TORRINGTON >> Torrington Sports Palace and New Milford split a pair of Connie Mack Baseball games at Fuessenich Park where the play seemed to follow the temperature.
New Milford won the first game 5-1 when it was still warm, but a 1-1 tie midway through broke open on two errors in the same inning the sun was disappearing.
Sports Palace took the second game 6-4 as temperatures sank amidst a combined 9 errors (5-4 New Milford).
“Splitting those games seemed like a stroke of luck,” said Torrington Coach Bill Heintz.
Torrington pitcher Josh Rubino, who went 10 innings against Amenia last week, was the only real constant.
He gave up an opening double and single by Anthony Case (2-for-3) and Riley Zimmerman (RBI), but held steady for just four more hits in the game after the first inning (7 innings, 2 earned runs, 7 strikeouts, 0 walks) while misplays rained on both sides.
“This late in the season, the pitches come and my arm doesn’t get tired,” said the veteran right-hander.
Playing as the visitors in the makeup game, Sports Palace scored four runs in the second inning on hits by Nick Santillo (2-for-3, RBI); Riley Shreders (RBI); and Paul Cisowski along with opening gifts from New Milford – two walks and an error.
With more gifts to follow in the third and fourth innings, the score was 6-2 when Kobe Covington scored in the third after being hit by a pitch and Rubino came in on a bases-loaded walk in the fourth.
The weather didn’t feel like baseball and neither did much of the play.
New Milford went through four pitchers trying to straighten out the play.
When New Milford batters threatened a comeback with a two-run sixth inning on two Torrington errors and a double by Brendon Porfeto, Rubino took matters into his own glove.
Leadoff hitter Payton Meyer stood on second base following a two-base error. Riley Zimmerman hit a high bouncer to the mound. Rubino leaped for it, turned and fired to third in time to get Meyer with a heads-up tag from Kobe Covington.
Next inning, another spectacular Sports Palace play put a sloppy game away for good.
Trailing 6-4 in the bottom of the seventh, New Milford’s Matt Martinez led off with a drive to right center field. Jimmy Lamana dove, catching it at the top of the grass.
Rubino took care of the rest on a strikeout and grounder to third.
If the split was unsatisfying, at least it was time to go home and get warm.
Torrington Sports Palace 6, New Milford 4
At Fuessenich Park, Torrington
Torrington 041 100 0 – 6 6 4
New Milford 110 002 0 – 4 5 5
WP: Josh Rubino. LP: Brendon Porfeto. 2B: NM: Anthony Casa; Porfeto.
Records: Torrington 8-5; New Milford 5-7.