By MICHAEL LETENDRE
The Bristol Blues started last week on the road against the Martha Vineyard Sharks from Vineyard Baseball Park on Monday, June 25.
And it was a tough beginning for the Blues as the team fell to the Sharks 6-1 – dropping to 13-9 on the campaign.
Bristol allowed one run in the bottom of the second and three more in the third inning as the visitors eventually trailed 6-0 before finally notching a run in the top of the seventh frame.
Richard Brereton went a smooth 3-for-3 with a walk while Conor Nolan went yard for the first time this season as his home run gave Bristol its only run of the contest.
Patrick Winkel also added two hits for the Blues.
The Sharks only out-hit the Blues 9-8 and Kelvin Sosa earned the loss in three innings of work.
He allowed five hits, two walks and four earned runs while posting four strikeouts.
Andrew Ferrero won it for the Sharks, going seven strong innings while striking out nine and not allowing a walk.
The road trip continued on Tuesday, June 26 as Bristol went into Campanelli Stadium and defeated the Brockton Rox 8-5.
Bristol used five pitchers in the showdown and while starter Jared Kollar (4 IP, 6 hits, 3 ER, 5 Ks) didn’t earn the win, middle reliever Kyle Haag did.
In 2.2 innings of work, he did not allow a run, hit or walk while punching out five batters to earn the victory.
And then to close it out, it was Neal McDermott time.
McDermott saved his eighth game of the season in his one inning, two strikeout stint.
It was wild game in which the Blues ramped up a 4-0 edge halfway through the first half inning.
The Rox then added single runs in the first, second, third, and fifth frames to tie the affair up at 4-4.
Bristol later netted four straight runs to regain the lead and snared an 8-4 push midway through the eighth.
The Rox boosted 10 hits but the defense failed by committing four errors.
Alex Loparco had a day for Bristol as he went 3-of-4 with a home run, two runs scored and two RBI while teammate Andrew Hague was 2-of-4 with a run scored and two RBI.
The following night, on Wednesday, June 27, the rain played havoc with the Blues.
In a storm shortened, five inning challenge against the Worcester Bravehearts from Muzzy Field, the visitors notched eight straight runs – five of those coming in the first inning – to ramp up an 8-5 victory over the Blues.
The contest was only two of four league games that were completed that night in what turned into a very wet Wednesday.
The Blues out-hit the Bravehearts 7-6 as Ian Ostberg (3-for-3, run, two RBI) and Loparco (2-for-2, two runs scored, walk, RBI) led the offensive charge.
Bristol starter Justin Rouse (3 ER, 2 BB, 4 hits) pitched just the first inning before being relieved by Jason Hebner (3 Ks).
Bristol had Thursday off before getting back to work on Friday against the Nashua Silver Knights (the game was not completed before press time).
Comments? Email mletendre@BristolObserver.com.