Coach Bob Mirto's American Legion Post 127 seniors gave it their best, but Avon came out on top at Muzzy Field in Bristol today as the American Legion Seniors Tournament continues.
For six innings, pitcher Mike Concato worked hard and mostly held back Avon. The opponents put the pressure on, but Concato responded with ten strikeouts, and in the bottom of the fifth, Sean Butler gained Orange its only run in a dash from third base on a fly ball into left field hit by Niall Dammando.
When relief pitcher Brian Speer took the mound at the top of the seventh inning, he tried hard but contended with a sore arm and a string of hitters at the top of Avon's line-up. A hit from Avon's Matt Koening led to a throw to second that Speer wasn't able to materialize, and gave Avon a 4-1 lead Orange wasn't able to shake.
"The throw from pitcher to second is a tough throw, and a lot of times you make a mistake in that throw," said Mirto. "Speer's been pitching relief. His arm's been a little bit sore, and we haven't had him to start off with ... Obviously, that throw over second, he probably wishes he had that back."
"It's tough to come out of the losing bracket," said Mirto. "We're a little bit low on pitching right now, so it's going to be an all-hands on deck situation where anybody and everybody has to pitch. We'll have to make a run."
It's not unprecedented. In 2006, Orange won five straight games after losing at the beginning of the tournament.
"It's just a matter of getting some quality innings out of kids who haven't pitched recently," said Mirto.
Orange's next game, against RCP, starts at 6:30 p.m. at Muzzy Field in Bristol. Check here for updates to this story following that game.