BIG INNING, BAD ‘D’ PLAGUES COLONIALS AS TORNADOES ROMP AT WAHCONAH PARK, 11-5; PARONTO TAKES LOSS, DROPS to 0-3
By Josh Cutler
PLANET VALENTI Sports
(PITTSFIELD, JUNE 7, 2011) — Despite a day off to recoup after a poor showing in Quebec against the Capitales, the Worcester Tornadoes spun into Pittsfield and beat the Colonials 11-5 before 473 fans at Historic Wahconah Park on Tuesday morning.
Colonials’ Manager Jamie Keefe was not pleased with the effort of the home nine: “There’s no excuse for today. We had a day off yesterday after coming back off the road and the guys looked tired.”
Poor Defensive Play Continues to Plague C’s
The Colonials returned late Sunday evening from Quebec from a series during which errors played a major role in their losses (they dropped three of four). Friday night’s 10-8 loss featured 7 errors from the C’s, and their 22 errors as a team lead the Can-Am League.
“We’re not playing good defense, and it’s been tough to kick-start the offense when you need it”, Keefe said. “We’ve got guys playing out of position, but that’s no excuse. We’re a professional team, and you’ve got to be able to field your position and play it. If we can’t catch the ball and throw the ball, we’re going to struggle”.
Keefe was unwilling to look towards his team’s long trip from Quebec Sunday evening into Monday morning as an excuse for their poor play: “Yeah it’s 7 or 8 hours, (but it’s) no big deal … We should be used to it, and we should be able to do it.”
Big Blows Come in the Visitors’ Fifth
Worcester did the most damage in the fifth, reversing a 5-4 Colonials lead and putting the game out of reach.
Mark Minicozzi would lead off the inning with a walk. After two quick outs, however, the Tornadoes bats did their work. Alex Fernandez doubled, setting the stage for a Boomer Blanchard single that brought home two runs and put Worcester in the lead, 6-5. Ryan Crespi followed with single, plating Blanchard with Worcester’s seventh run. Alex Nunez then launched a two-run home run shot that gave the Tornadoes a 9-5 lead.
Worcester would add two more insurance runs in the eighth when Minicozzi sent a 2-1 Yosandy Ibanez offering off of the roof of the 1791 Club in right field, making the score 11-5.
Pittsfield Unable to Maintain Early Momentum
While the Tornadoes were able to gain the momentum later in the game, Pittsfield struck early, plating five runs in the first three innings. Down 1-0 in the first, Pittsfield got two back on a soft RBI single to left by Angel Molina and a sun-aided RBI triple by Billy Mottram, putting the Colonials ahead, 2-1.
Worcester would score one in the second and two in the third to take a 4-2 advantage, but Pittsfield would regain command in the bottom of the third, plating three runs on a Danny Bomback RBI triple, a Jerod Edmondson RBI single, and a wild pitch by Worcester starter Matt Smith. After allowing a single to Johnny Welch, manager Ed Riley pulled Smith, who gave up five runs on six hits in 2 2/3 innings but did not factor in the decision. Steve Goldbranson was able to minimize the damage, getting Charlie Pagliarulo to pop out to right to end the threat.
Paronto Struggles in His Outing
In his third start with the Colonials, Paronto (0-3, 7.41 ERA) continued to struggle to provide clean innings, giving up nine runs (seven earned) in five innings, walking two and striking out two on 103 pitches (64 strikes).
Overall, Keefe was not pleased with his ace’s outing: “He made a few good pitches when he needed to, but he made a few bad pitches in situations where he needed to get the ball down and he kept the ball up.”
Paronto was even harsher on himself following his performance: “I just made bad pitches (today). It seemed like everything that could go wrong did.”
Despite the poor outing, Keefe still feels that Paronto has been doing his job by being competitive: “He still feels good though, and (Chad) and all of these guys have been keeping us in the ball game, but defensively, we’ve been throwing it around.”
Nick Selotti was the only Worcester batter who did not contribute a hit to the Tornadoes’ 14- hit attack. Crespi led the way with a 3-5 morning, and Nunez, Minicozzi, Fernandez, and Chris Colabello each contributed two hits apiece.
Ryan Walfield (1-0) earned the win for Worcester, going two scoreless innings out of the pen.
For the Colonials, Quentin Davis crossed the plate for two of the Colonials’ five runs, and Molina, Jerod Edmondson, and Billy Mottram each had one RBI.
COLONIALS NOTES: Colonials LHP Dan Cevette (strained elbow) has been scratched from his scheduled start Thursday against Worcester. Keefe explained that the team is taking a cautious approach with Cevette, who has a history of arm problems and made only his second start since 2009 Friday against Quebec. Thursday’s starter is still listed as TBA. One possibility is Mike Zenko, who fired two innings of scoreless relief in support of Paronto … In a roster move, the team released RHP Pat Bresnahan … Tuesday morning’s “School Day” game featured several hundred elementary school children from the Adams-Cheshire school district. Larry Moore, who lives in Lenox and is an educational liaison to the National Baseball Hall of Fame in Cooperstown, NY, addressed the kids before the game. … Dan Valenti sent along a salutation to his parents, Gino and Virginia of Pittsfield, who today observed their 67th wedding anniversary.