Hughes Brothers Lead Farmington All-Stars Past Simsbury

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The scary thing about Farmington 11-12 All-Star pitcher Benny Hughes’ performance in his team’s 7-2 victory over Simsbury in the Division II tournament in Thomaston was that the lefty ace wasn’t his sharpest, according to his coach David Conrad.

That certainly should be a matter of concern for Farmington’s upcoming opponents, as Hughes – who throws hard and with terrific control – struck out 10 and yielded just two runs on 3 hits in 4.1 innings of work.

“He didn’t even have his best stuff today,” Conrad said. “He threw a lot of pitches for four and a half innings. Usually he can close it out by then.”

Not that his opponents noticed any drop off in performance. Simsbury head coach Tom Benneche said that Benny Hughes was as dominant as ever.

“They brought out their stud pitcher today and he proved to be everything [one would expect] from a frontline guy,” Benneche said. “We have not seen anybody with that skill set in the tournament so far.”

What Benny Hughes may have lacked (which wasn’t much), his twin brother, catcher Nate Hughes, and the rest of the offense more than made up for.

Indeed, Nate Hughes slammed two tape-measure home runs, including a first-pitch, leadoff blast in the first inning, and drove in a team-high four runs.

“It was nice to come out and jump on them with the first pitch,” Conrad said. “Nate [Hughes] hit a big home run. We’re lucky to have both of them. They’re men amongst boys at this age.”

Farmington (11-0) continued its torrid hitting – the District 5 champions defeated Seymour 13-1 and hit three first-inning home runs in the first game of the tournament – as Benny Hughes and Josh Roth also went deep in the victory over Simsbury, the District 6 title winners.

Simsbury, for its part, did not go quietly, despite falling behind 5-0 in the first two innings.

Daniel Coppinger brought home Aiden Shugrue with an RBI single in the fourth to make it 5-1.

Jordan Valentino chased Benny Hughes in the fifth with an RBI double that scored Evan Clark.

“To our credit, we swung the bats,” Benneche said. “We’re battle tested … we never die.”

Farmington’s Ben Scudder closed out Simsbury by retiring all five batters he faced to earn the save.

Simsbury will face Seymour on Saturday in an elimination game. The winner of that matchup will face Farmington on Sunday. If it wins Sunday, Farmington will claim the Division II title. If it loses, then it will play either Simsbury or Seymour again for the title later in the week.

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