Post 196 putting things together in Zone II

Milford Post 196 completed a 2-2 Zone II weekend with an 8-6 loss to Hamden Post 88 on Sunday, June 22. Milford entered the weekend 0-3, before losing to Ansonia on Friday and winning a home doubleheader against Hamden on Saturday.

Milford (4-5) will host Branford (7-0) at Foran High on Friday at 5:45. Orange (6-1) comes in for a twin bill on Saturday at 10 and 12.

“I think we’re starting to gel as a team,” said Post 196 manager Cliff Bugyi. “We only had two practices. Baseball is such a rhythm game.

“The thing that concerns me is that Kevin Johnson has a bad ankle, so we’re asking kids that don’t normally pitch to pitch so that’s hard.”

In Sunday’s road loss, Jimmy Palmer led Post 196 with two singles while Sean Clark and Kevin Connors each plated one run with singles in the fourth inning.

R.J. Jackson, Cheech Guistino and Tyler Kasuba also singled for Milford.

Dillon Brown got the start for Milford and pitched better than his line score, allowing five runs over three innings. Mac Taylor took over and allowed two runs in two innings of relief before Jackson closed the game allowing one run in the final two frames.

Drew Arciuolo, Taylor, Palmer and Jackson (RBI) worked out walks to start the game before Hamden starter Stephen Livsey retired the next three batters in order.

“We had the bases loaded and then we scored one, but we didn’t get a hit,” Bugyi said. “We got a ball four. Hitting is usually contagious. We have to play sound defense.”

Post 88’s Ron Grant gave his team a 2-1 lead with a two-run single in the bottom of the first.

Milford scored three runs in the second.

Guistino got it started with a single and Kasuba singled him to third. Guistino then scored with Arciuolo at the plate on a wild pitch to tie the game.

Arciuolo grounded into a double play, but Taylor walked and Palmer singled and went to second on a throwing error to put men on second and third for Jackson.

Livsey threw another wild one, scoring Taylor and Palmer to make it 4-2.

Bob Auger and Clark followed with walks before Livsey ended the frame.

Hamden answered the Milford outburst with a three-run inning of its own.

Marc Masciantonio led off with a single and Jim Magson followed with a double. Avery Shugrue drove in Masciantonio with a single, and after a pop out to third, Joe O’Brien and Khaleb Cyril drove in Magson and Shugrue, respectively, to make it 5-4.

Milford responded in the fourth inning when Palmer led off with a single and Clark drove him in with a two-out single.

Connors then drove in Clark from first on a long single to make it 6-5 Milford

Hamden tacked on runs in the fifth and sixth innings to take an 8-6 lead and Milford couldn’t answer in kind.

Post 196 swept a doubleheader from Ansonia on Monday, winning the first game 6-2 and taking the second 7-4.

Tyler Chacho got the start, and after giving up two runs on three hits and two walks in the first, shut down Ansonia the rest of the way.

Guistino short-circuited Ansonia in the first when he got a quick first step on Jeff Glazer’s looper to right field and made an extended catch from his second base position for the first out.

With the bases still loaded, Guistino then turned Michael Rhodes’ hard liner into a 4-4-3 double play.

Milford scored three unearned runs in the second.

Auger reached on an infield error, Clark singled and Connors’ sacrifice bunt was thrown away to score a run.

Nick Tuozzola lined a hit off pitcher Lou Nicoletti’s glove to tie the game at 2. Guistino gave Post 196 the lead with an RBI single.

Ansonia had a chance to take the lead in the third, after Bobby Schryver opened with a single to center and Darwin Elias grounded a single off the third base bag and into foul territory.

Chacho helped himself here by picking Schryver off second base, with Jackson making the chase and tag. He then kept the ball in the infield to put the next two outs in the book.

Milford made it 5-2 in the third, with Connors and Taylor picking up the RBIs.

Tuozzola’s sacrifice fly scored Clark to end the scoring in the sixth.

In the second game win, Auger had a pair of doubles and drove in three runs. Jackson had two hits and two RBIs.

Taylor had three hits and scored two runs.