By MICHAEL LETENDRE
MIDDLETOWN – After a tough 7-0 loss to Manchester the previous Monday, the Bristol Eastern baseball team bounced back nicely on Wednesday, April 17 against a tough Middletown aggression.
A solid pitching and hitting outing carried the Lancers to a 6-0 victory over the Blue Dragons from Middletown High School in a CCC South affair.
The win improved the Lancers to 3-3 on the year and 2-0 in CCC South play.
And once again, Eastern’s pitching was clutch and it was another impressive effort by senior chucker Dave Levesque.
Levesque won for the second time in as many opportunities and he threw a complete game effort for the Lancers.
He gave up just four hits – all singles and none after the third inning – while walking one and striking out twelve in a dominating display.
Levesque threw a total of 111 pitches and he simply got stronger as the game progressed.
After that third frame, Middletown’s offense was simply non-existent and that was thanks in part to that crafty pitching.
On the other side of the plate, Eastern played very well in all facets of the showdown offensively.
The Lancers smashed out nine hits including two apiece by Diondrey Sapp and Nick Plachno.
Out of the nine hits the Lancers’ snared, Eastern wrapped up six doubles as Dionfrey Sapp had two while Dave Sills, Nick Plancho, and Eric Therrien each added one in the fray.
Eastern picked up single runs in each of the first three innings, added a fourth run in the fifth, and two in the sixth as crooked numbers ruled the day on the scoreboard.
Before the Blue Dragons could even get a chance to swing the bats, the Lancers went right to work at the plate.
Dave Sills opened the game for the Lancers and drilled the first pitch he saw to left for a hit and quickly hustled his way to second with a double.
Jordan Lowrey followed up with a single, putting runners on the corners, as the home team was in serious trouble early.
Sills scored on a wild pitch by Middletown pitcher Shane Wickham and Eastern went ahead 1-0.
In the second, the first four batters in the inning for the Lancers struck out. But, amazingly, Levesque reached base when he struck out a wild pitch and made it to first safely,
Dave Cugno also reached base when he struck out on a passed ball.
So off the four strikeouts, Eastern might have put two outs on the board but it also had two runners on the base-paths.
From there, Levesque scored the second Eastern run when Steve Roy drilled a two-out single to left and the game was quickly a 2-0 tilt.
In the third stanza, Plachno doubled deep to center with two outs and later scored as Therrien followed up with a double to right center and Eastern scooped up a 3-0 push with Middletown’s collective backs were firmly against the wall.
After a quiet fourth inning by both squads, the Lancers were right back to work in the fifth.
In that fateful fifth, Sapp opened the frame with a double to right center and Plachno followed with a single to left to once again put runners on the corners.
Sapp eventually scored off another wild pitch as Eastern went up 4-0 after five innings.
Then in the sixth, the Lancers racked up two additional runs to ice the showdown.
In the sixth, Sills opened the stanza with a walk, stole second, and quickly scored on a double to right by Sapp that made it a 5-0 game in Eastern’s favor.
Sapp later scored off a single by Levesque and finally, the Lancers increased its edge to 6-0 with one frame to play.
Levesque didn’t allow any offense by Middletown in the seventh and final inning as the Lancers conquered the Blue Dragons, 6-0.
By MICHAEL LETENDRE