‘A special year’: Southington baseball team is still unbeaten

SOUTHINGTON – The Southington baseball team was undefeated going into Friday night’s game against Glastonbury.

Quickly, Glastonbury scored three runs in the second inning.

Southington hasn’t trailed too much this season in games, if at all – the players couldn’t really remember if that had happened this year. The Knights’ top three hitters went down 1-2-3 in the first inning. But the Knights remained unfazed. They scored four runs in the bottom of the second inning. Glastonbury tied it. Southington scored another run in the third. Glastonbury tied it. Southington scored another run in the fourth, on a solo home run by Colin Crowley, one of their top hitters who had struck out looking in the second inning.

“Glastonbury is always a tough game,” said Crowley, a senior shortstop who is going to play at Winthrop next season. “It’s one of the few times we’ve been down but we have a really good team. We have confidence in each other.”

And Southington is still undefeated (14-0) after a 7-6 victory over Glastonbury (10-3) in a CCC West game.

Senior Frank Boutot, the team’s leadoff hitter and leading pitcher, came in to close out the game in the sixth with the bases loaded and two outs. A passed ball gave Glastonbury its sixth run but Boutot, a senior headed to Georgia Highlands Community College, struck out the last four batters of the game. Senior Braden Barron was the starter for Southington.

“Coach texted me before the game and said I would probably be closing so I was totally prepared,” Boutot said. “Starting would have been fun but honestly closing out the game, that was amazing. There’s so much energy behind our team.”

Two years ago, the Knights made an inspirational run to the Class LL state championship game, losing 7-5 to Fairfield Warde after their longtime coach Charlie Lembo died of cancer in late May. The kids on that team were sophomores and are now seniors and coach Stan Switala, who coached the team that year in Lembo’s absence, said at the start of the season that this year’s team is better than that team. And they have exceeded his expectations.

“Any time you’re 14-0 – you go into a season, and you never want to lose a game but how many times does that really happen?” Switala said. “It’s a really good group, a really good senior class, I’ve had a lot of them since they were sophomores when we went to the state championship, so I knew it would be a special year.”

Boutot struck out to start the game. Crowley flied out to left field. But in the second inning, the middle of the order got things going. No. 4 hitter Caden Angelo (who had two hits and scored a run) singled to left. Jack Kushman reached on a fielders’ choice and moved to third on an Owen Widger double and scored on on a sacrifice fly by Shane Richters. No. 8 hitter Mark Zigmont (who has a .400 batting average) doubled and No. 9 hitter Brycen Voisine doubled off the left field wall and Boutot singled in a run and it was 4-3.

“I think the guys at the bottom really got us going,” Switala said. “This is the second time in a week, a game or two ago, they did the same exact thing.

“One through nine we can hit. I believe we are one of the best hitting teams in the state. I think we’re hitting somewhere around .360 as a team with 12 home runs.”

Crowley has five of those. He’s batting .524 while Boutot is a .478 hitter. Widger, a sophomore who had a single, double and a sacrifice fly Friday, is batting .394.

They don’t really think about being undefeated.

“We’re taking it day by day,” Crowley said. “A lot of us have been playing together for 3-4 years, more than that. We’ve known each other for a long time and the confidence we have in each other lifts us up.”