by MICHAEL LETENDRE
BRISTOL – Over the years in battles against Terryville, the Bristol Legion baseball team – at times – has struggled with the divisional foe.
But in Post 20’s third showdown of the season against Bristol, it kind of resembled the first two.
In other words, blowouts for Bristol as the home team – completing step two of a busy week – slammed and overwhelmed Terryville by a 10-1 final in a Zone 1 encounter from Muzzy Field in Bristol on Tuesday, July 17.
Bristol did all it could do to get back in the Zone 1 race since coming back from its trip to Maryland, going a neat 7-0 in the zone to finish the season at 20-7.
Only Southington had a better record in the zone (21-6) by a single game.
Terryville (3-22) came to fight against Bristol and put three base-runners on to start the game in the first frame.
But two runners were gunned down trying to advance a base as Post 20 took chances but came up empty.
On the other side of the first inning coin, Bristol came out firing.
Connor Hayes (single, RBI) scored off a wild pitch and Kyle Dube (2-for-2, 2 RBI) jammed an RBI triple to deep center as Bristol collected a 2-0 push after one frame of play.
“It was important to get out to a good start, throw up a goose egg in the top of the first inning (on the Terryville side of the scoreboard), come out and put two runs on the board, put three or four runs on after that and that’s exactly what we wanted to do today,” said Bristol coach Dave Nocera.
Whatever advantage Terryville enjoyed over the first inning did not occur again as Bristol made the contest an epic struggle for the visiting squad.
Plus, seeding in the zone was on the line and that was the business Bristol faced in a big win over Post 20.
“We didn’t want to keep these guys in the game,” said Nocera. “We knew we needed to win today if we had any chance of winning the zone championship or potentially finishing second. But we can’t control what everybody else does. What we can control is what we do and we finished strong today.”
In the second frame, Post 2 knocked Terryville pitcher Taylor Donofrio out of the game midway through the stanza as Bristol batted around.
With two on, Blandino (single, 3 RBI) drilled a single to left – scoring Connor Fitzsimons and Matt Bossi to give Bristol a 4-0 tilt.
Post 2 followed that up with three straight RBI tallies.
The first came from Wyrebek off a single to right, Tyler Bush followed with a blazing triple to left-centerfield and off a double to the gap in right by Dube, Post 2 had itself an impressive 7-0 tally.
That gave plenty of leeway for starting pitcher Reid Roberge (4-2) and big reliever Kris Fuller to work with.
Roberge (3 IP) yielded only two hits and struck out five of the final batters he faced while Fuller looked more than solid in his three innings of action.
Fuller gave up just two hits and a single run while getting five strikeouts in a row during the fourth and fifth frames.
“It was important they got their work in,” said Nocera of Roberge and Fuller.
Leading 7-0, Bristol had the luxury to use just about its entire bench in the game.
In all, the Mum City squad produced 15 hits against Post 20 in one of its biggest offensive efforts of the season.
And everybody got involved.
Ryan Chiasson tallied a hit and played a little in right field while Fuller went 1-for-2 at the plate and finished the season with a .333 batting average.
Fitzsimons played a little third base towards the end of the game, Mitch Guilmette got a chance to catch behind the plate and Kyle Kolakoski made an appearance in center.
Jacob Martel got some work in as did the crafty Eric Roman.
In the third, Blandino grounded out but his at-bat scored Brett Madore while an RBI single by Hayes gave Bristol a big 9-0 cushion after three completed frames.
Finally in the fourth, Fitzsimons drilled an RBI double to left as Bristol gobbled up a 10-0 push after four frames of action.
Terryville added its run in the sixth but in the seventh, Roman came in to pitch, and the big man struck out the side, giving Bristol a regular season ending 10-1 win from Muzzy Field.
“I was very pleased with the effort,” said Nocera. “The only thing I was upset about was I didn’t get (Tyler) Cyr an at-bat today. I felt bad because he was the last guy on the bench and I didn’t want to put him in and somebody getting hurt in the top of the seventh (inning).”
Comments? Email mletendre@BristolObserver.com