By MICHAEL LETENDRE
MERIDEN – Thirteen might be an unlucky number.
Unless you’re the Bristol Eastern baseball squad where 13 was a very desirable number to tally to end a week of a few big blowouts.
And that’s because on Wednesday, May 20, the Lancers went 3-for-3 for the week, ending things by thumping Platt by a 17-1 push from Platt High School in Meriden.
Eastern notched runs in every inning as they defeated the Panthers with relative ease, sweeping the season series.
The Lancers, in winning their th consecutive game, improved their overall record to 16-3 and 12-1 in CCC South place, having clinched first place in the division earlier in the week off the victory against Bulkeley from Muzzy Field.
Platt fell to 6-12 overall – still two games away from state tournament qualification – and 5-8 in division play.
The Panthers had to defeat both non-conference North Branford and crosstown rival Maloney in order to make the states and that was a tall order for the, frankly, unpredictable squad.
And once again, on the mound for Eastern, Nate Carney kept his undefeated ledger intact with another stellar effort.
Carney, now 7-0, threw the first six innings of the game, allowing just two singles, walking two, striking out eight, and giving up the one earned run in an impressive display and thrashing another hapless opponent.
Backing up Carney, Zach Marquis pitched a scoreless seventh inning in relief to stave off the Panthers.
Then there was the Eastern offense and, for the third consecutive day, the Lancers tallied a double-figure hit tally.
Eastern pounded out 17 hits off three Platt pitchers en route to the win, none of those chuckers being able to stall out the Lancers’ offense in the least.
The Lancers’ Jake Colello picked up three hits, including two singles and dropped in a solo home run over the left field fence, while driving in two and scoring twice.
Also at the top of the order, Jordan Lowrey nabbed three hits – two singles and a triple – while scoring twice and driving in a run.
Speedy outfielder Adrian James added two hits, scored four times, stole three bases, and drove in two runs in another complete game effort.
Bryce Lebron zipped up a run scoring triple, while walking in his other two appearances at the plate and Jacob Dubrosky went 2-for-2 with two hits, both singles, and scored twice.
Every Eastern starter except one had at least one hit.
The Lancers led 2-0 not even a half-inning into things and after another frame by the Lancers, the game was a 5-0 push in Eastern’s favor.
Platt finally got on the board in the bottom of the second but it was of little consequence and still trailed 5-1.
Eastern scored two times in the third, three in the fourth and once the Lancers added solitary scores in the fifth and sixth frames, the road team trailed by a 12-1 tilt.
And then in the top of the seventh, Eastern jammed up five runs on the scoreboard and by the time the Lancers were finished with Platt, the top squad in all the CCC South was ahead by 16 runs, comfortably in front by 17-1.
Eastern was scheduled to play their final regular season game this Tuesday against Bristol Central at Muzzy Field at 7 pm with a chance to go 17-3 to end the season and a possible top seed in Class L at stake.
NOTES…If the Lancers can defeat Central this Tuesday, the 17 victories would mark the seventh time in school history the squad tallied that win total, the first time since 2007 (17-6)…The most wins in a season at Eastern is 19 set back in 1994 (19-4)…However, the Lancers did make history at Platt this past Wednesday – tying the Eastern record for most consecutive wins in a season. With the squad’s 13th straight victory, Eastern’s ties the school record with the squad from 1994, a team that hung a 5-2 victory over Southington and future Major Leaguer Carl Pavano. That season, the Lancers also won 13 straight games, starting with a 19-4 win at St. Paul on April 23 and ended on May 27 at Southington in a game that saw the Knights wins the CCC South Championship at the conclusion of the contest by an 8-4 final. In fact, Pavano pitched again and Eastern’s sophomore sensation, Kevin Kalmin (Eckerd College), hit a grand slam off the chucker as the Lancers led 4-0 but allowed eight straight runs to close the game…As of Thursday, May 21, Eastern was rated the top seed in all of Class L after Watertown’s 10-8 loss to Torrington.
Comments? Email mletendre@BristolObserver.com.
By MICHAEL LETENDRE