AMERICAN LEGION BASEBALL: Wallingford Post 187 stays hot with 6-1 win over Meriden

AMERICAN LEGION BASEBALL: Wallingford Post 187 stays hot with 6-1 win over Meriden


MERIDEN – Despite several starters from each team absent from Monday night’s Zone 2 matchup, including starting pitchers - Wallingford Post 187 was able to defeat Meriden Post 45 by the score of 6-1.

After coming off a four-game weekend, which Meriden (8-7) split, Post 45 was set to have Brian Carabetta on the bump. The starting pitcher is in the midst of a stellar season.

“We are missing three starters and one of those starters was supposed to pitch tonight,” Meriden Post 45 coach Doug Wedge said. “Brian Carabetta was supposed to start and he’s got an ERA under 2. Cam Germe and Jake Baker weren’t here either and we just came through a four-game weekend.

“So with all the pitching rules, I don’;t have guys available to pitch until later on in the week and we don’t play again until Saturday. So it was kind of like, OK who is throwing the ball? Peyton (Thiel) threw a little bit and he did fine. The defense did not help Peyton. Not at all.”

Through two innings on the mound, Thiel surrendered five runs. However, the defense committed three errors. Wallingford (9-7) pounced on some of those opportunities, despite leaving 15 runners on base.

“We had some more chances to take advantage and we didn’t,” Wallingford Post 187 coach John Amendola said. “But overall, you got to be happy with that one. There is no way you are not happy with that game.”

Justin Hackett filled in as the starting pitcher on a whim - similarly to Thiel. The righty got off to a rough first two innings. He threw 33 pitches in the first inning, but he would settle down and silence the Meriden offense.

“They hit the ball and put some good balls in play,” Amendola said. “But I think we played some good defense today and that was the difference for us today.”

Wedge said that he was impressed with the 14-year old’s repertoire on the mound, but he was not happy with his team’s defense.

“Give the kid on the other team credit, he’s a freshman,” Wedge said. “He got the job done. We didn’t hit at all. The other thing was that we didn’t play any defense. It was terrible. It was horrible, I mean, there was dropped balls, booted balls, all over the place.”

Joe Amarone got the Wallingford offense off to a hot start when he roped a single into left field in the first inning. The shortstop did not cool off at any point during the game. He collected two hits, two walks and reached on an error. He was never retired by Meriden and he played flawless defense to top off a terrific night on the diamond.

“(Amarone) is a young kid, but he’s been a catalyst all year,” Amendola said. “When he is on, good things happen. He can run, put the ball in play and he plays with emotion.”

With the win, Wallingford moved into second place of Zone 2’s Eastern Division. They will play New Haven on Tuesday at 5:30 p.m. at West Rock Field, while Meriden’s next game is a doubleheader against North Haven.

Wedge said his team will take the day off Tuesday, but practice Wednesday. The coach said his team is going to regroup and work on the fundamentals.

“Meriden teams, their hallmark, is usually pitching and defense,” Wedge said. “Tonight, you didn’t get a clinic on pitching and you didn’t get a clinic on defense.”