haven coach Butch Johnson said. “We are playing with confidence. We got spanked our first game, then our only other loss has been to Hamden. We are playing really well.”
The Westies made eight errors in the game, including three to start the sixth inning after West Haven had just scored three times in the fifth to get within a run.
With three outs given up, West Haven and starting pitcher Nick Flammia could not keep East Haven off the board, turning a 4-3 East Haven lead into a 7-3 contest. After the first three batters of the inning reached by way of West Haven miscues, Frank Camera walked to force in Tristan Punzo, and Spano singled to plate two more.
“I knew it was a big spot and I needed to get a hit,” Spano said. “It was a 1-1 count and I got the fastball down the middle.”
Said West Haven coach Ron Luneau, “You can’t beat anyone on any high school field making eight errors. Obviously, we have work to do. We have to keep working on our concentration drills. We have to make the plays.”
The Yellowjackets jumped on West Haven quickly with three runs in the first inning. Camera led off with a single and scored on Spano’s double, before Nate Furino walked and Gabe Longley singled to load the bases. Punzo reached on an error to score Spano and Steven Mingione delivered Furino with a sacrifice fly to right.
“I want to help the team as well as I can,” Spano said.
East Haven increased the lead to 4-0 with a run in the second as Hunter Santana singled to lead off the inning and moved to third on an error on the play. Spano’s sacrifice fly scored Santana for the four-run lead.
“I think we showed a lot of resolve later in the game,” Johnson said. “We had the lead and nearly gave it up. Then, we came back and put the pressure on them. We had that resolve which was big there.”
Kabel, who went the distance allowing seven hits and striking out seven, kept West Haven off the board as he escaped a second and third jam in the second with a strikeout, and stranded two more in the third with a comebacker to the mound.
West Haven, which has lost three in a row since opening with a pair of victories, finally got on the board in the fifth as Chris Cavallaro led off with a single, moved to second on a bunt by Diego Mahecha and third on a wild pitch. After Dom Cambino walked, Flammia ripped a long triple to right to score Cavallaro and Cambino to get within 4-2, before a wild pitch scored Flammia.
“We showed something coming back, but we can’t be in that position,” Luneau said. “We need to get better.”
The Westies rallied in the seventh as Cambino singled and scored on a triple by Contreras, but Kabel closed the door without any further damage.
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