Crunched pg 9 5-3-18

It’s a tough time of year for high school baseball teams.
The poor early-season weather has pushed a lot of games back and as the calendar changes to May, many teams will be faced with a couple of weeks where playing four or five games will be the norm.
That’s fine if the teams have the pitching to support it. “If you only have a certain number of pitchers that are at the varsity level, you can get some tired arms some times,” said Woodstock Academy coach Brian Murphy. “It’s not that they’re throwing a lot of innings, but it can be a big factor, if you run a kid out there too soon. I have to start developing more pitchers. I hope it’s not a factor. I always tell the kids to manage their arms.”
Murphy said his pitchers also have to stop being a little too kind to their opponents.
“Tired arms or not, we still have to make good pitches when it’s a pitcher’s count. Sometimes, we give too good a pitch on 0-2 and 1-2 to hit and the kids are learning that you can’t do that against good hitters,” Murphy said.
The Academy coach did bring a couple of younger pitchers up April 28, but didn’t need them thanks to the effort of junior pitcher Luke Mathewson.
Mathewson spun a 1-hitter with six strikeouts and his teammates gave him all the support he needed against Ellis Tech in an 11-1, five-inning win.
The win brought the Centaurs back to the .500 mark at 5-5.
“Luke looked good,” Murphy said. “He had a little more snap to his ball. He only threw 59 pitches and that was a huge help.”
The Centaurs scored three runs in the first inning.
Tommy Li reached on an error and scored when Doug Newton also reached on a miscue. He came home on an Eric Preston single and Preston later crossed the plate.
The Centaurs added two runs in the second inning on a Cam Lotter (2-for-3) line drive base hit with two outs.
“Cam is a battler and that broke the game open,” Murphy said.
The Centaurs made it 10-1 with a five-run third inning and then invoked the mercy rule with a single run in the bottom of the fourth inning.
The new rule ends the game when a team owns a 10-run lead in the fifth inning.
“I’m not a fan of the mercy rule. I’ve played on teams and had an AAU team which was down 10 runs in the last inning that came back and won so I’m not a fan, but it worked for us (Saturday),” Murphy said.
Nathan John also had two hits in the win.
The victory salvaged what had been a tough week for the Centaurs.
They lost to Stonington last April 23, 10-7. Down 6-1, the Centaurs tied the game in the fifth. Lotter singled, Luis Miranda was hit by a pitch and, two outs later, Li was hit by a pitch to load the bases.
Newton knocked in a run with a single and Preston cleared the bases with a triple. He came around on a double by Mathewson.
The results were even worse April 24 when Bacon Academy rolled to a 14-2 win over the Centaurs.
The Bobcats scored four in the first, one in the second and five in the fourth, but never brought on the mercy rule because they didn’t own a 10-run lead until the seventh inning. John was one of the few bright spots for the Centaurs with a 3-for-3 performance at the plate including a run and an RBI. Li and Jacob Lavitt both had two hits in the loss.
“I thought we were going to find a way to win the game against Stonington. We just couldn’t. Luke wasn’t sharp in that game and then, we just came out flat against Bacon,” Murphy said.
Marc Allard
Sports Information Director


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