TORRINGTON >> Torrington Sports Palace beat Tri-Town/Litchfield Connie Mack 12-6 Tuesday night in a game that started grizzly and improved with age.
It’s summer baseball – a time when kids can have fun and build their confidence for more serious venues.
Both coaches adopted that philosophy early in Tuesday’s game.
Torrington coach Bill Heintz, whose team goes to 3-2, started some of his reserves against 0-4 Litchfield.
Tri-Town coach Mark Bovat, still looking for his best team to show up all at once, played some kids out of position and handed Landon Belmay his first start in a year.
Both sides teed off at bat.
Torrington starter P.J. Kilmartin (4 innings, 4 earned runs, 7 hits, 6 strikeouts, 4 walks) straightened his stuff out after the first inning.
Belmay (3 innings, 7 earned runs, 9 hits, 1 strikeout, 2 walks) took two.
Until then, Fuessenich Park was a race track.
Doug Whipple (single), Jeff Aeschlimann (walk), Rob Whipple (double, 2 RBI); Steve Rosko (walk) and Devin Ruot (RBI single) all scored on three hits, two walks and an error in the top of the first inning.
Down 5-0, Sports Palace came back for three in the first inning on a double by Ben Thompson, hits by Ben Bonvicini (3-for-4, double, triple, 2 RBI, 3 runs), Kilmartin and Kobe Covington, plus a walk and an error.
Torrington got five more in the second on a triple by Bonvicini, double by Nick Santillo (2 runs), singles by Dave Swanson (2-for-4, RBI, 2 runs) and Adam Fuoco (RBI), sacrifice fly by Rudy Santiago, two errors and another walk.
The after-shock brought one more run for each side in the third.
Rosko (2 runs) and Ruot (2-for-3, run) hit two-out singles for Litchfield.
Josh Rubino (2 runs) got around for Torrington on a bunt single and two errors in a three-error inning for Tri-Town.
“I wanted (Belmay) to work through it,” said Coach Bovat.
Both starters did an admirable job of that.
By the time relievers for each team took the mound – Alex O’Bernier in the fourth inning for Tri-Town, Pat Baker for Torrington in the fifth – the starters had fireworks down to a few lingering pops.
If anything, they set up their relievers perfectly.
O’Bernier (3 innings, 2 earned runs, 1 strikeout, 1 walk) allowed just three more hits – a fifth-inning triple by Manny Rijo and a single and double by Swanson and Bonvicini in the sixth.
“You have to make adjustments,” said Bonvicini. “It helps you realize there’s more than one speed.”
Baker (0 hits, 6 strikeouts, 0 walks) was one infield error short of a perfect three innings.
“My curve was definitely doing its job,” he grinned. “I was in a groove today.”
“It was a good game for building confidence,” said Coach Heintz.
Just what the doctor ordered for summer ball.
Torrington Sports Palace 12, Tri-Town Connie Mack 6
At Fuessenich Park, Torrington
Tri-Town 501 000 0 – 6 7 7
Torrington 351 012 x – 12 12 2
WP: P.J. Kilmartin. LP: Landon Belmay. 3B: T – Ben Bonvicini; Manny Rijo. 2B: TT – Rob Whipple. T – Ben Thompson; Nick Santillo; Bonvicini.
Records: Tri-Town 0-4; Torrington 3-2.