By BRIAN JENNINGS
After beginning their summer season with three-straight losses in week one, the Bristol Blues baseball team continued down the same road with three losses last week.
However, the Blues crawled out of the cellar and broke the losing streak with three-straight wins to wrap up the week, including a late come-from-behind win against a top divisional opponent.
Loss at Pittsfield
JUNE 7—The Blues began the week in Pittsfield, Mass. with a 4-3 loss to the Suns.
After two scoreless innings, the Suns posted three runs off a 6-3 putout and RBI double in the third. In the next inning, the Suns extended their lead to four with a run off an RBI single with two outs.
Logan Green (2-for-5) cut the deficit to three after driving in Brandon Grover (2-for-4) with a double in the fifth. Grover continued to chip away at the Pittsfield’s lead with a solo home run in the seventh.
Ben Maycock brought the Blues to within a run with a double that scored Chris Davis on an error made by the left fielder in the eighth, but Bristol’s rally ended soon after. The Blue finished with seven hits.
David Stiehl (0-1) started on the mound and was credited with the loss after going three innings with a pair of strikeouts, allowing five hits, three earned runs, and two walks. John Natoli and Anthony Morrone (0-1) saw some action on the mound as well.
Loss at Pittsfield
JUNE 8—The Blues remained in Pittsfield the next day and stayed winless on the season with their fifth-straight loss, 13-3, to the Suns.
The Blues took a 3-0 lead after the top of the fourth inning, but the Suns knotted the score after the fifth and broke the game open with 10 runs off 10 hits and a pair of errors in the sixth, finishing with 18 hits. Bristol finished with eight hits and three errors.
Jake Frasca went 2-for-5 with an RBI, a run scored, and a home run. Green went 2-for-5 with a double.
Michael Genaro started on the mound and went four and two thirds innings with five strikeouts, allowing seven hits and three earned runs. Takoda Sitar (0-2) was credited with the loss after relieving Genaro to go an inning with a pair of strikeouts, allowing five runs (1 earned) and four hits. Ian Halpin and Frasca saw some action on the mound as well.
Split vs. Wachusett
JUNE 9—The Blues ended their six-game losing streak at home on Friday, earning their first win of the season after splitting a doubleheader with the Wachusett Dirt Dawgs. The Dirt Dawgs took game one by edging the Blues by a run, 3-2, late in the contest.
Maycock put Bristol on the board first with a run in the first inning that scored Green (3-for-4) on a 3-1 putout. The Dirt Dawgs knotted the score with a run in the next inning, but later secured the win with a pair runs in the fifth. Bristol mustered just six hits and committed two errors.
Malachi Edmond (0-1) started on the mound and was credited with the loss after going four and two thirds innings with eight strikeouts, allowing six hits, three earned runs, and a walk. Keith Grant closed with a pair of strikeouts.
The Blues bounced back to take game two, 5-2, by jumping out on the Dirt Dawgs early. Mitch Guilmette (2-for-3) put the Blues up, 1-0, with an RBI single in the first inning.
Guilmette eventually came around to score after Cooper Mrowka extended Bristol’s lead to three with a two-run home run. Josh Zbierski and Kyle Pileski added to Bristol’s lead with a pair of runs for insurance off a base hit and fielder’s choice in the fourth and sixth innings.
The Dirt Dawgs attempted a rally in the seventh, but came up short with a pair of runs. Bristol mustered just five hits.
Kyle Hodgson (1-0) started on the mound and picked up the win after going six and a third innings with six strikeouts, allowing four hits and two earned runs. Tommy Curtin closed to get the save with a pair of strikeouts.
Win vs. Seacoast
JUNE 10—The Blues kept rolling the next day at home with a 6-4 victory over the Seacoast Mavericks.
With the score tied at 1-1 heading into the bottom of the second inning, Zbierski put the Blues ahead by a run on a 6-3 putout that scored Maycock. Mark Tumosa advanced to third on an error by the right fielder, scoring Grover in the process, and Green capped off the inning with a double that brought in Tumosa.
The Mavericks cut the deficit to two, 4-2, with a run in the third, but Tumosa and Pileski secured the win with a sacrifice fly and base hit in the fourth. The Mavericks scattered runs in the seventh and eighth innings. Bristol finished with seven hits, as Jake Frasca hit his second home run of the season.
Ross Weiner (1-0) started on the mound and picked up the win after going five and two thirds innings with four strikeouts, allowing five hits, two walks, and an earned run. Jacob Wallace closed to get the save. Anthony Morrone (0-1) and Nick Rubino (0-1) saw some action on the mound as well.
Win at Worcester
JUNE 11—A one-run win rounded out the week for the Bristol on Sunday, as the Blues earned their third-straight victory by edging the Worcester Bravehearts, 6-5, on the road.
The Bravehearts held a 5-2 advantage heading into the eighth inning, but Max Goione (2-for-5) brought the Blues to within two with an RBI single. Jeff Shanfeldt cut the deficit to a run with an RBI single in the ninth, and Mitch Williams (2-for-5) scored the go-ahead run with a two-run blast over the fence moments later.
Tommy Curtin came in to close out the game in the bottom of the inning and got the save with a strike out, ground out to the mound, and fly out to the shortstop. The Blues finished with 11 hits, as Pileski went 3-for-5 with a run scored.
Tyler Kovalewich started on the mound and went five innings with six strikeouts, allowing five walks, four earned runs, and three hits. John Natoli (1-0) picked up the win after going three innings with a pair of strikeouts in relief of Kovalewich, allowing four hits and an earned run.
Bristol’s road games at the North Shore Navigators and Suns were postponed to Thursday, June 22 and Wednesday, June 7.
The Blues will look to keep their winning streak going this week with games against the Brockton Rox (4-2), divisional Dirt Dawgs (2-5), divisional Bravehearts (5-3), Navigators (0-7), and Mavericks (4-5). Bristol is currently 3-6 overall and third out of four teams in the West Division. The Suns (8-1) lead the West.
To comment on this story or to contact staff writer Brian Jennings, email him at BJennings@ SouthingtonObserver.com.