Post 196 reaching deep

Veteran Milford Post 196 American Legion baseball coach Cliff Bugyi has been faced with this dilemma before.

When ace pitcher Kevin Johnson went down with an arm injury early in the season and had his Legion season cut to just one start, Bugyi had to begin eye-balling his bench for arms.

He used four pitchers in a game against an ultra-improved Stratford Post 42 on July 10, and none could stop the damage in a 9-2 loss at Stratford’s Penders Field, which dropped  Milford’s record to 8-13 heading into the home stretch of the regular season.

Bugyi said, “You can never have enough pitching and when Kevin had to curtail his year (he’ll be one of the better pitchers this fall at the University of Bridgeport), we needed to go searching.

“Kevin would’ve been our ace had he been able to keep throwing.

“He has a college career to look at first. It was wise that he didn’t throw anymore during the summer.”

Post 196 wasn’t able to get much offense going either against Post 42 starting and winning pitcher Jack Duffy (2-0), who limited the locals to four hits and retired the side in order in five of the game’s seven innings.

Milford scored its only runs in the fourth, with one coming in on Rich Auger’s RBI single. The other scored on a throwing error.

Tyler Kasuba, Jimmy Palmer and Drew Arciuolo produced the other hits.

Post 196 also made three key errors, as Stratford jumped out to a 4-0 lead in the first inning and extended it to 6-0 after three innings.

You can’t combine ineffective pitching with bad plays in the field,” Bugyi added. “We’ve got a tough schedule coming up over the next five days. We’ll just have to see our way through this.”

For Stratford, Shawn Blake, Sam Breiner, Jake Amoroso and Darek Wojenski had RBIs in the first inning.

Blake had a double and a triple, scored two runs and drove in two.

Stratford improved its record to 18-5.