By MICHAEL LETENDRE
BRISTOL – The Bristol Blues of the Futures Collegiate Baseball League have several players enjoying a standout year as the squad came into last weekend with a 23-17 ledger and a third place overall standing.
All-Star Ian Ostberg has been getting the job done at the plate for the Blues, tied for 10th overall in the league for batting average at .307 as of Thursday, July 19.
Over 34 games, he’s sprayed out 39 hits, one double and collected 11 RBI.
He’s been leading off in the batting order for a portion of the season and his 20 walks have been very helpful starting things off for the Blues.
And the speedster has stolen 18 bases along the way as getting into scoring position hasn’t been a problem for Ostberg.
His docket also includes 30 runs and he’s also pitched a few innings for the squad.
In 3.1 innings thrown over three games, Ostberg has allowed five hits while punching out three batters.
Also in the batting department, Richard Brereton and Alex Loparco are also top batters for the Bristol outfit.
Brereton was batting .276 over his 36 games which included 35 hits, six doubles, a triple and a home run.
His tally also included 19 walks, 16 RBI, and 12 stolen bases over a very busy campaign of action.
Loparco chipped in an average of .269 over 34 games that saw him ramp up 32 hits along with two doubles, two triples and two round trippers.
Sixteen walks and 14 RBI round out his stats while he swiped eight bases along the way.
In terms of pitching, the Blues have several excellent throwers who are among the league leaders in several categories.
Bristol’s Jared Kollar entered last weekend tied for second in the league for wins with three.
He also collected 37 strikeouts – good for second in the league.
Kollar was 3-1 overall with a 4.40 ERA in 30.2 innings pitched over seven games – six of those coming in starting assignments.
He carried a strikeout-to-walk ratio of 4.6-to-1.
In fact when examining strikeouts a little bit closer, the Blues boasted three out of the top seven pitchers in punchouts in 2018.
Bullpen ace Neal McDermott has been sensational over his relief appearances – tallying up a league leading 39 Ks.
He was 1-0 overall with a sweet 1.39 ERA and over his first 16 games, he’s rung up 12 saves.
McDermott allowed just seven hits in 19.1 innings pitched while carrying a strikeout-to-walk ratio of 4.3-to-1.
And the last game he did not record a save in was during Bristol’s 5-3 win over the Pittsfield Suns that saw McDermott win it in the end.
Emmet Sheehan was ranked seventh in strikeouts, posting 33, and going 2-2 overall with a 3.00 ERA for the Blues.
He started half of his eight games to date and allowed 22 hits in 27.0 innings pitched.
Sheehan’s last victory came against the Silver Knights on June 29 when he yielded just one hit in four innings as Bristol bombed the Nashua Silver Knights 17-3.
And in terms of ERA, Michael Genaro was sixth in the league in that category, hanging in with a mark of 3.76 and a hard luck record of 1-2 overall.
He started his first seven games for Bristol, zipping up 29 strikeouts over 38.1 innings pitched.
One of the top strikeout-to-walk ratio performers in the league, his 7.3 strikeouts-to-walk proves he doesn’t allow many free passes on base.
Genaro allowed 42 hits on the season but over his last victorious effort – a 2-1 win over the Navigators on July 14 – the pitcher allowed just four hits in another a strong effort.
In picking up the victory, he went seven innings, allowed just one earned run, no walks, while punching out seven batters.
In terms of the overall team’s performance, the Blues entered last weekend playing a league-high 40 games.
And while those offensive numbers Bristol carries placed the squad in the bottom half of the league, Bristol’s defense has been more than capable.
The Blues were second place in total strikeouts in all the FCBL with 336, five behind league-leading Worcester (341).
Bristol was second in putouts with 1006 along with a runner-up ranking in fielding percentage (.964).
Scores from this past week:
Thursday, July 19 – Bristol Blues 6, North Shore Navigators 4
Saturday, July 21 – Martha’s Vineyard Sharks 6, Bristol Blues 4
Sunday, July 22 – Bristol Blues , Nashua Silver Knights