SOUTHINGTON - Southington head baseball coach Charles Lembo knows many of his players are going to be getting some valuable playing time over the course of the season.
The Blue Knights have a number of sophomores and juniors in the lineup. The Blue Knights left fielder and No. 3 hitter, Andrew Paradis, is a sophomore. Southington also has junior Kyle Leifert at third base and junior Bryce Worth at shortstop.
“We have a number of guys who we are hoping to get experience this year and grow from it,” Lembo said. “I see really good things for all these guys. We even have some guys down at the junior varsity level that we’re looking at. The more young guys we can get in the lineup, the better off we’re going to be to get that experience for them.”
Youth can be good. It allows players to gain experience they will need for the future. But with inexperience comes mistakes, or in baseball, errors.
Errors proved to be costly to the Blue Knights Monday afternoon during their extra innings loss to New Britain. Southington recorded a total of nine errors on the field, three on the mound alone and sit a 4-5 entering Tuesday.
“We have to clean up all those errors, you can’t survive that way,” Lembo said. “You can’t win ball games making that many physical, committing that many physical errors. We also made a lot of mental mistakes, but give them credit, they stayed in the game also.”
But Lembo also knows, no matter what the experience level is, mistakes are going to happen. It’s just the nature of the game.
“We have to keep working, physical errors are going to happen, it’s high school baseball,” Lembo said. “It’s going to happen, it happens at every level. The thing is you hope not to make nine in one game. We just have to focus, come up and make the plays and we’ll be OK.”
One bright spot from Monday’s game was another sophomore, pitcher and first baseman Jake Nueman.
“Jake did a great job,” Lembo said. “He’s thrown well for us. He’s also played a very well first base. We’re really happy with the way he threw [Monday] and he basically kept us in the game. We had runners in scoring positions many times in many innings and it just seems like we were able to rally back but only rally back to tie not to win.”
Nueman pitched for five innings, striking out seven batters and walked none.
“Being able to go out and pitch was the best part,” Nueman said. “[I was] just helping my team [try to] get the win but it didn’t come out. Our goals are to just get better every day and hopefully we can turn our record around and be in the state championship.”
Shelby Iava can be reached at (860) 801-0596 or email@example.com