By MICHAEL LETENDRE
SOUTHINGTON – There was a “Big Mac” attack on Thursday, April 26 when the Bristol Eastern baseball team traveled to Southington for a Central Connecticut Conference showdown.
And no, that wasn’t a trip to McDonalds on Queen Street for the Lancers.
It meant Eastern senior Mac Goulet went yard at Fontana Field as his grand slam helped the Lancers to a seven run fourth inning and in the end, Eastern nabbed a big 9-1 victory over the Knights to move to 7-3 on the campaign.
The loss dropped Southington to 5-6 as Eastern found itself one win away from playoff qualification off the winning endeavor.
Overall, Goulet had two hits for five RBI while the Lancers collected 12 hits overall as a team.
Jon Pierce led the hit attack with three hits – all of the single variety – while Cory Fradette and Carson Sassu each collected two apiece.
In that fateful fourth tilt, Eastern sent 13 batters to the plate and scored seven runs, highlighted by the four RBI homer from Goulet.
The Knights, who had led 1-0 going into the fourth, quickly trailed by six by the end of the stanza and the home team had its work cutout for it.
Simply put, that deficit was too great to overcome in the end.
Eastern lefty Josh Nohilly (1-1) pitched an effective six plus innings, allowing seven hits, one earned run, walking two, and striking out two to pick up the win.
Nohilly was finally relieved when Southington’s Dan Topper led off the bottom of the seventh with a single and Fradette came in to mop up.
Fradette walked the first batter he faced but retired the final three to help Eastern secure the victory.
After a couple scoreless innings, the Knights put a run on the board but the squad was outscored 9-0 the rest of the way.
Southington picked up that run in the bottom of the third to go up 1-0 when Southington’s Dylan Chiaro singled to open the tilt.
He later stole second, went to third on a groundout, and scored on a sacrifice fly by Jeremy Mercier as the Knights surged in front.
But from there, it was all Eastern.
In the top of the fourth for the Lancers, Noah Hickey opened with a double and Pierce singled to left to put runners on the corners.
Sassu then singled to score Hickey and quickly, the affair was tied at 1-1.
With runners on first and second, Dave Bernier’s sacrifice bunt was thrown away – allowing Pierce to score the go-ahead run as Eastern led 2-1.
A fielder’s choice scored Sassu to make it a 3-1 contest but the Lancers were hardly finished.
Fradette quickly singled and then D’Amato followed with a walk -earning his base-on-balls after an amazing 13 pitch at-bat.
Nohilly also walked to load the bases and then, there was a little takeout by Goulet.
The senior slammed a 1-0 pitch over the left field fence for his grand slam and a 7-1 cushion for the Lancers’ quickly ensued.
Hickey was later hit by a pitch and singles from Pierce and Sassu reloaded the bases.
But a strikeout finally ended the wild stanza with Eastern in complete control at 7-1.
Later, the Lancers added its final two runs in the seventh – one run scoring on a wild pitch and the other on a single by Goulet – as Eastern’s 9-1 push was the final score of the game.
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