By MICHAEL LETENDRE
The Bristol Greeners of the Tristate League have continued to improve, continued to impress, and have taken on – and beaten – just about every squad thrown in front of it this year.
Bristol has shown remarkable balance on both sides of the ball and that balance has paid off with a 7-4 ledger and a top-seven showing to date in league play.
The Tristate League certainly have a few heavy-hitters at the top of the food chain including the Tri-Town Trojans (10-1) and the Terryville Block Sox (8-2) who were tied with Bristol to open play this past week.
And Bristol will see both those top-tier teams before the close of the regular season.
On Tuesday, July 17, the Greeners travel to Community Field for a 5:45 p.m. game against Tri-Town while a huge encounter ends the regular season for the locals.
On Saturday, July 21, Bristol tangles with Terryville from the old Terryville high school at high noon and that game could determine who gets a first round bye in the Tri-State League playoffs.
Talk about loading up the schedule to finish off the season.
But the squad will take it one game at a time and certainly knows what at stake.
That’s the kind of focus and clarity a two-win campaign from 2017 gives this current squad.
There’s a reason why the Greeners continue to win and it starts with a strong team chemistry and some pretty good baseball to boot.
Here’s a quick recap of the Greeners’ season to date:
Sunday May 20
Bristol Greeners 6, Valley Thunder 3
The Bristol Greeners defeated Valley Thunder by three runs in ten innings. The Greeners were led by Jaeden Rasmus who had four hits while Kyle Torok added two of his own. Jerry LaPenta pitched six strong innings for the Greeners, allowing just two hits and no runs along with seven strikeouts. Rasmus pitched the seventh and eighth innings in relief.
Thursday, May 24 – Doubleheader
Blasius Chevrolet 13, Bristol Greeners 4
Bristol was led by Ben Mazzone who went 2-of-5 from the dish in the Greeners most lopsided loss of the campaign.
Bristol Greeners 2, Burlington Hunters 1
The Greeners defeated the Burlington Hunters by a run in seven innings. LaPenta pitched a complete game with eight strikeouts – allowing only two hits and an unearned run in the fourth frame due to an error.
Sunday, June 3
Winsted Whalers 5, Bristol Greeners 0
In the only other early season loss by the locals, Bristol was led by A.J. Lorenzetti who smashed Winsted for three hits as the squad was shutout for the first time this season.
Wednesday, June 6
Bristol Greeners 3, Wolcott Scrappers 1
Bristol defeated the Wolcott Scrappers 3-1 behind the overall outstanding play of Brad Burney. Burney pitched a complete game, giving up an unearned run on three hits with seven strikeouts. He also broke a scoreless tie in the fourth inning with a two-out, two-run single to left field and later made a diving catch on a bunt attempt by Wolcott to start a double play in the fifth.
Sunday, June 10
Bristol Greeners 5, Naugatuck Dogs 3
The Greeners defeated the Naugatuck Dogs 5-3 from Bristol Central High School. LaPenta threw -a complete game in an amazing 153-pitch effort, giving up two earned runs and striking out eight. At the plate, LaPenta, Lorenzetti, Mazzone, Rasmus, and Zach Bartolome all tallied hits for Bristol.
Wednesday June 13
Bristol Greeners 6, Tribury Twisters 4
Bristol defeated the Tribury Twisters 6-4 in seven innings. Burney pitched six complete innings, allowing four runs over a wild sixth stanza. Burney tallied nine strikeouts while allowing six hits. Offensively, the Greeners were led by LaPenta with two singles, a triple and an RBI. Jacob Dubrosky added two hits and an RBI while Rasmus nabbed two hits and two RBI.
Saturday June 16
Bristol Greeners 12, Bethlehem Plowboys 10
The Greeners defeated the Bethlehem Plowboys 12-10 in a wild up-and-down affair. Bristol was led by Lorenzetti’s outstanding day at the plate (six hits and seven RBI). Zach Bartolome smoked out four hits, Mazzone posted three while LaPenta backed the offense with eight strong innings on the mound.
Sunday June 24
Bristol Greeners 2, Amenia Monarchs 1
Bristol turned away the Amenia Monarchs by a run behind the strong pitching of Mazzone and LaPenta. Mazzone went seven-plus innings, giving up an unearned run on just two hits. In the top of the eighth, Amenia had men on first and second with no one out but LaPenta came in and, with the help of a pick-off play, managed to get three outs on just two pitches. At the plate, Lorenzetti had two hits and Rasmus added an RBI double.
Wednesday, June 27
East Mountain Cougars 4, Bristol Greeners 0 (Completion of suspended game)
East Mountain Cougars 7, Bristol Greeners 6
Luke Shaffer pitched a complete game one hitter while collecting a double and triple as the East Mountain Cougars defeated the Bristol Greeners 4-0. Jerry LaPenta pitched six strong innings for Bristol in the losing effort.
And in the completion of an earlier suspended game, Shaffer homered and had three hits while teammate Rob Taylor scored the winning run as the Cougars beat the Greeners 7-6. AJ Lorenzetti zipped up three hits and scored three runs for the Greeners (7-4).