By MICHAEL LETENDRE
BRISTOL – The goal of the Bristol Eastern baseball team over its most recent slate of home games was simple:
Win as many contests as possible from Clem J. Roy Field.
And consider it mission accomplished as the Lancers disposed of Plainville (4-0) two days previous before sinking non-conference opponent Cheney Tech, 5-4, in a huge win from Bristol on Friday, April 25.
Eastern is now 4-3, while Cheney falls to 6-3.
The Lancers jumped out to a quick 5-0 lead against Cheney Tech after two innings and then held off Cheney for the win.
For Eastern, Bryce Lebron started on the mound, pitched into the sixth and he collected his first varsity win.
Jordan Wydra relieved Lebron in the sixth and with one out, and the tying run on second, retired the next two batters to end the Cheney Tech sixth as Eastern led 5-4 going into the final frame of play. In the seventh, with one out, Cheney’s Elvin Gonzalez was hit by a pitch.
That’s when the Eastern defense ended the fray for the Lancers.
On the first pitch to the next batter, Isiah Quiles, Gonzalez took off for second in a desperate steal attempt.
But Quiles was thrown out on a perfect throw from Eastern catcher Jordan Lowrey to Dave Sills to nail the runner cold.
Quiles then singled, hitting a soft liner just over second baseman Jake Colello’s glove, but Wydra got the final out when Merlyn Herrera hit the first pitch sharply to third.
However, Eastern third baseman Kyle Baker made a perfect throw to first to nab Herrera for the final out of the showdown.
Defensively for the Lancers, Baker at third base and Sills at shortstop stood out and played excellent games.
And Lowrey’s throw to cut down Quiles in the seventh was key.
With the defense humming, Eastern scored early and often to put the thing away quickly.
Eastern scored four times in the bottom of the first and had Cheney in some hot water.
Colello led off the inning with a triple to right and then scored when Eric Therrien hit a one out double to center to make it a 1-0 contest.
Then, with two outs and Therrien on second, Tommy Curtin was hit by a pitch to put two runners on. Adrian James followed with a double to deep right, scoring Therrien and Curtin and a quick 3-0 push ensued.
Following a Cheney Tech infield error putting runners on first and third, Kyle Munette singled between first and second to score James as the fourth run of the inning was tallied and the Lancers were in command of the contest.
Eastern added an unearned run in the second and once again, Colello started it all off.
Colello blasted a single to right, took second when the ball was misplayed in right.
With two outs and an 0-2 count in hand, Jourdon Wydra doubled to right center to score Colello as Eastern held an imposing 5-0 push.
Bu Cheney Tech pitcher Merlyn Herrera settled down, allowing only three Eastern base-runners the rest of the way, the visitors eventually caught up a bit on the scoreboard.
The Lancers picked up singles by Sills in the fourth, Baker in the fifth, and Lebron in the sixth; but double plays in the fifth, and sixth from the Cheney Tech defense erased the runners.
Eastern left only one base runner on during the final four frames of action.
Lebron pitched shutout ball over the first three innings, stranding two runners in the second, and was aided by a double play to end the third to keep the shutout intact.
In the Cheney Tech fourth, a single by Herrera, followed by a double by Juan Resto, put runners on second and third with no outs.
Tom Blazys followed up with a triple to right to score the duo and he scored on a groundout to cut the deficit to 5-3.
Lebron got out of the fourth with no further damage. But later, Cheney Tech picked up an unearned run in the fifth to make it a one-run game.
Gonzalez got to first via an Eastern infield error with one out as the tying run was now at home plate. Lebron recorded the second out via a groundout,; but Herrera hit a little pop fly to short right center that Eastern allowed to drop as the miscommunication between fielders allowed Gonzalez to score to make it a 5-4 showdown.
But that’s as close as Cheney got in the non-conference contest as the Lancers held on to win it by a single run.
For the game, Lebron pitched 5.1 innings, giving up eight hits, striking out four, giving up three earned runs and not yielding a single base-on-balls.
Colello had two hits and scored twice to lead the Lancers offensively.
Comments? Email mletendre@BristolObserver. com.
By MICHAEL LETENDRE