PHOTOS by TAMMI NAUDUS
By MICHAEL LETENDRE
BRISTOL – The Bristol American Legion baseball team’s showdown against Avon on Wednesday, June 18 from Muzzy Field, felt more like a public tar and feathering than anything.
And Bristol was on the wrong side of the festivities.
Avon, the Zone 1 leader, smashed Post 2 for 10 quick runs to absolutely zap Bristol by a 10-2 final.
It was a battering from pillar to post as Avon (7-0) notched three runs right off the bat before Bristol (4-3, 1-2 in Zone 1 play) even had any chance to get to the plate.
And before the game really got moving, Avon blasted Bristol for seven additional runs in third frame and quickly, the visitors held a 10-0 cushion – move than enough to cruise for the remainder of the game.
“We’re not ready to play right now,” said Bristol coach Jerry LaPenta. “Guys, for whatever reason, their heads aren’t in it. And when you make five errors, you’re not going to win. You’re not going to win too many games.”
Post 2 managed to put up eight hits on the board but most of that came to fruition when the game was already out of reach.
Starting pitcher Andrew Martin battled for Bristol but Avon – an outstanding hitting club – just got big hit after big hit to lead a very potent attack and eventually knocked the chucker out of the game.
In all, Avon managed 13 total hits and played flawlessly in the field behind pitcher Noah Hahn.
Hahn was certainly impressive in his five inning jaunt, allowing just one run off four hits and getting out of a bases-loaded jam in the fifth tilt with no outs on the scoreboard.
Only Eli Minella crossed the plate for Post 2 in that bases loaded situation.
It was an important run because down 10-0 going into the bottom of the fifth, Bristol was nearly mercy ruled in its own home stadium and needed to score at least once to prevent that from happening.
It wasn’t all bad as a couple of bench players got some important time on the field, starting with catcher Greg Lozier.
Lozier showed he had an arm behind the plate and gunned down two Avon runners attempting to steal second base.
He also did an outstanding job directing traffic behind the plate which also helped out a brilliant throwing performance from Jaeden Rasmus.
Rasmus showed ability and poise on the hill, going four innings and not allowing a run.
His final ledger also carried two hits, two walks and five strikeouts to keep Avon from doing anymore damage offensively.
‘I told the players I don’t care who you are, I’m going to play the guys I that I think are going to give me the best effort,” said Lapenta. “I was happy with some of the kids’ play.”
What foiled the home team were errors as five miscues in the field prolonged already long innings of work.
And when the Bristol defense allowed those mistakes, Avon was ready to pounce and certainly capitalized off those gaffs.
Ben Lombardi led the hit parade with a smooth 3-for-3 performance at the plate while teammate Sean Delgallo went 3-for-4 with two runs scored and two RBI.
Bristol’s Jake Martel zipped up three hits to lead the offensive charge while Jake Colello and Minella also spaced out hits over the course of the afternoon.
Minella also drew two walks and scored a run, Vinny Nocera grounded into a fielder’s choice for an RBI and Tony Nicoletti unleashed a sacrifice fly to score a run.
Troy Micale smashed out a double and Kyle Pileski drilled a single for Post 2.
In the first, Avon’s first three batters zipped up hits – the last being an RBI single by Matt Williamson – while back-to-back sacrifice flies scored two more as Bristol found itself in a quick 3-0 hole.
But in the top of the third, 12 Avon batters came up to the plate and off seven hits, seven earned runs were tallied.
Off one final RBI single by Delgallo, the visitors were in firm control and up by a 10-0 score.
Rasmus quieted the Avon bats as Minella scored off a grounder by Nocera in the fifth and one inning later, Nicoletti’s sacrifice scored Michaels but after six frames, Avon was still leading by a 10-2 tilt and that score was the final result of the contest.
It was certainly a long, tough afternoon for the Bristol outfit going into two weekend games with Simsbury and Torrington.
“I just want intensity,” said LaPenta. “If we lose, we lose. But we didn’t come to play today.”
Comments? Email mletendre@BristolObserver. com.