by MICHAEL LETENDRE
WETHERSFIELD – In order for a squad to finally hang another loss on the Bristol Eastern baseball team, the opponents would have to pull out all the stops.
And be a little lucky to boot.
On Wednesday, May 18 – in a 12 innings, three hour, 52 minute battle, the Lancers lost to Wethersfield by a 7-6 final.
The loss dropped Eastern to 15-2, ending the Lancers 14 game winning streak.
With the victory, Wethersfield moved to 8-8 and qualified for postseason play.
The Eagles emptied the bullpen to put it all on the win as Jordan Laske – who caught the first 10 innings -came in to pitch in the 11th, throwing two scoreless innings in relief and earned the win.
To follow that feat, Laske singled to center to score Santiago with the winning run to end the game.
The Lancers trailed 1-0 after one inning of work but that lead didn’t hold long.
Eastern notched four runs in the second inning to go up 4-l.
The Lancers needed just one hit to zip up the four runs over a rally that featured two hit batters, two bases loaded walks and an error.
But Wethersfield kept the pressure on by scoring single runs in each of the first five innings, only two of which were earned, as the Eagles took advantage of nine walks from the first two Eastern pitchers, two hit batters, and three Eastern errors overall.
Eastern scooped up a run in the fourth to go up 5-3 when Greg Lozier doubled to left and later scored on a sacrifice fly by Adrian James.
Zach Marquis started on the mound for Eastern, was later relieved by Gary Gagnier in the third, who was then relieved by Jake Violette in the fifth.
And Violette hung around for quite sometime in his best pitching performance of the season despite losing the game late.
Violette threw seven innings in relief, allowed four hits, walked four and struck out seven as the contest remained tied at 5-5 until the 10th when both squads went for broke.
In the Eastern half of the tenth, Evan McGinley led off with a double to deep left field, took third on a wild pitch, and scored on a sacrifice fly by Mike Massarelli to propel the Lancers to a 6-5 lead.
But Wethersfield re-tied the game when Xavier Quinones doubled to lead off, went to third via a wild pitch, and scored on a single by Michael Santiago. The game was 6-6, sending the showdown into yet another extra frame.
In the 11th inning, both teams did not score, the Lancers couldn’t get anything going in the 12th before late game heroics did-in Eastern.
In the bottom of the 12th, Wethersfield’s Santiago singled to left with one out and Gagnier – who relieved Marquis and was lifted for Violette, came back in to relieve that same pitcher.
Jim Sullivan then singled to right on Gagnier’s first pitch, sending Santiago to third, and taking second on the throw to put two runners in scoring position.
Laske, who caught the first 10 innings, and came in to pitch in the 11th, throwing two scoreless innings in relief and getting the win, then singled to center to plate Santiago for the winning run.
Eastern generated just eight hits in the game, two each by McGinley and Violette.
WETHERSFIELD 7, BRISTOL EASTERN 6
from Wethersfield high school
Bristol Eastern (15-2) 040 100 000 100 – 6 8 3
Wethersfield (8-8) 111 110 000 101 – 7 11 2
Bristol Eastern: Zach Marquis, Gary Gagnier (3), Jake Violette (5), Gagnier (12) & Greg Lozier
Wethersfield: Sam Tenney, Jaden Kruegar (4), Jim Sullivan (6), Brian Vieira (9), Kyle Buckowski (10), Jordan Laske (11) & Laske, Michael Santiago (11)
WP: Jordan Laske, Wethersfield
LP: Jake Violette, Bristol Eastern (0-1)
2B – Greg Lozier (BE), Evan McGinley (BE), Xavier Quinones (W)
3B – None
HR – None
Records: Wethersfield 8-8 overall; Bristol Eastern 15-2