Legion baseball a testing ground for Post 143

Nick Minerva got the start for Fairfield Legion when Post 143 took on Stamford at Fairfield Warde High School. (Photo by Kyra Palange)

Nick Minerva got the start for Fairfield Legion when Post 143 took on Stamford at Fairfield Warde High School.
(Photo by Kyra Palange)

Coach Tyrone Kingwood’s Fairfield American Legion Post 143 baseball team has had a rough go of it this year, and its struggles continued with an 8-2 loss to Stamford Post 3 at Warde High School on Friday, June 20.
After losing twice to Greenwich, Post 132 snapped a 10-game losing streak when they scored a 6-0 victory behind a complete-game pitching performance by Peter Detrik in the third game of the series on Sunday.
Fairfield is home to Trumbull (8-2) at Tunxis Hill Park at 12 p.m. on Saturday.
“We have a young team and we’re still building; a lot of these kids don’t have much varsity experience,” Kingwood said. “But they work hard, and they’re putting effort into our program, so I can guarantee you we’ll improve over the course of the season. We will get better.”
Post 143 used a relay of four pitchers to get them through the game. The starter, Warde rising senior Nick Minerva, tossed 3 1/3 innings and allowed two runs and 11 hits.
Minerva’s first rough inning came in the second frame, and the damage was limited by some impressive fielding by third baseman Kyle Cavadi.
Stamford’s Peter Horn led off the inning with a single to center field, then moved to second on a sacrifice.
With one out, Randy Polonia hit a grounder to first and beat the throw, putting runners on the corners for Johnny Spoto.
Spoto hit a hotshot down the third-base line, but Cavadi dove and knocked down the ball to hold Spoto to a single.
He got little time to regroup as the next batter, Kevin Stone, hit another ball his way on a 2-2 count. Cavadi dove again and opted to take the easy out at third, allowing one run to score but procuring a much-needed out.
Cavadi fielded another grounder two batters later, again taking the out at third to end the inning.
Minerva worked an uneventful top of the third, but ran into a jam in the top of the next frame.
Stamford loaded the bases with no outs on two singles and a hit by pitch, and one run came around to score when St. Bonaventure’s RJ Moavero singled.
Minerva got an out when he fielded a grounder and threw out Spoto at home, but Kingwood had seen enough.
He brought fellow rising senior Billy Goodchild in to relieve Minerva with one out and the bases loaded, and Goodchild let in only one of those runs when Westhill graduate Ronnie Jackson flew out to center field and Kevin Stone tagged up and scored.
Goodchild walked two to lead off the top of the fifth, whereupon he was replaced by Warde graduate Billy Money.
The two Stamford base runner immediately rattled Money with a double steal, and he walked Polonia to load the bases. Cavadi fielded a grounder from Spoto and threw home to take the lead runner, but a walk two batters later brought in Stamford’s fourth run.
Fairfield, meanwhile, had put only one runner on base over the first four innings, but strung together some offense in the bottom of the fifth.
A pair of strikeouts made for a dismal start to the inning, but Jack Germain tapped a slow-roller to the left side of the infield for a hit.
Eddie Grella worked the count full before drawing a walk to move Germain into scoring position, and he scored when Sean Homa lifted a high pop fly behind first base that neither the first baseman nor the outfielder could reach.
The run cut the deficit to 4-1, but it was all Post 143 could muster that inning.
A three-run deficit wasn’t insurmountable, but things got away from Post 143 in the top of the next inning.
Kingwood called upon rising senior Joe Tamucci to wrap up the game, but Post 143’s fourth pitcher of the game struggled with Stamford’s offense.
A double and a single plated one run. A double and three singles brought in three more runs for Stamford, extending Post 3’s lead to 8-1.
The inning finally ended, again, with Cavadi, who fielded a ground ball cleanly, tagged third, then threw to first for the double play.
Fairfield again made an effort at a comeback in the bottom of the inning.
Dan Schmedlin worked a four-pitch walk and advanced to second when Money drew another base on balls.
Cavadi singled to load the bases for Detrik, who scored Schmedlin with a sacrifice fly to left.
Germain’s walk reloaded the bases, but the lone run was all Fairfield could muster and the inning closed out with the score at 8-2.

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