WINSTED >> Winsted’s American Legion baseball team won its fifth game in a row in a 3-2 walk-off against Southington Wednesday evening.
Combining players from Northwestern, Gilbert and Housatonic, all taking turns having hot streaks in the Berkshire League this spring, Winsted’s team is used to waiting for things to get better.
Starting 0-5 in the Legion season, Post 43 won its first game of the season last Thursday against Torrington, then traveled to Massachusetts for a four-team exhibition tournament this weekend.
In games counting only for confidence and morale, Winsted beat Vermont’s defending Legion champion and Massachusetts’ third-place finisher on successive days.
They came back to beat perennial Zone I power Bristol on Tuesday, then came from behind for the win over Southington, whose high school team made it to the Class LL Quarterfinals this spring.
“We battled to the end,” said winning pitcher Vinny Tranceti, who led Northwestern to the Class M Championship game in the spring season.
“They played well,” Southington coach Marc Verderame said. “Their pitcher pounded the zone and mixed it up. We didn’t execute. They played better.”
Winsted pulled ahead 1-0 with three walks and an RBI single by Connor LaBrek in the second inning.
Tranceti (7 innings, 1 earned run, 9 strikeouts), allowing just three hits in the game, gave up his first in the fourth inning on a ball that bounded through the infield between players deciding who should go for it.
Following Tranceti’s only walk, to Zack Parent, followed by a steal, the hit by John Mikosz (2-for-3) scored the tying run for Southington.
Two innings later, Southington went ahead on Winsted’s only error, an infield hit by A.J. Monji and a wild pitch.
The baseball gods owed Tranceti a favor.
He got it after striking out the side in the top of the seventh, still down 2-1.
Tranceti (3-for-4, double) led off the bottom of the inning with a single, then made it to second on a hit-and-run ground-out by Tony Pucino.
Lukas Gryniuk lined an RBI single to right, tying the score.
Joe Colombie dropped a single into short right center, moving Gryniuk over.
A fly to left was out number two.
Jason Reola’s sharp grounder to third looked like out number three. Instead, the gods paid their debt in a throw over the first baseman’s head.
Pinch runner John King raced in for the win.
Winsted, now officially 3-5, can lay claim to being the hot team in Zone I.
Southington is 4-6.
Winsted 3, Southington 2
At Walker Field
Southington 000 110 0 – 2 3 1
Winsted 010 000 2 – 3 8 1
WP: Vinny Tranceti. LP: Ryan McIntyre. 2B: W – Tranceti.
Records: Southington 4-6; Winsted 3-5.