By MICHAEL LETENDRE
BRISTOL – After a tough stretch of games, the Bristol Blues of the Futures Collegiate Baseball League started the week of Sunday, July 29 on a bit of a hot streak.
The locals won four straight games, starting with a 7-5 victory over the Worcester Bravehearts from Hanover Insurance Park in front of 2,730 fans.
The Blues knocked off the top squad in the FCBL behind a 14-hit attack.
Four players tallied up multi-hit games as Justyn-Henry Malloy and Alex Baumann each scooped up three hits.
Malloy went 3-of-5 with a double, two runs scored and an RBI while Baumann was 3-of-4 with an RBI.
Also for Bristol, Jimmy Sullivan went 2-of-5 with a triple, run scored and an RBI and Alex Loparco was also 2-of-5 with two runs scored.
Justin Rouse (3-1) was a winner out of the Bristol bullpen as he went three innings, not allowing a hit, along with three strikeouts while closer Neal McDermott shut the door on the game.
Getting his 14th save, McDermott yielded just one hit while fanning two.
The Bravehearts led 4-1 after three innings of play but could not keep up the momentum.
The Blues scores two runs over the fourth through sixth frames to eventually capture a 7-5 edge that was never relinquished.
Staying on the road, Bristol traveled to Campanelli Stadium on Monday, July 30 and picked up an 8-4 win over the Brockton Rox.
Just like the previous night, Bristol trailed early but made a big comeback to snare the win.
The Blues entered the fourth stanza down a run but a three-run fourth made it 4-2 in Bristol’s favor as the squad never trailed again.
And then in the ninth, Bristol posted three runs to ice the contest.
The Rox were out-hit in the showdown 13-12 as Sullivan went 2-of-3 with a double, three runs, two RBI and two walks.
Loparco was 2-of-5 with a run scored and a homer while Dylan Reynolds (2-for-5, RBI) and Ian Ostberg (2-of-5, two RBI) helped pace the offense.
Two pitchers did it all for the Blues as Michael Genaro (2-2) went five innings, allowing six hits while posting four strikeouts while Michael DeLease (4 IP, 6 hits, 4 Ks) picked up his first save of the campaign.
And then to close out the month of July, Bristol and the Pittsfield Suns ended its game in a home run derby.
It was 2-2 after 10 innings and a home run derby was required to determine the ultimate victor.
And the Blues came away with a 3-2 win when Sullivan belted out four homers and Malloy added two as Bristol out-hit the Suns 6-4 from Wahconah Park.
The Blues only had three hits over the 10-inning war but chucker Richard Brereton (6 IP, 2 hits, 7 Ks) was a standout over his stint on the mound.
The Blues scored a run in the first and another in the third to post a 2-0 edge that lasted midway through the seventh.
But Pittsfield notched two runs in the bottom of the seventh frame to make it a 2-2 tie and that stalemate lasted through the 10th frame – forcing the home run derby challenge.
The Blues game against the Silver Kings was cancelled on Wednesday, Aug. 1 while one night later, the Bristol squad was in the thick of things against Pittsfield once again.
And the locals belted the Suns for 11 hits as the Blues zipped up an 11-5 win from Muzzy Field in Bristol.
It was the final regular season home game for the Blues.
The outfit led 3-0 going into the seventh inning but then blasted Pittsfield (19-29) for four runs in both the bottom of the seventh and eighth innings to control the game.
Bristol’s Bryce Ramsay was the man of the evening as he went a blazing 4-of-5 from the plate, including two doubles, while Sullivan hit a triple, scored a run and drew a walk.
Reynolds was 2-of-3 with two runs, two walks and two RBI while Malloy walked three times in another Blues’ win.
Jake Regula went a strong six innings to take the game, allowing two hits, no earned runs, while posting six strikeouts.
He’s now 2-1 on the campaign.
But that luck ran out on Friday, as the Blues – playing a wild up-and-down-affair – against North Shore on Friday, Aug. 3 from Frasier Field – just short of 3,000 fans.
In the end, Bristol dropped a tough 10-9 decision to fall to 28-23 overall in the losing effort.
The Blues led 9-7 at the seventh inning stretch but allowed three runs in the bottom of the frame to trail by a run.
The Navigators racked up 16 hits off Bristol pitching.
Nick Rascati drew the loss for the Blues, allowing three earned runs and four hits in 0.2 innings of work.
Baumann went 3-for-4 in the contest with a walk, run scored and RBI while Peyton Stephens was 2-for-2 with a double and two runs scored for Bristol.
Comments? Email mletendre@BristolObserver.com.