By MICHAEL LETENDRE
BRISTOL – While the Bristol Greeners of the Connecticut Tri-State League might be one of the youngest teams in the circuit, the squad is chock full of talented players who have been very successful throughout the Mum City over the years. Against the Wolcott Scrappers on Tuesday, June 21, the locals were more than competitive against a veteran outfit.
After seizing an early lead, the Greeners couldn’t hold on as Wolcott came away with a 6-2 victory from the JV field at Bristol Central high School.
Wolcott raised its record to 7-3 with the win while Bristol (5-5) fell to .500 on the year.
But the Greeners were feisty to the end and almost managed to load the bases in the seventh with no outs which would put the tying run at the plate.
“We had some guys on base, we just really couldn’t get them in,” said Bristol assistant coach Mike Randall.
Bristol had seven hits overall as Tyler Ropp led the charge, going 2-for-2 while being hit-by-pitch while Noah Fradette went 1-of-3 with an RBI single.
Jerry LaPenta scored a run and had a fielder’s choice RBI while Greeners’ veteran TJ Wyrebek (1-for-4, single), Reid Roberge (1-for-4, single), A.J. Lorenzetti (1-for-4, single), and Kyle Munette (1-for-4, single) all generated hits for Bristol.
Credit belonged to Wolcott chucker Justin Koutros as he did not allow an extra base hit while striking out four and walking just one batter which opened the game.
And Bristol’s Tommy Curtin battled as well, posting nine hits, five Ks and six walks and was certainly going strong over his six innings of action.
The Scrappers seemingly found every nook and cranky to smash the ball through as Zach Schnal (2-for-2, double, run), Eric Soucy (2-for-3, two RBI), Ryan Andrade (1-for-4, two RBI), Isreal Lugo (2-for-2, walk), and Ryan Soucy (1-for-4, double) led the charge.
“It looked like Tom was going good and we just had a couple innings where things got away from us,” said Randall. “Wolcott had a couple balls that found some holes, couple went down the line, things like that. There’s nothing you could do about that. When they hit, what can you do?”
Curtin started on the mound and he was moving his pitches early against the Scrappers.
He picked up two strikeouts in the first innings before the Greeners had a chance up at the plate and quickly added a run to the scoreboard to take the lead.
LaPenta walked to begin things and with two outs, Lorenzetti smacked a base hit to right to put a couple runners on.
And to mop up, Fradette slipped a single up the middle to score LaPenta as Bristol surged in front by a run after the completion of one inning. Curtin kept the heat on in the second, added another strikeout to his ledger as the 1-0 push lasted into Bristol’s portion of the inning.
Ropp dropped a two-out single into left to start a rally for the Greeners in the second frame but off a LaPenta pop-out, Wolcott was still trailing by a run going into the third stanza of play.
But the Scrappers knotted things up at 1-1 in the third when Schnal doubled to deep center, advanced a base on a TJ William’s sacrifice bunt and scored on an RBI groundout by Acosta as the visitors tied it up at 1-1.
The Greeners had a chance to break the stalemate in the bottom of the inning when Reid Roberge dropped in a single to left and when Lorenzetti’s hot shot to short was misplayed, the home team had two on with two out.
But Koutros wiggled out of the jam untouched as the 1-1 stalemate carried over to the fourth inning.
Then, the Scrappers added a couple runs to the board as the first four batters of the inning reached base safely.
Israel Lugo and Elvis Martinez drew back-to-back walks and when Ryan Soucy inserted a double to right, the runners were on the move.
A great throw in by Tyler Campbell from right field got Lugo at the plate but when Eric Soucy followed up by placing the ball in the same area, two runners scored as the two-RBI single propelled Wolcott to a 3-1 edge.
But in the bottom of the stanza, Bristol went on the attack once again.
Kyle Munette flipped a single into left and one out later, Ropp sent a base hit to right – which was misplayed – and both runners advanced into scoring position.
LaPenta then chopped a shot to short and Ropp was called out running back to second.
But on the play, Munette scored from third and after four completed innings, the Greeners had cut the deficit to 3-2.
Wolcott added two runs in the fifth when Schnal and Matt Cyr had singles to get on and Acosta walked to load things up.
Ryan Andrade then canned a base up the middle as two runners stepped on the plate to propel the visiting squad to a 5-2 push.
