MIDDLETOWN >> Middletown’s aces weren’t good enough.
Middletown Post 75 sent its top two pitchers — Scott Marks and Jared Pflaumer — to the mound in Sunday’s doubleheader against Madison at Palmer Field, hoping to break a three-game Zone 3 losing streak.
It didn’t happen as Madison rallied for four runs in the seventh inning to win the opener 5-2, then shut out the 75ers 5-0 to sweep the twinbill and send Middletown into the Zone 3 basement.
Middletown had just four hits in each game.
“It’s been a real struggle to score runs,” Middletown coach Tim D’Aquila. “Same thing every game.”
Middletown (3-9 in the zone) lost a doubleheader to Madison Saturday, 3-2 and 3-0.
Middletown took a 2-1 lead to the seventh behind Marks in the opener. But after a leadoff single, Ben Alonzo erred on a ground ball and Madison took advantage. Marks walked David Nuzzo to load the bases and Jack Kallinich singled home two to put Madison ahead. A third run scored when center fielder Luigi Fazzino threw wide of third.
The fourth run scored on a two-out single by Ryan McAneany (2-for-4).
Middletown had taken a 2-0 lead in the first inning on a bases-loaded single by Anthony Franco.
Mike Elias struck out three and gave up just four singles to get the win. Marks struck out six and only one of the five runs was earned.
In the night game, Madison (5-3) got two in the second on a double by Brian Anderson and a throwing error by right fielder Evan Chicoine. The winners put the game away with a three-run triple by Kallinich in the fourth inning.
Pflaumer was touched for nine hits in four innings. Joe Hill went the distance to get the win, allowing just the four hits while striking out two and walking one.
“I thought Marks pitched really well,” D’Aquila said. “But when you get only two runs and your defense makes errors behind you, it’s hard to win. We make errors at bad times. We play good defense for the most part, but when it’s time to buckle down, we don’t.
“It’s not that we don’t practice and we talk about the importance of defense all the time. We’re just not doing it when it counts.”