BASEBALL: Borghese two-hitter, McManus HR carry Southington past Farmington

BASEBALL: Borghese two-hitter, McManus HR carry Southington past Farmington

SOUTHINGTON — Vincent Borghese watched Frank Mozzicato’s masterpiece Monday night.

On Friday night, the Southington junior pitcher twirled a gem of his own.

Borghese tossed a two-hit shutout and the Blue Knights got a two-run home run from Jack McManus to beat Farmington 2-0 in a CCC West crossover game under the lights of Fontana Field.

The victory improved third-ranked Southington to 14-1 this season. Farmington fell to 9-6.

Borghese allowed a single in the fourth inning and one-out double in the seventh. He walked just one hitter and didn’t allow a Farmington runner past second base.

While not as dominating as Mozzicato, who no-hit Southington Monday night with 17 strikeouts in No. 1 East Catholic’s 8-0 victory, Borghese was as effective in improving to 5-0.

It took Borghese just 86 pitches and under an hour and a half to remain perfect this season. And while Borghese made it look effortless, it wasn’t as easy as it seemed.

“I get better as the game goes on and I work up a sweat,” said Borghese, who struck out two of his seven victims in the seventh inning. “I used (Mozzicato’s performance) as motivation. I took something from him; it was certainly interesting to watch.

“Everything was on again, and when everything is on, everything goes well,” Borghese added. “I wasn’t really focused on strikeouts tonight. I just try to get them to pop out or ground out.”

To that end, Borghese induced six ground ball outs, and the balls that were hit hard were right at a Blue Knights defense that rebounded from two off games. Southington committed three costly errors against East Catholic and six more in Wednesday’s 6-4 win at Glastonbury.

 The Blue Knights made just one miscue Friday night.

“He was very efficient,” assistant coach Brian Downes said of Borghese. “When he gets ahead, and then stays on top of his breaking ball, he’s very effective — as long as we play good defense, and we played very good defense today.

“East Catholic was tough. Glastonbury, we were terrible, and team-wise we weren’t together,” Downes continued. “But definitely they looked like a team (tonight). We cleaned up the defense. But I think they are starting to come back together. They went through a little lull, but we keep telling them we need to improve a little bit every day (until the postseason).”

Farmington southpaw Austin Bohlman matched Borghese pitch for pitch through the first three scoreless innings. But then McManus gave Borghese all the support he needed.

McManus turned on a Bohlman fastball and hit a no-doubt home run well over the right field fence and into the trees.

It was McManus’ fourth home run of the season and one of only three hits by Southington on Friday nighgt. Devan Bade doubled in the first inning, while Jackson Cardoza collected an infield hit in the fifth.

“That was cranked,” Downes said of McManus’ home run. “When (Bohlman) got to the line you could read his lips, ‘I think that ball is still going.’ That was a shot.”

“That felt amazing and I didn’t really feel it, which is the best part,” McManus said. “I got all of that ball, for sure.”

Staked to a 2-0 lead, Borghese worked a 1-2-3 fifth inning. Only a Devin Pellitier throwing error in the sixth allowed Farmington to get a runner on base before Brendan Kelly’s double off Borghese in the seventh. 

The Blue Knights were playing their second game of the week without head coach Charlie Lembo, who underwent surgery on an undisclosed ailment Wednesday. Lembo is expected to be back with the team by as early as next week.

 “We really played for him tonight,” Borghese said.

Farmington recorded its first hit in the top of the fourth inning, when Bohlman led off with a sharp single to right field. 

It took the Blue Knights two hitters to do what they couldn’t against Mozzicato:  Bade doubled with an out in the first inning.

Bade walked on four pitches to lead off the fourth inning, then stole both second and third base ahead of McManus’ blast.

Southington threatened to score in the third inning when Jackson Rusiecki led off with a walk. He was balked to second base and went to third on a sacrifice bunt by Nick Marecki.

But Rusiecki was left out to dry trying to score on a squeeze play when Drew Belcourt missed the bunt. Belcourt then struck out to end the inning.

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