The Scrappers added an insurance run in the top of the sixth when the team loaded the bases and with one out, Williams sent a long fly ball to center.
Off the catch, Eric Soucy crossed the plate as the sacrifice fly made it a four run contest, 6-2.
Koutros retired eight straight going into the seventh while Morin came in to relief Curtin, posted two K’s but Bristol trailed by four and was down to its final three outs of the game.
Ropp was hit-by-pitch to open the seventh and LaPenta then put the ball in play and the grounder was bobbled at second.
The lead runner appeared to get tagged out on his way to second base and thinking he was out, Ropp went back towards the Bristol dugout.
But the ball was dropped on the tag and, in the confusion, Ropp was re-tagged as the first out was officially recorded by Wolcott.
Wyrebek followed up with a single to right to put two on but the rally stopped there as Koutros generated two quick outs and off the complete game effort, Wolcott zipped up a 6-2 victory.
“We’ll be back at it on Sunday, hopefully with a batter result,” said Randall.
Greeners down Threshers
THOMASTON – After a slow start to the Connecticut Tri-State Baseball League season, the Bristol Greeners were on a little bit of a hot streak, downing the Thomaston Threshers 7-3 from Thomaston High School on Sunday, June 12.
The win propelled the squad to 5-2 overall while the Threshers fell to 2-4 on the season.
And in this one, former Bristol Eastern pitching standout Tommy Curtin went the distance for the Greeners.
He earned the complete game victory for Bristol allowing three runs (two earned) as the righty scattered just three hits.
More impressively, Curtin tallied 12 strikeouts on the afternoon.
It was the second win of the season for the ever-improving Curtin.
Bristol out-hit the visitors by nine and several players from the Greeners got into the swing of things.
Bristol coach Shawn Mirmina zipped up a 3-of-4 performance for the Greeners with a double and two runs scored.
Also for Bristol, Jake Martel, Jerry LaPenta, and A.J. Lorenzetti each smacked a pair of hits to lead the charge.
Kyle Munette picked up a two-run, go-ahead single in the top of the seventh for Bristol that broke a 3-3 stalemate.
The Greeners got on the board in the top half of the second inning off an RBI-single by Mirmina.
However, Thomaston responded in the bottom half of the third with a run of its own after Matt Radkey (1-for-3) scored on an errant throw to make it a 1-1 game.
Then the Threshers tacked on two additional runs in the bottom half of the sixth to snare a 3-2 edge. Andrew Jones drove a double to left-field which plated a run while Andy Raponey added another run with a sacrifice fly to break the 2-2 tie and propel the home squad to a slim one-run lead.
The Greeners took the lead for good in the top of the seventh, notching two runs to come back from the 3-2 deficit.
Munette (1-for-4, 2 RBI) drove in two runs on a single up the middle to give Bristol a 4-3 cushion.
Bristol zipped up another run in the seventh after Lorenzetti smacked out a triple to score a run and then in the ninth, RBI’s were produced by Mirmina’s double and Martel’s triple to make it a four-run game Thomaston would not be able to recover from.
Bristol was back in action on Tuesday night with a game at Rotary Field against the Naugatuck Dogs.
Naugatuck Dogs 12, Bristol Greeners 2 – Tuesday, June 14
Matt Zahornasky pitched 6 innings allowing 2 earned runs on four hits and two walks while striking out five to lead the Dogs to a 12-2 victory over the Greeners.
Naugatuck was led by Kyle Murphy who went 2-for-3 with a home run, triple, and two RBI’s.
Devin Murphy went 2-for-3 with an RBI double and Ryan Plourde added two hits including a three RBI double for the home team.
T.J. Wyrebek went 2-for-3 with a double for Bristol (5-3).
Winsted Whalers 7, Bristol Greeners 5 – Wednesday, June 15
Nate Marshall pitched a complete game, striking out 16, as the Whalers snuck past the Greeners 7-5.
He allowed four earned runs overall and all seven of Bristol’s hits were in the fourth inning when the Greeners tied the score at 5-5.
Austin Brochu was 2-for-4 with a two run homer, Ben Schumacher had three hits including a double and a triple, and Robert Weiss add two hits.
Former Plainville high school standout Brian Dostaler took the loss for the Bristol on the mound.
Reid Roberge pitched two innings and gave up no earned runs over his relief effort for the Greeners.