Young Eagles dealing with first real adversity of an already successful season

The Wolcott baseball team has encountered its first real adversity of the season, surprising given the young squad is already 12 games into the season.

“If somebody would have told me that we would be 9-3 at this point, I’d sign up for it in a heartbeat,” Eagle head coach Craig Prasauckas said Saturday after a second straight loss to Woodland, the Naugatuck Valley League’s top team.

Woodland did run away from Wolcott on Saturday, 10-0, in six innings, but eight of the runs were unearned. A clean game could have resulted in a much closer score, though it probably wouldn’t have increased the likelihood of beating Hawk ace right-hander Michael Belcher (1 hit, 12 strikeouts, 1 hit batter in 5 innings), who is committed to Division I Bryant University. Prasauckas told his young team that he wasn’t concerned about the final score.

“I’m concerned about the product we put on the field,” Prasauckas said. “Seeing Belch on the mound, I felt like as soon as they got a lead, we let our guard down a little bit. You can’t do that. He’s too good, they’re too good to do that. We gave them too many extra outs, made our pitchers throw too many extra pitches.”

Prasauckas said, correctly, that baseball is a cruel game. It certainly can be. The Eagles went from a very competitive effort Wednesday against the Hawks in Beacon Falls (2-1 walk-off loss) to a lopsided loss on Saturday at home. Pitchers David Cardinale and Bradyn Surreira didn’t pitch bad, but were done in by too many errors.

“I have a young team, so hopefully we can just take a shower and wipe this clean, then come back on Monday and put out a better product,” Prasauckas said. “That’s the only thing I need to see.”

Going into Saturday’s game, Wolcott had outscored its opponents, 68-12. The Eagle pitching has been solid with hurlers like Drew Rocca, Logan Szep, Mike McCormack, Cardinale and now Surreira – a sophomore who made his first varsity appearance Saturday – to give the ball to. One game doesn’t have to define a season, but it can if mistakes are repeated.

“If that’s what we do moving forward, the schedule is too hard,” Prasauckas said he told his team. “You’re not going to beat anybody with that.”

All Prasauckas wants is to see his team be better today than they were yesterday. The first chance to be better is Monday.

GALLERY: Here are my photos from Saturday’s game.

Caption: Sophomore Bradyn Surreira is one of a bevy of young players on the Wolcott baseball roster. The young Eagles are dealing with their first real adversity of what has been an already successful season. (Copyright, Sports on CT-69)