By MICHAEL LETENDRE
BRISTOL – When all the elements of hitting, defense, and pitching finally reach the same level for the Bristol Eastern baseball team, the program is going to start winning games again.
But on Wednesday, April 24, Southington’s Jake Neuman pitched the Knights to a 5-3 win over the Lancers in a game played from Clem J. Roy field on the campus of Bristol Eastern.
Southington improved its season record to 8-1 overall while Eastern fell to 5-4.
Neuman, a slick lefty, pitched a complete game, allowing just two singles, three unearned runs, and one walk while striking out eleven.
Offensively, Neuman collected two singles and an RBI while Jack Meade nabbed a base hit and a run scoring triple along with two runs scored.
It was a bit of a wild ride as Southington led 1-0 early, then fell behind 3-1 while the Knights scored the final four runs to clinch the showdown.
Southington scored in the top of the first off Eastern pitcher Ethan Ryan as Meade led off with a single to left center.
Following a walk, Neuman singled sharply to right to score Meade as the Knights led 1-0.
And over the first three innings for the Lancers, the team was shutout on the scoreboard.
Neuman allowed only one baserunner during those first three frame with that man getting on base via an infield error.
Eastern then scored three unearned runs in the bottom of the fourth tilt, all without the aid of a base hit, all the Lancers to seize a 3-1 lead.
A leadoff walk to Jack Kozikowski, followed by three consecutive infield errors on the next three Eastern batters, along with a sacrifice fly by Noah Hickey, led to the three runs as the Lancers grabbed a two-run edge.
Ryan settled in nicely after the first tilt as he allowed just one single over the next three innings of play as Eastern entered the fifth inning with that 3-1 lead in hand.
But in the top of the fifth, Southington erupted for three runs to seize the edge for good.
Jake DelMonte hit a one out double to left and Meade followed with a long triple to right center, scoring DelMonte, the chop the deficit to 3-2.
Following a walk to Bill Carr, Andrew Paradis doubled to left-center to score two more runs as the go-ahead hit led Southington to a 4-3 lead.
The Knights added an insurance run in the sixth to seize a two-run cushion.
A leadoff single by Kevin McIntyre, followed by two Eastern errors, allowed the Knights to score the fifth and final run of the contest.
Ryan (1-2) pitched a complete game over the losing effort, allowing seven hits, two walks, seven strikeouts while just putting up one bad inning in another tough luck loss.
After the fourth frame, Neuman allowed singles by Devan Jacques and Jack Kozikowski in the fifth, Eastern’s only hits of the game, and then proceeded to strike out six of the final nine batters to close things out.
To comment on this story or to contact staff writer Michael Letendre, email him at MLetendre@BristolObserver.com.