By MICHAEL LETENDRE
PLAINVILLE – Maybe Plainville Junior Legion pitcher Brett Snowden should go on vacation a little more often during the season.
After nearly three weeks off, Snowden was given the task of handling a very scrappy Avon squad in a Zone 1-7 game from the Tinty Sports Complex in Plainville on Tuesday, July 16.
And after shaking a bit of rust off to start the game, Snowden threw well, kept Avon off-balanced, and picked up a complete game victory as Post 33 won it 8-3.
It was Plainville’s second straight win of the campaign (5-13) as the squad has been playing much better as of late.
Snowden gave up three runs in the first frame. But after that, Avon (3-16) managed only three total hits off the lefty over the final six innings of play.
“This is his first game back in three weeks, going on vacation,” said Plainville coach Mack Litke of Snowden. “He had a rough (first) inning but he managed to get through it and threw six straight innings solid after that.”
Snowden picked up five strikeouts and allowed a total of five hits in the game.
Part of that rust by Snowden led to nine walks and Avon scored two off those base-on-balls managed to cross home plate.
But even down 3-0, it was an early deficit and Litke had all the confidence in the world in his squad making a comeback.
And it did so by scoring eight consecutive runs to eventually stall and stymie the visitors.
Rob Pezzulo, Mike Munson, and Jason Monteleone each had two hits apiece to pace the Plainville attack.
Pezzulo and Munson also collected two RBI apiece while Jon and Sam Lindgren and Matt Monteleone each slapped out a hit to pace the winners.
In all, nine hits fueled the victors while several walks – including two apiece drawn by Munson and John Lindgren – put base runners on for Plainville in every inning.
“The past few games, we’ve been hitting the ball better,” said Litke. “When the pitches come in, we’re not anxious at the plate. There aren’t as many strikeouts the past three games. We’ve been seeing the ball (better) and hitting it.”
Plainville probably should have gotten out of the first inning without giving up a run but a misplayed ball at third-base led to an error and two walks loaded the bases for Avon.
Two RBI singles and a late base-on-balls – also forcing a runner in – gave Avon that early 3-0 cushion it could not hold on to.
But after the completion of the first inning, the Plainville defense picked up and slowly but surely, so did Post 33’s collective bats.
Plainville caught two runners stealing in the second and third frames and offensively for the home club, the wheels began to turn.
In the second, John Lindgren scorched a double to left field, scoring Snowden, as Plainville cut the deficit to 3-1.
In the third, Pezzulo slammed a triple to left-centerfield and scored off Mike Munson’s single up the middle as Avon’s edge was chopped to one.
Later in the fray, Jason Monteloene zipped a base hit just out of the short-stops reach as another run scored and quickly, the game was a 3-3 affair after three.
In the fourth, Plainville nabbed the lead for good.
A sacrifice fly to center was dropped for an error as John Lindgren scored to put Post 33 in front 4-3 and later, Matt Monteleone hit into a double-play but Sam Lindgren scooted across the plate to make it a two-run game.
Finally, Marc “Bubba” Milo sent a grounder to third base that wasn’t cleanly handled as Pezzulo scored once again and the lead ballooned to 6-3 after four completed tilts.
“They just need to settle down,” said Litke of his team. “They come in here after doing nothing all day. They get anxious and boot the ball around. Today, they found their groove and made the plays.”
In the fifth, Avon had the bases loaded and the go-ahead run at home plate. But Munson turned in a slick 6-3 double-play to squash the threat as Plainville’s 6-3 push remained intact.
Finally, RBI singles by Pezzulo and Munson ended Plainville’s scoring exploits as Post 33 led 8-3 after five.
Over the final two innings, all Avon could generate was one infield hit as Snowden closed the door on the visitors to pick up the victory and Plainville nabbed a five-run win.
“When we start losing, they get down,” said Litke of the players. “You can tell…they hang their hands but once we go up, hit the ball and we start winning, they definitely pick up and they mess well.”
“This is a good sign for what’s to come.”
By MICHAEL LETENDRE