By MICHAEL LETENDRE
PLAINVILLE – The Bristol American Legion senior baseball team greeted Zone 1 newcomer Plainville rather forcefully on Tuesday, June 19.
Wrapping up a season-high 15 hits, Bristol pounded Plainville for over a dozen runs as Post 2 defeated Post 33 by a 13-1 final from the grounds of Plainville high school.
Bristol’s Cory Fradette was a beast from the plate, going 3-for-4 with two doubles, a triple, a sacrifice fly, three runs scored, and a couple RBI to complete a busy day.
Ryan Greene also cashed in on three hits and nabbed an RBI while Mac Goulet had two hits – including a double – to go along with an RBI.
Noah Plantamuro added two hits and two RBI while winning pitcher Steve Warkoski and Kenny Knox also had hits in the game.
The hit parade continued as Jake Violette, Zach Marquis, and Mike Lemke all added hits over the winning endeavor.
And through six innings of work, Bristol’s defense was nearly flawless to keep Plainville – who had four total hits in the game – off both the base paths and the scoreboard.
But Plainville (1-5) was pesky from the start and it took Bristol’s line-up one time around in the order to finally crack Plainville pitcher, and 2018 class valedictorian, Nate Michalek.
“Plainville was a little shorthanded [and] you can’t take it lightly,” said Bristol coach Jerry LaPenta. “It was 0-0 there for a couple innings and then all of a sudden, if Plainville gets the lead, then everybody gets tight so when you come in like this, you have to win the games you’re supposed to win.”
And Post 33 got right into the swing of things as Plainville’s Brady Callahan reached base via a little nubber that catcher Dave Bernier made one heck of a dive for – making everything but the catch.
Trying to steal a base on a pitch-out, Bernier easily threw out Callahan at second but the next two batters managed to get onboard.
Jaylen Dias (from Bristol Central) smashed a double to left while Michalek was hit-by-a-pitch to keep the rally going.
Two ground-ball outs ended up sending Post 33 packing and – despite three runners reaching base for Plainville – there wasn’t any score after one completed frame.
Greene greeted Michalek with a double down the line in left in the second and quickly, Post 2 had a runner in scoring position.
He advanced to third on a fly-out by Violette but did not advance further as Michalek and Plainville kept it a 0-0 stalemate.
With one gone in the second, Post 33’s Tyler Davis just snuck a single past Goulet at third base but Juan Camacho looked at strike three and Ryan Millette also struck out to end the threat.
Michalek racked up two strikeouts to open the third tilt but Fradette looped a double just out of reach of the fielder in right to end up on second base and begin a two-out rally.
And then Plantamuro roped a hit – just an eyelash away from Michalek’s glove – which bounced off the second base bag and made a funny hop forward that easily scored Fradette to make it a 1-0 game.
Goulet followed up with a hit up the middle to put two out with two outs.
And then Greene zipped an RBI single passed the third baseman as the run made it a 2-0 game with runners on the corners.
The infamous Bristol pickle play was then applied as Greene broke for second and on the play, Goulet headed home.
But the tag to Greene never came to pass as he got to second base with ease and when Goulet tagged the plate, Post 33 was quickly trailing 3-0.
“It’s going to come down to who hiccups (first),” said LaPenta. “But in baseball, you get a hot pitcher [and] that lefty was throwing pretty well in the start. These games, you’ve got to come in and [close the door].”
The Bristol defense helped Warkoski go 1-2-3 in the bottom of the third as the visitors kept its 3-0 push intact.
In the bottom of the fourth, Fradette made one heck of a play to get Alec Couture from shortstop for the second out.
Warkoski retired eight of nine batters since allowing that hit to Davis in the second inning as Bristol entered the fifth frame with that 3-0 lead.
Lemke opened the fifth with a fly-ball to right no one could find in the sun as the leadoff batter was on for Post 2.
And then Fradette unleashed a triple to the gap in left-center to score Lemke to make it 4-0 and when Plantamuro dropped an RBI single into short center, the Bristol cushion reached five.
Greene then raced out an infield hit to third as runners were on first and third and the offensive onslaught continued.
A passed ball allowed Greene to get into scoring position and Marquis walked to load the bases with just on gone.
Plantamuro scored on a passed ball as the Plainville deficit reached 6-0.
In the bottom of the fifth, Warkoski allowed a leadoff walk but then struck out three straight batters to keep it a 6-0 game.
DiLoreto opened the sixth with single to center and advanced to second on a Lemke groundout.
Fradette then zipped out a double to left-center field as DiLoreto scored to give Bristol a 7-0 lead.
And then Plantumuro’s grounder to shortstop was bobbled, Fradette scored, and halfway through the sixth, Post 2 was leading by a comfortable 8-0 push.
Warkoski allowed two walks in the sixth but the Bristol defense did its job – not allowing a run to cross the plate – as the visitors kept that 8-0 lead intact.
Warkoski got to bat in the seventh and cracked a single to center to get on base while Violette also nabbed a base hit to put two on with no one out.
Knox then added a base hit past first base and when Bernier grounded out to second, Warkoski scored as Post 2 led 9-0 with LaPenta getting excellent production from his bench.
“It was nice that I got everybody in,” said LaPenta. “Everybody got a hit pretty much.”
Lemke then walked as Fradette looked for his fourth hit of the game.
But he ended up flying out to right, scoring Violette, as Plainville trailed 10-0.
And the runs kept coming.
Plantamuro reached via error as runs scored and to end the inning, Goulet slammed a double to left as the RBI tally propelled Bristol to a 13-0 cushion.
Plainville scored a run late in the seventh but in the end, the Bristol offense was too much to overcome and Post 33 fell 13-1.
“It was a good team win, a good chemistry win,” said LaPenta.