by MICHAEL LETENDRE
SOUTH WINDSOR – This is not how the Bristol Knights, the 2011 Manchester Twilight League champions, envisioned its 2012 season finally ending.
Last year, it was an exciting jaunt all the way through the postseason which resulted in MTL championship.
But in 2012, the Knights gave it a run but in the end, the defending champs were bounced out of the tournament via a 5-0 loss to the Loco Perro Expos from Rotary Field in South Windsor on Tuesday, August 7.
The loss for the Knights was the final game of the season for the Bristol club as the team ended its 2012 campaign at 8-15 and gave it a run in the tournament but simply ran out of options and time in the double elimination affair.
The Expos took a 3-0 lead out of the gate and simply never looked back.
“We’ve played better…we just didn’t have any spark at all today,” said player/general manager Scott Dickens. “We were missing a bunch of guys again and we just never had the right feeling out there at all.”
Bristol pitcher Ricky Barrett absorbed a tough loss but gave up just seven hits in the game while striking out eight in six innings of work.
Rick Blais pitched a scoreless seventh frame to give his squad a chance to win it in the end.
However, off only four hits in the game for Bristol, each and every time the Knights rallied, the Expos snuffed out any and all momentum.
“We just never had that spark,” said Dickens. “Every time something good happened, we could never push a run across.”
Phil Dauria led the Bristol offense with two hits while Justin Kilker blazed out a double to pace the Knights.
Blais also smashed a single to center but Expos’ pitcher Zac Turner (three hits, four strikeouts) was tough from the get go and those base runners were all stranded on the Bristol side of things.
And in the top of the first, the Expos snatched the lead.
With two on in the first, Brian Kohn nailed a single to left to score a run while Turner glossed a two-RBI single down the left field line as Loco went in front 3-0.
Bristol simply couldn’t respond – even as it left the bases loaded in its portion of the first – as the Expos went for two additional runs over the next two stanzas.
In the second, Loco used a little small ball with runners on first and third.
Brian Seidl at first was the bait and charged to second to draw a pickoff throw.
Eventually, Derek Turner scored from third as the game turned into a 4-0 affair.
In the third, an RBI single by Peter Villa made it a 5-0 push and the Knights were in a hole 3 ½ innings into things.
In the fifth, Bristol had runners on first and second with one out but could not get anything going.
In the seventh, Bristol’s Erik Michael and Ryan Pezzullo each had turns at the plate, to no avail, before one last out by Blais ended the Knights season as the club dropped a tough 5-0 decision.
“We just couldn’t get anything going our way,” said Dickens. “All our guys did their best today and it just wasn’t enough.”