By MICHAEL LETENDRE
The Bristol Blues had a pretty strong week, starting on Sunday, July 5 as the locals sank the Pittsfield Suns by a 4-1 final which was the second game of what turned into a six-game winning streak.
Since Tuesday, June 23, the Blues have lost precious few games—four in fact—from that date until Sunday, July 12.
From Saturday, July 4 to Thursday, July 9, Bristol didn’t allow opponents much in terms of offense as only the Torrington Titans notched as many as three runs against the Blues in any contest.
Bristol’s defense went a bit south to end the week as the Blues fell to the Roxbury Rox, 6-5, on Friday, July 10 and 8-6 to the Silver Knights on Saturday, July 11.
Here’s a quick look at the past week by the Knights, starting with that three run victory over the Suns:
Bristol Blues 4, Pittsfield Suns 1: (Sunday, July 5)—Ryan Supple came out of the bullpen to earn the victory as the Blues sank the Suns by three runs.
Supple struck out one, walked two, and gave up two hits as the Blues moved to 16-10 on the campaign in a contest from Muzzy Field.
Ryan Costello smashed out two extra base hits, including a double in the second inning and a tripled in the fourth to pace the offensive charge.
Robert Paccione earned the save for Bristol as the Suns went hitless over his two innings of work. Paccione did not allow a run or issue any free passes, and he struck out one to preserve the victory.
Bristol Blues 8, Worcester Bravehearts 2 (Tuesday, July 7)—Bristol’s 14-hit effort fueled the victory as Bristol sank the pesky Bravehearts by six runs.
Bristol (17-10) defeated Worcester from Fitton Field with a six-run rally in the seventh inning. Bristol netted two runs in the sixth and six more in the seventh to go up by an 8-0 push and never looked back.
The Blues notched runs in the seventh on a double by Ryan Rinsky, scored one on an error, off a single by Tyler Roberts, tallied a two base hit from Davis Strong (three hits, three RBI), and to finish it off, a base hit by Gerrad Rohan scored the final run for Bristol and the game was officially a blowout.
Bristol chucker George Lund didn’t allow anything to the Bravehearts offensively. Worcester managed only two hits off of Lund and no earned runs over five strong innings of work by the starter.
Lund walked three and struck out six as the Blues won once again.
Bristol Blues 3, Torrington Titans 1 (Wednesday, July 8—Game 1)—In game one of a doubleheader against Torrington, the Blues (18-10) racked up a huge victory over the Titans from Muzzy Field in Bristol.
Bristol pitcher Dominic LoBrutto allowed just four hits and pretty much shut down the Titans’ offense. He did not allow any earned runs, walked only one, and struck out one during his five frames on the mound.
Bristol notched two runs in the fourth stanza and never looked back.
Rohan had a great day at the plate for the victors. He went 1-for-2 with a run scored and two RBI while his single in the fourth inning was the hit of the game.
The Blues tallied eight hits in the contest in all as DH Zach Scott went 2-of-4 with a run scored.
Ty Robinson came in and threw a solid 1.1 innings of work before Paccione saved it for the home team.
Paccione went 0.2 innings and did not allow a hit, moving his ERA to 0.52, picking up the save in the process.
Bristol Blues 4, Torrington Titans 3 (Wednesday, July 8—Game 2)—Southington’s own Kyle Dube started for the Blues but did not factor in the decision as Bristol needed an extra inning to defeat Torrington in game two of the doubleheader by a 4-3 final.
A walk-off single by Liam Scafariello in the tenth gave the Blues (19-10) the win.
Dube once again showed guts and guile, going a very strong six innings on the mound. He gave up four hits, only one earned run and struck out six—lowering his ERA to a solid 2.65. Dube faced 23 batters and threw 53 strikes on the evening.
Davis Strong reached base four times for the Blues with three singles and scored the winning run of the evening. Strong in fact, nabbed three of the squad’s total seven hits to pace the offense.
Steve Wallace earned the victory out of the bullpen, getting his first win in a Blues’ uniform. He struck out four, walked none and gave up just one hit for the win.
The Titans led 3-2 midway through the ninth before an error in the outfield plated Tyler Packanik to make it a 3-3 contest.
Bristol Blues 6, North Shore Navigators 0 (Thursday, July 9)—The team’s 20th victory came at the hands of the North Shore Navigators by a 6-0 final to move Bristol to 20-10 on the campaign.
Troy Terzi was the man of the hour. The pitcher went the full nine innings in the shutout of the Navigators from Frasier Field in front of 392 paying customers. Terzi was simply outstanding as he threw a two hit shutout and struck out four along the way, not walking a single batter.
Off the win, his ERA fell to 1.59 as Bristol won game number six in a row.
Bristol smashed 10 hits in the game and notched two runs in both the seventh and eighth frames to break open the contest.
Austin Chauvin went 3-of-4 with a run scored while Christian Whigham was 2-of-4 with a walk for Bristol.
Rohan also did well, going 2-of-5 with two runs scored for the Blues.
Brockton Rox 6, Bristol Blues 5 (Friday, July 10)—Every winning streak is bound to end as Brockton finally hung a loss on the Blues, sinking Bristol by a 6-5 final from Muzzy Field.
The shame of it all was Bristol, trailing 3-0 after just a half-inning of work, surged in front 5-3 after seven frames of action.
Paccione drew the loss, giving up two hits and an earned run in 0.2 innings of work.
Tyler Roberts went an outstanding 3-of-4 to lead Bristol while Strong went 2-of-5 and Rohan was 2-of-4 with a run scored and two RBI.
Catcher Ryan Rinsky went 1-of-4 with two on the evening for the Bristol outfit.
Nashua Silver Knights 8, Bristol Knights 6 (Saturday, July 11)—And in a wild and wooly affair for the Blues, Bristol dropped another tough decision—this time an 8-6 loss to the Nashua Silver Knights from Holman Stadium in New Hampshire.
The Blues led 4-0 after 4 1/2 innings of work before the home squad finished the game off with a 7-2 run to come from behind to win it.
Dillion Burke had a tough outing and was charged with the loss for the Blues. In just a third of an inning, he allowed two earned runs, three overall, while walking two and striking out one to post the loss.
Roberts again had a big night at the plate, going 3-of-4 with a run scored and an RBI while Strong (2-of-5, one run, one RBI) and Christian Budzik (2-of-4, two RBI) led the offense for the Knights.
Bristol’s Mike Nocera saw action in the fifth inning and allowed a run during his stint on the mound. He did not allow a hit, walked two and gave up one earned run but did not factor into the decision.
Even off the two game losing streak, Bristol is still firmly in first place of the Western Division in the FCBL standings.
The Blues are 20-12 as of Saturday, 4.5 games better than the second place Suns.
In fact, only the Blues have a winning ledger in the West as Pittsfield is under .500 (14-15) and in second place.