By KEVIN ROBERTS
The Bristol Blues won four of the five games they played last week, including three in a row at the end.
After 7-0 and 8-5 wins at Muzzy Field on June 19 and June 22, the Blues embarked on a six-game road trip that began this past Sunday against the Westfield Starfires in Westfield, Mass.
“It was tough because we were supposed to have a home game on Thursday (June 20), then we’d have the off-day. That gets postponed, so we end up having two off-days with no baseball activity,” said assistant coach Jordie Scheiner, who filled in for head coach Ronnie Palmer on June 22. “We were unsure of what would happen tonight, but the boys came and they battled, and now we just have to prepare for a long week of road trips.”
Bristol beat Westfield, 7-4, on Sunday and improved to 8-10 on the season. Here’s what happened last week:
Blues 6, Suns 5
JUNE 17—Bristol scored two runs in the sixth inning and four more in the seventh to overcome a 5-0 deficit and beat Pittsfield at Wahconah Park.
Dominic Niman (West Hartford) was the winning pitcher after throwing 1.2 innings in relief (1 hit, 3 strikeouts). Will Nowak (South Windsor) threw 1.2 innings (1 walk, 3 strikeouts) and recorded the save, his third of the season and first of three during the week. Tommy Hughes (Newington) also pitched 1.1 scoreless innings of relief.
On offense, Christian Beal (Flossmoor, Ill.) went 4-for-5 with two doubles, a stolen base, two runs scored and three RBI. Austin White (Glastonbury) was 2-for-4 with a double, walk and two runs scored while Kyle Maves (Burlington, Ont.) went 2-for-3 with a double, walk and run scored. Brandon Miller (Easton, Penn.) doubled, walked and drove in two runs.
Bravehearts 6, Blues 3
JUNE 18—Bristol outhit Worcester 12-4, but one rough inning doomed the visitors in a loss at Hanover Insurance Park at Fitton Field in Worcester, Mass.
The Blues led 2-0 entering the bottom of the fourth inning, but the Bravehearts scored four runs to take the lead and never looked back.
Arjun Thakar (Sugar Land, Texas) pitched the first 3.2 innings and took the loss to drop to 0-1. Jordan Laske (Wethersfield) went 2-for-3 with a double, walk and two RBI. Dylan Reynolds (Hamden) was 2-for-4 with a walk, stolen base and run scored, and Maves went 2-for-5 with a run scored and RBI. Miller singled, walked, stole two bases and scored a run.
Blues 7, Navigators 0
JUNE 19—Ryan Lauk (Mullica Hill, N.J.) started and pitched 5.2 innings of shutout ball (2 hits, 4 walks, 10 strikeouts) to pick up his first win of the season and improve to 1-1.
Southington’s Wes Lahey threw two innings in relief and had one strikeout and one walk. On offense, JT Mounce (Cypress, Texas) went 2-for-3 with a walk, two stolen bases and two runs scored. Zeke Diamond (Sandy Springs, Ga.) was 2-for-4 with a double, two runs scored and an RBI.
Blues 8, Navigators 5
JUNE 22—Cam Van Hoorebeke (West Chester, Pa.) threw six innings of one-run, three-hit ball to garner his first win of the season and improve to 1-1. Van Hoorebeke walked three and struck out two.
“He threw excellent tonight, he had a great rhythm, threw a lot of strikes, threw his off-speed for strikes,” Scheiner said.
North Shore did score four runs in the final two innings to cut a seven-run deficit to three. Nowak came on in the ninth and recorded his second save of the week and fourth overall.
“Nowak, our closer, came on with the bases loaded and shut them down,” Scheiner said.
Miller went 3-for-5 with an RBI to pace the Bristol offense, which had 12 hits. Reynolds was 2-for-4 with a double, walk and RBI while Danny Roth (West Hartford) went 2-for-4 with a sacrifice fly, run scored and RBI. John Orzechowski (Monroe) singled, walked twice, stole two bases, scored two runs and drove in another run. White and Maves each had a double, and Sam Loda (East Haven) tripled and scored a run.
“They had a bunch of gap base hits, they were aggressive on the base paths, and they just kept piling it on,” Scheiner said.
Blues 7, Starfires 4
JUNE 23—Niman posted his second win of the week and improved to 4-0 on the season.
He pitched 1.2 innings of scoreless relief and allowed just two hits and a walk. Nowak gave up one hit and struck out two in his inning of relief to grab his third save of the week and fifth of the season.
Miller was 4-for-5 with a double and run scored, Diamond went 2-for-3 with a double, two walks, and a run scored, and Griffin Schneider was 2-for-3 with a double and a run scored. Buddy Dewaine (Uncasville) was 2-for-5 with a run scored and RBI.
Up next: Bristol was scheduled to play road games on Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday at Nashua, Worcester and North Shore. The Blues are at Nashua again on Friday at 6:45 p.m., followed by road games on Saturday and Sunday at Worcester (7 p.m.) and North Shore (5 p.m.).
To comment on this story or to contact staff writer Kevin Roberts, email him at KRoberts@SouthingtonObserver.com