By BRIAN JENNINGS
The Blues opened the week with a 2-0 shutout at home over the Wachusett Dirt Dawgs (21-25) on Tuesday night, July 28.
The Blues scored their only two runs of the game in the second inning. With one out, Ryan Costello got on base with a walk, followed by a base hit from Ryan Rinsky. Liam Scafariello got to first on a base hit, but then took off for second after the left fielder failed to make the catch. Costello and Rinsky came around to score the only two runs for the Blues in the game. The Blues totaled four hits in the game. Kyle Dube (3-0) started the game on the mound and grabbed the win, going eight innings with a strikeout and allowing four hits.
“I was really effective with my pitches, getting a lot of ground and fly balls early in counts” said Dube. “I was really attacking with my fastball. The defense behind me was what really helped me have some quick innings and have a good game. I think I’ve been pretty consistent all season and that’s what I strive for as a pitcher. I want to go out every time and give us a chance to win. I’m definitely looking forward to finishing the year strong.”
Ty Robinson (S, 6) got the save after pitching the last three outs of the game with two strikeouts.
The Blues got out of the slump on Saturday night when they returned home to a 3-1 triumph over the Nashua Silver Knights (25-25).
The Silver Knights landed the first punch with a run in the first inning, but that run would be the only punch they would land in the game. The Blues tied the game up at 1-1 with a run in the fifth off of a sacrifice fly to right field by Garabedian that scored Packanik. The tuning point of the game came when Scafariello scored Strong on an RBI double that curled right over third base to the wall in the sixth. Scafariello had two of the Blues’ three hits in the game.
“It was pretty solid,” said Scafariello. “I think I did a successful job of keeping my hands back when they were pitching fast. I drove in a couple runs to try and help the team out.”
Scafariello had a rough start to the season and credits his recent success to the time he has spent away from the team during the all-star break.
“I have more confidence now, said Scafariello. “I took some time off, came back, and now I feel better about myself. Knowing where I’m going to school also helps.”
Scafariello plans to attend San Jacinto College in Pasadena, Texas.
“He’s a lot more relaxed and a lot more aggressive,” said Blues manager Barry Lyons. “He’s had two, incredibly good nights back to back. I’m hopeful that that’s going to be his mode of operation for the remainder of the season. His confidence was way down, but we gave him an extended break over the all-star game. We’ve been encouraging him and working with him, getting him to be more aggressive. Right now, the light is definitely on and he has a ton of confidence swinging the bat like the big man he is. It’s good to see.”
Christian Whigham sealed the deal by scoring on a wild pitch in the seventh. George Lund started the game on the mound and went five and two thirds innings with five strikeouts, allowing five walks, four hits, and an earned run. Robinson (2-1) picked up the win after going two and one third innings with a strikeout, allowing just two walks. Paccione got his 10th save of the season, getting the last three outs of the game and not allowing anything.
“We had great pitching,” said Lyons. “We had a hit-and-run that we executed well. There were a couple of breaks on a wild pitch and passed ball. There were a couple of errors on their part that certainly helped us. It was a good, clean game for us defensively and pitching-wise. We hit some balls hard. Garabedian hit three balls on the nose tonight and has been swinging the bat better. His average doesn’t show for the season that well, but for the last month, he’s played extremely well and his confidence is up.”
Some of the Blues’ players have cooled down from their hot streaks or have faced injuries since the all-star break, but Lyons said that the team is in good shape.
“Strong has continued to be our main guy, even though he’s hit into a little tough luck lately,” the Blues manager said. “Rohan missing a week with his rib injury has slowed him a little bit, but it’s going to be good to get him back swinging. Whigham swung the bat good tonight and Roberts has chipped in since he’s been our everyday shortstop.”
Comments? Email bjennings@SouthingtonObserver.com.
By BRIAN JENNINGS