Bristol Blues take the lead in the division standings

By BRIAN JENNINGS

STAFF WRITER

The Blues only had four road wins on the year entering the all-star break. But after this week, they now have eight. The break proved to be just what the team needed, both physically and mentally.

“Rest is, undoubtedly, a good thing at this point in the summer,” said Blue team manager Ronnie Palmer, “and the fact that the entire team could relax made it even better.”

With three wins and a loss, Bristol (21-17)  moved to the top of the West Division. They’ll look to build a lead next week with contests against the Brockton Rox (22-17), Wachusett Dirt Dawgs (22-18), Seacoast Mavericks (20-21), North Shore Navigators (17-23), and the Suns.

Win at Nashua

JULY 20—The Blues exploded from the all-star break with a 6-1 win at the Nashua Silver Knights.

“From top to bottom, that might have been the best baseball we played all summer,” said Palmer. “Offensively, we took advantage of opportunities and drove guys in, and defensively, we were real clean.”

Chris Davis (2-for-5) and Jeff Shanfeldt (2-for-4) had two hits apiece. Jayson Gonzalez gave the Blues a 5-1 advantage in the fifth inning with an RBI double. Mitch Guilmette (3-for-5) capped off the victory with a RBI single in the sixth.

The Blues finished with 13 hits. Jake Frasca went 2-for-5 at the plate.

“We were just really tuned in, and there was just a good energy and buzz in the dugout and bullpen,” said Palmer. “Everyone was ready to go when we got there.”

Starter Michael Genaro (2-0) picked up the win after going eight innings with six strikeouts, allowing six hits, one earned run, and a walk. John Natoli (3-0) closed.

Loss vs. Seacoast

JULY 21—The next day, the Seacoast Mavericks handed the Blues their third shutout loss of the season. The Mavericks scored runs in the fourth, eighth, and ninth innings off a double, sacrifice fly, and single and held on for a 3-0 win.

Bristol helped the decision with an overplayed fly ball in the fourth inning at the wall, along with a pair of blooper fly balls drop in the infield and outfield in the eighth.

The Blues mustered just five hits. Nick Roy and Mitch Guilmette each went 2-for-4 at the plate.

Malachi Edmond (0-2) started on the mound and was credited with the loss after going six innings with three strikeouts, allowing five walks, four hits, and an earned run. Joel Torres closed with four hits, three walks, two earned runs, and two strikeouts.

Win at Nashua

JULY 22—The Blues snatched their 20th win of the season with an 8-6 victory at the Nashua Silver Knights on Saturday. The Blues held a slim 2-1 advantage after the third inning and broke the game open with a six-run rally in the fourth and fifth innings.

Jeff Shanfeldt and Max Goione (3-for-4) scored a pair of runs with RBI singles in the fourth, as Goione eventually came around to score on a passed ball. In the fifth, Nick Roy extended Bristol’s lead to five by taking home on a wild pitch. Goione and Garrett Blaylock capped off the victory with RBI singles.

The Silver Knights scattered runs over the next four innings, but came up short.

Starter Ross Weiner (4-1) went five and one-third innings with a pair of strikeouts, allowing five hits, two earned runs, and two walks. Bristol held the lead to the final inning when Tommy Curtin (0-1) took the mound with no outs and a runner on second. Curtin managed to get the next three out of four batters to seal the win and earn his 10th save.

The Blues finished with nine hits. Chris Davis went 2-for-5.

Win at Pittsfield

JULY 23—The Blues rounded out the week with a 24-9 road rout of the Pittsfield Suns (22-20). The Blues manufactured 30 hits in 55 at-bats, amassing a 20-6 lead by the sixth inning with the help of seven runs in the third. There was a total of eight home runs in the game.

“We really didn’t do anything different or special,” said Palmer. “It was just one of those days, and we will certainly take them when they come…Games like we played today are far and few in between.”

Mitch Guilmette (5-for-7, 5 RBI) paced the offense.  Jake Frasca went 4-for-7 with seven RBI, two runs scored, two home runs, and two doubles. Logan Green went 3-for-5 with five RBI, four runs scored, three walks, and a home run.

Brandon Fox allowed three hits in two innings. Takoda Sitar (2-2) allowed five earned runs, four strikeouts, four hits, and three walks in three innings, and closer Tucker Lord (1-0) picked up the win in his first appearance with six strikeouts, four hits, and three earned runs.

For this week’s box scores, click here: (southingtonobserver.com/2017/07/26/weekly-scoreboard-for-the-july-28-edition). To contact sports writer Brian Jennings, email him at BJennings@SouthingtonObserver.com.

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