Huskies Win Three, Lose Two During Busy Week
Garret Garbinski contributed with a solid pitching performances for the Clinton Huskies against CT Hank’s Yanks on July 18. Garbinski has also been a vital part of the Huskies offense atop the lineup all season. (File photo by Kelley Fryer/Harbor News | Buy This Photo)
Dominic Carpenter and his Huskies’ teammates started to break out as an offensive unit, exploding for 19 runs in a doubleheader versus Clubhouse at the Indian River Complex on July 21. (File photo by Kelley Fryer/Harbor News | Buy This Photo)
Lucas Kamoen pitched 2.2 scoreless innings of relief to give prevent Clinton from falling behind versus Clubhouse in the nightcap of a doubleheader at the Indian River Complex on July 21. (File photo by Kelley Fryer/Harbor News | Buy This Photo)
The Clinton Huskies 16-U AAU baseball team had a bit of a rocky start in the East Shore Travel League, going 1-3 out of the gate. Last week, the Huskies put up a stronger showing going 3-2 and finishing on a three-game win streak.
Clinton lost both ends of a doubleheader versus CT Hank’s Yanks, but then reeled off a win versus Southington Travel Knights Blue and two against Clubhouse. After last week’s results, Head Coach Willie Fritz’s squad improved its record 4-5 on the season with a little over half the campaign’s slate left to play.
Coach Fritz believed that the Huskies started trending in the right direction on July 18, when they played CT Hank’s Yanks at the Indian River Complex. The Huskies lost both games, but remained competitive against a tough team. The Huskies lost the first game by a score of 5-2, and then dropped the nightcap 5-4.
“I think we had a better day against Hank’s Yanks than we’ve had the three games before. We had great pitching this weekend. Garret Garbiniski threw strikes, but the defense had a tough time,” said Fritz. “Garret got stung by the error bug. Garbo came out after five innings, and Ethan Ranaudo did a great job pitching two scoreless innings. Other than the first and third inning it was pretty clean.”
The Huskies gave up three runs in the top of the first inning by allowing runners on base via two errors and a walk. The Yanks then scored all three of those runs. In the fourth, Clinton allowed a pair more runs on a throwing error, a walk, and a hit to go down, 5-0.
The Huskies’ top of the order did get some runs across the plate thanks to Ryan Inglis and Brady Fritz getting on base. Ethan Reemsnyder laced a ball to the outfield to score Inglis and Fritz to bring the score to 5-2. Coach Fritz has been impressed with the top of his order.
“Later in the game, Inglis and Brady got two hits, and then Reemsnyder had a big hit and drove in both those guys at second and third,” Fritz said. “Those guys are so fast. They had no problem scoring.”
The Huskies took a tough loss in the second game. Lucas Kamoen pitched a complete game over six innings on 80 pitches. Clinton just wasn’t sharp in the field, and it resulted in some unnecessary runs crossing the plate. After an error and a wide pick-off play by the Huskies in the first inning that plated two runs, Clinton allowed another run in the third after Hank’s Yanks walked, stole second, and got a man home with a hit to fall behind 3-0.
In the top of the fifth inning, the Huskies scored three runs to tie the game. Brady Fritz got on with a single and stole second base, and Reemsnyder plated Fritz with a single. Dominic Carpenter then got on by virtue of an error, and a wild pitch moved the runners to second and third. Then Declan Christopher got both ducks off the pond with a single to tie it 3-3. In the sixth, the Huskies went up by a run. Nick Spaziano got on with a hit, Garbinski moved Spaziano over, and two wild pitches brought him home.
Unfortunately, the error bug reared its head again, and the Huskies gave up two runs in the bottom of the sixth inning and were unable to counter in the top of the seventh inning and lost 5-4.
“That second game was a heart-breaker. Lucas pitched six innings and threw 80 pitches. We gave it back to them in the bottom of the sixth on errors,” said Coach Fritz. “We gave them too much with our defense, which was our strength at the beginning of the season. We couldn’t do anything in the top of the seventh and lost the game.”
The next day, the Huskies won an 8-7 contest versus the Southington Travel Knights Blue at Southington High School. Coach Fritz was happy that his team was able to get a narrow, hard-fought win the day after a close defeat.
“It was a struggle but that’s good. Brady Fritz was on the mound,” said Coach Fritz. “He had thrown 35 pitches in the first inning and had 69 pitches by the fourth inning.”
The Huskies put two runs on the board in the top of the first with a Garbinski walk, an Inglis single, and a Brady Fritz 2-RBI base knock. In the bottom of the first, the Knights scored six runs, with only one of them being earned. Southington added on with another run in the bottom of the third to make it 7-2.
In the top of the fourth, the Huskies turned the game around thanks in part to contributions from the bottom of the lineup. Brady Fritz, Garbinski, Carpenter, Spaziano, Luciani, and Declan Christopher all contributed with hits to bring the score to 7-6.
In the top of the seventh inning, Spaziano and Garbinski each got another hit, and Inglis plated both of them with a 2-RBI double to make it 8-7.
“We woke up against Southington. We got production in the bottom of the order. Maybe we needed the ride,” said Fritz. “We made it interesting in the bottom of the seventh, but we got out with it.”
On July 21, the Huskies played another doubleheader, this time against Clubhouse at the Indian River Complex. Clinton took the first game in an 11-1 mercy after five innings. Inglis went the distance and only allowed one hit, which scored Clubhouse’s only run.
The Huskies were off and running in the first, scoring a pair of runs. Brady Fritz, Garbinski, Inglis, Carpenter, Ranaudo, Kamoen, Reemsnyder, and Spaziano all contributed with hits and heads-up base running. The Huskies scored two runs in the first, five runs in the third, and four more runs in the fourth inning.
In the nightcap, Clubhouse made the Huskies sweat a bit after it looked like they would cruise to another win. Ranaudo started the game and threw 4.1 innings. The Huskies put three runs across the plate in the third and fourth innings to go up 6-0. Ranaudo had difficulty with walks in the fourth inning and a couple of errors compounded the trouble leading to a 6-3 score after four full.
In the fifth, clubhouse made it 6-6, before Kamoen came on in relief of Ranaudo with one out and men on first and second. Kamoen proceeded to lock it down for 2.2 innings. The Huskies put two more runs on the board in the seventh to get to the 8-6 final.
After the events of the last week, Coach Fritz feels encouraged with the direction in which the Huskies are headed.
“We’ve been playing better. We’re getting guys going all throughout the lineup. At first, it was the first four guys, but it’s getting down to everyone is doing something up there. When you get up and a guy is on second, your job is to get them over or get them in and they’ve been doing a good job,” Coach Fritz said. “We’re aggressive on the bases. If a guy bobbles a ball, we’ll go to the next base. We’re trying to teach the kids to be aggressive. Bust it out of the box. Get to first. You don’t know what’s going to happen. The younger guys are continuing to improve. They come over every Wednesday and spend two hours in the batting cage. It’s paying off.”