By MICHAEL LETENDRE
NEW BRITAIN – The Bristol Eastern baseball team started its 2017-18 season with three straight wins, the last victory a 4-1 triumph over New Britain from Beehive Stadium.
The Lancers improved their record to 3-0 while the Hurricanes fell to 1-2.
Eastern pitcher Jagger Duquette threw a complete game gem, allowing just three singles and one earned run as he picked up his second win of the campaign hit.
He walked only two and struck out ten, including five of the last six batters he faced, in his best stint in an Eastern uniform.
It was the Lancers’ 35th all-time win over the Hurricanes.
Duquette gave up a run scoring infield single to Josh Garcia in the third, and two singles to Ruffino Santiago – one hit in the fifth and the other in the seventh – but that was the only damage allowed on the day.
Otherwise, it was all Duquette and the Eastern defense.
Eastern generated nine hits in the game ,highlighted by three singles from Cory Fradette, a double and single by Mac Goulet, and two doubles from Josh Nohilly as the Lancers’ core offense produced in a big way.
The visitors scored two runs in the top of the first to end any suspense in the showdown.
On Kevin Rodriquez’s first pitch of the game, Fradette laced a single to right-centerfield, stole second, and scored on Goulet’s double down the left field line to stake Eastern to a 1-0 lead.
James Dauphinee’s grounder to short forced Goulet at third but Jon Pierce followed up by smoking a double down the left field line, putting runners on second and third.
From there, an infield error scored Dauphinee from third for the second Eastern run of the contest.
The Hurricanes put up a run in the bottom of the third to chop the deficit to 2-1.
Will Homar walked, stole second and third, and then scored on Josh Garcia’s slow infield roller to shortstop, which he beat out for a base hit, chopping the Hurricanes’ deficit to one.
However, the fifth frame proved fruitful for the Lancers and it was a chance for Goulet to do a little damage at the plate.
In his at-bat in the fifth, Goulet lined a solo home run to increase the Eastern edge to 3-1.
Dauphinee followed up with a single to left and pinch runner Ian Latko scored the final run of the game.
Nohilly sliced a double down the right field line off reliever Danniel Rivera for an RBI as Eastern’s cushion reached 4-1.
Duquette then shut the door on the New Britain offense for good, earning his second win, and keeping Eastern’s perfect ledger intact.
BRISTOL EASTERN 4, NEW BRITAIN 1
from Beehive Stadium, New Britain
Bristol Eastern (3-0) 200 020 0 – 4 9 1
New Britain (1-2) 001 000 0 – 1 3 2
Battery – Bristol Eastern – Jagger Duquette & Dave Bernier;
New Britain – Kevin Rodriquez (L), Danniel Rodriquez (5) & Mike Gajda.
WP – Jagger Duquette (2-0)
LP – Kevin Rodriquez
2B – Mac Goulet, Josh Nohilly (2), Pierce
3B – None
HR – Mac Goulet
2B – None
3B – None
HR – None
Records: Bristol Eastern 3-0 overall; New Britain 1-2