By Paul Augeri
Middletown’s resumption of the weather-marred American Legion 19U baseball season got off to a promising start with a pair of drastically different wins in Zone 3 play.
The 75ers ended RCP’s eight-game winning streak on Saturday night with a 1-0 victory in eight innings at Buzzy Levin Field, then turned around and battered Enfield 20-0 Sunday. That game, at Middletown High’s John DeNunzio Field, was called under the mercy rule after five innings.
Middletown moved into third place in the zone at 7-3 with NCL Windsor Locks/Windsor (8-4) after its fourth straight win and trails zone leader RCP (10-2) by just a game in the loss column. Post 105 rebounded Sunday with a 1-0 win over South Windsor.
“Saturday night’s win was huge after this long layoff,” Middletown coach Dan Botti said. “We took care of business Sunday and hopefully we can keep this rolling.”
Left-hander Kolby Pascarelli and RCP right-hander Ryan Robb matched zeroes Saturday. Pascarelli allowed three hits, walked five and struck out 10. Robb also gave up just three hits.
Alex Mach relieved Pascarelli in the eighth, did not allow a base runner and struck out two. RCP turned to Jesse Frazer, who found trouble by walking leadoff man Ryan Quinn.
Jack Konopka bunted for a single, with Quinn advancing to third when the ball was thrown away for an error. Frazer intentionally walked Pascarelli to load the bases, and Middletown won it when Mike Garofalo walked on a 3-2 pitch.
Owen Clancy, Hugh Barrett and Tiernan Powers all singled for the 75ers. Mach got the win.
Middletown’s offense broke out on Sunday, with Ryan Michaud’s 3-for-3 performance leading the way. Michaud doubled, walked, drove in one run and scored three.
Also starring for the 75ers: Quinn (2 for 3, double, triple, five RBIs and three runs), Powers (1 for 3, three RBIs, one run), Chris Carafeno (2 for 3, three runs and two RBIs) and Barrett (1 for 3, four runs, one RBI).
Brent Gilson, Michaud and Quinn combined on a one-hitter over five innings. Gilson allowed the hit in 2 1/3 innings. Each pitcher struck out two.
Middletown and RCP meet again Monday at Cromwell High School at 5:45pm. Post 75 plays every night this week save Thursday.
“The guys know how important this stretch is,” Botti said.
The site for Tuesday’s game against South Windsor has tentatively moved to Buzzy Levin Field at the Pat Kidney Sports Complex. Middletown’s hope is to play Friday’s scheduled game against Ellington at Palmer Field. The park flooded because of heavy rain this past Friday and is underdoing a clean-up.