Hot Shots snap losing streak
HAMMONTON—Injuries and inconsistency have led to a disappointing inaugural season for the Hammonton Hot Shots in the South Jersey South Shore Baseball League (SJSSL).
Last week, the Shots saw their losing skid reach three games, falling to both Buena and Northfield.
The week opened with a 7-0 loss to Buena, as the Dawgs topped Hammonton for the second-straight time.
Buena was able to score runs in the third and fifth innings off Hammonton started Josh Wagner, who was the tough-luck losing pitcher. The southpaw worked in and out of trouble, but managed to keep Hammonton in the game for five frames.
“I thought Wags [Wagner] pitched a really good game. Buena was able to make a few things happen but we were only down two runs,” Hammonton manager Sam Rodio Jr. said.
After allowing a single and a walk to start the sixth, Rodio lifted Wagner for veteran Pete Berenato, who wasn’t sharp, walking three-straight batters before allowing an RBI single as Buena broke the game open with a four-run rally.
“I wasn’t comfortable out there tonight. I had trouble locating my pitches and Buena was patient at the plate,” Berenato said.
“Petey [Berenato] was pretty awful tonight, I think he’d admit that. But, hey, everyone had bad nights, that’s baseball. Pete’s been great for us for a long time and he just didn’t have it today. He’ll bounce back and so will we,” Rodio said.
Buena added a run in the seventh to make the final score 7-0.
While the Dawgs were working walks and delivering clutch hits, Hammonton struggled at the plate, managing just one hit and four baserunners in the game.
“Buena was great at the plate and we were terrible,” Rodio said.
“We have some guys hurt and out of the lineup and we just didn’t hit anywhere close to enough to win a game against a good team,” Rodio said.
A day later, Hammonton hosted Northfield and lost again, dropping a 11-2 decision.
Gino Serechia homered for the Hot Shots in the loss.
“Not our best game. Gino’s been hot and is playing well, but other than that we didn’t do much right. The rain didn’t help either, but no excuses. We’re in a funk and have to find a way out,” Rodio said.
Hammonton’s manager was disappointed but tried to make light of the losing streak.
“One bright spot, a couple players were able to put a yellow fence top across the fence so when the other team is hitting home runs, our outfielders won’t get hurt reaching over the fence,” Rodio said.
The week ended with a 9-7 win against Ventnor at Hammonton Lake Park.
Jon Gonzalez had three hits, including a two-run double, Robert Crespo drove in two runs with a double and Dan Gavlick had three RBIs.
“Everyone contributed tonight. We finally won a game. Frank Torrissi pitched well for the win, and Berenato survived some trouble to close out the game.
“Frankie [Torrissi] pitched a good game, he been strong all season. Pete [Berenato] tried to lose it for us, but we held on for the win,” Rodio said.
Earlier this week, Hammonton hosted the South Jersey Surf and also played at home against Galloway, but those games ended too late for this edition.
On June 30, the Hot Shots visit Absecon at 7 p.m.