Standouts on diamond for Central, Eastern



Both the Bristol Central and Bristol Eastern baseball squads ended the season with 11 victories apiece this past spring.

The Lancers have been playoff performers since 1999 but Eastern (ranked 19th in the Class L fray) was stopped in first round play by No. 14 New Canaan 7-2 on May 30.

Eastern concluded the year at 11-10.

No. 25 Central advanced to the second round in Class L – squaring off against No. 9 Guilford – and dropped a tough 7-1 decision to the squad, ending play at 11-11.

Guilford was a casualty of soon to be Class L champion, No. 32 Foran (10-8) in the quarter final round but Central defeated No. 8 Platt Tech 16-1 to earn a tournament victory in first round play.

The Lancers had several performers step up throughout the campaign as did the Rams.

A couple players from both Central and Eastern recently made the CCC South All-Conference team while a few athletes played in postseason all-star games.

Here’s a special look at those players honored:


All Conference – Bristol Central

Player: Jeremy Ganavage

Year: Senior

Position: Catcher

The stats: Batted .368 on the season, scored 12 runs, and blasted out 11 RBI.

Coach Bunty Ray’s take: “[A] steady defensive player that became the steadiest performer on offensive.

Big Games: Collected a double and went 2-of-3 in six-run win over Simsbury back on May 4…Demolished Platt Tech in Class L first round with two doubles, going 3-of-5 overall…Had a big single in Central’s 9-8 come-from-behind victory over Berlin to open the season.

Other Honors: Played in the Senior All-Star Game


Player: Noah Plantamuro

Year: Junior

Position: Shortstop

The stats: Scored 11 runs this year while driving in 18 RBI

Coach Bunty Ray’s take: “[He had an] outstanding fielding percentage and also is a two time all league player.”

Big Games: The defensive guru blasted out a double in the one-run win over Berlin…Collected three RBI in the 14-run thrashing of Middletown…The first time around against Farmington, was 2-of-3 with an RBI…Had an RBI single in the tough 3-2 extra inning loss at South Windsor.

Other Honors: Played in the Junior All-Star Game


All Conference – Bristol Eastern:

Player: Gary Gagnier

Year: Senior

Position: Catcher

The stats: 65 at-bats, team high 22 hits, seven doubles, eight RBI, .338 batting average, .427 on-base percentage

Opposing Coach Bunty Ray’s take: “[He’s an] excellent defensive catcher that emerged as a team leader.”

Big Games: Smashed a single and a double in the 9-2 win over Maloney…Netted three of the Lancers five total hits in BE’s 7-3 home victory over Plainville…Added two hits versus Glastonbury…Dropped in a double during the season-ending loss at New Canaan.

Other Honors: Played in the Senior All-Star Game.


Player: Zach Marquis

Year: Senior

Position: Pitcher/outfielder

The stats: Pitching – 5-2 overall, 1.49 ERA, tallied, 45 strikeouts in 47 innings pitched, yielded only 10 earned runs all season; Batting – .254 over 59 at-bats, 15 hits, six RBI, nine walks

Opposing Coach Bunty Ray’s take: “[He had the] only perfect game in school history and put his team on his shoulders in every big game.”

Big Games: How about the perfect game? Striking out five, walking none, 80-percent strikes thrown, and not one ball was hit to the outfield on Monday, May 15 against Rocky Hill…Tripled in victory over Norwich Free Academy (4-2) while drilling out the game-winning hit – a two-run homer – in the 3-2 win at East Catholic.

Other Honors: Played in the Senior All-Star Game.


Notable Performers – Bristol Central

Player: Ken Knox

Year: Senior

Position: Pitcher/Outfielder

The stats: 5-4 overall, 49 strikeouts

Coach Bunty Ray’s take: “[On the] receiving end of some tough losses but emerged as a number one starter and kept Central in many games.”

Big Games: Scored 4-2 win over Farmington (three hits, seven K’s)…Shutout Plainville at Muzzy Field in a 4-0, three-hit win…Threw six innings and did not allow an earned run during Central’s 16-1 smashing over Platt Tech during the state tournament.

Other Honors: Played in the Senior All-Star Game.


Player: Alex Balfour

Year: Junior

Position: Pitcher

The stats: 4-4 overall, 1.59 ERA, earned wins over four teams with 10 or more wins.

Coach Bunty Ray’s take: “[He was a] very steady on the mound and was a key contributor.”

Big Games: Picked up 5-1 victory over Maloney back on April 18…Earned a 7-1 win versus Simsbury (5.1 IP)…In a complete game gem, Balfour topped Newington 6-2 on May 9 – giving up just one earned run…Went five innings (two hits, 5 K’s) in 2-1 win against Platt on May 19.

Notable Performers – Bristol Eastern

Player: Mike Massarelli

Year: Senior

Position: First Base

The stats: Batted .339 overall in 56 at-bats, .439 on-base percentage, three doubles, five RBI, six walks, was hit-by-pitch a team-leading four times.

Big Games: Nabbed two hits in the win over Glastonbury…Had his biggest hit of the season against Bristol Central, tallying a two-run double off Kenny Knox – leading to the 2-0 win over the Rams.


Player: Jake Violette

Year: Senior

Position: Pitcher/ Centerfield

The stats: Pitching – 5-3 overall, 3.00 ERA, 44.1 innings pitched, 37 strikeouts, 19 earned runs; Batting – .299 average, 20 hits, eight RBI, two doubles, seven base-on-balls.

Opposing Coach Bunty Ray’s take: “[He was] steady on the mound and was also a good all around player for the Lancers.”

Big Games: Pitched Eastern past East Catholic in that 3-2 win (seven hits, four strikeouts)…Defeated Maloney for Eastern’s first win of the season (four hits, two runs, 5 K’s)…Fanned eight in the Lancers’ 10-2 demolition of Glastonbury.