TORRINGTON >> A 16-2 Connie Mack Baseball stomping by Torrington Sports Palace over New Milford Monday night proved that eight is not enough after all — especially at Fuessenich Park.
New Milford, a longstanding member of the Northwest Connecticut Connie Mack community, mustered just eight players for the game, sending out just two outfielders to patrol the vast reaches of a ballpark in which three outfielders often have trouble covering the ground.
Put it in the outfield this game and a little hustle gets you a double by the time one of the fielders catches up with a well-hit ball.
Josh Rubino and Jimmy Lamana did that twice, Marcus Bloom once. Riley Shreders turned his blast into a triple.
Singles to the outfield should have been relatively easy: Rubino had four hits; Shreders three; Lamana and Nate Manchester two apiece.
Thirteen Torrington hits would have sent Doubleday back for a second draft in the early days.
Nine New Milford errors in the infield might have made him throw the whole idea away.
“It was good practice,” said Torrington Coach Bill Heintz.
If so, it’s why most fans don’t come to watch practices. By the time this one was over, available sympathy spread across the field — certainly to the two New Milford outfielders running themselves ragged chasing down well-hit balls, but also to the Torrington hitters who couldn’t get enough credit for them.
Throw in the pitchers before the sympathy runs out – certainly, again, for New Milford’s, working admirably with a missing outfielder, but also for Torrington’s Nate Manchester (3 innings, 4 hits, 4 strikeouts) and Brian Bassler (4 innings, 1 hit, 6 strikeouts) not getting quite enough credit because they got a free strikeout every time the missing man didn’t come to bat.
Nine is the right number for baseball.
With eight, New Milford (3-5) made a brave start with an opening two runs on hits by Anthony Casa (leadoff triple), Riley Zimmerman (RBI), Paul Christin (2-for-3) and Ryan Fabich (RBI).
Then the New Milford problems and Fuessenich Park’s outfield began to grow — three runs in the first on two errors, a walk, RBI fielder’s choice and a Manchester double; eight runs in the second, just four of them earned, on three errors, a walk and five Sports Palace hits, including three doubles in a row by Rubino, Lamana and Bloom.
At 11-2, the point was made. The rest of it was just practice.
Torrington Sports Palace 16, New Milford 2
At Fuessenich Park, Torrington
New Milford 200 000 0 – 2 5 9
Torrington 383 200 X – 16 13 1
WP: Nate Manchester. LP: Paul Christin. 3B: NM – Anthony Casa. T – Riley Shreders. 2B: T – Josh Rubino 2; Jimmy Lamana 2; Marcus Bloom.
Records: New Milford 3-5; Torrington 5-2.