Bristol can’t halt Legion contender


By MICHAEL LETENDRE STAFF WRITER AVON – In years gone by, the Avon American Legion baseball team had been a solid squad but hardly a championship contender in Zone 1 play. But over the last few seasons, that reputation has been thrown out the window. The squad is now the class of the Zone 1 contingent and on Thursday, July 3, Bristol had a chance to knock off the team. And with Bristol’s Nate Carney on the mound, Post 2 certainly had more than a chance to do exactly that. But the tricky squad from Avon – both ultra aggressive at the plate and on the bases – nabbed three quick runs in the bottom of the first inning and eventually cruised to a 5-1 win from Avon Old Farms. The win propelled Avon to 13-2-1 in the zone while Bristol fell to 7-6 and 12-9-1 overall for the season. Avon’s Mike Castellani earned the victory for the home squad while Carney absorbed another tough luck loss. But Post 2 didn’t just fade away into the night, scoring a badly needed run in the top of the third frame, and making in a manageable 3-1 deficit with plenty of time to mount a comeback bid. However, Avon snuffed out any Bristol momentum with two runs in the bottom of the third and by the completion of the tilt, Post 2 trailed 5-1 and never got back into contention again. Bristol nabbed five hits in the fray while Avon struck for eight in the winning effort. Post 2 did make strides in the game as in the last contest against Avon, Bristol made numerous gaffes and errors. This time around, it played a solid, crisp game that led to no official miscues. But then on Sunday, July 6, Bristol picked up two huge wins to move to 9-6 in Zone 1 play. In a doubleheader at Winsted, Post 2 rocked the squad for victories of 10-0 and 3-1 from Walker Field. The back-to-back wins also gave Bristol a season series sweep against Winsted (3-0). In game one, Post 2 struck for one run in the first and blasted the home team for eight more in the second. Late in the contest, Bristol added run over the final frame to collect its 10-0 victory. Eli Minella pitched five strong innings to zip up another win while Josh Carney threw a couple frames in relief. In all, the Bristol pitchers yielded a combined two hits to lead the squad to the win. Post 2 smashed out 11 hits in the contest. The second contest was much closer. But even at 3-1, Bristol made all the right moves to pick up its second Zone 1 victory in a row. And it helped that Winsted made nearly half-a-dozen errors in the game. The combination of Jarrett Michaels and Andrew Martin combined to throw a one run/six hitter to lead Post 2 to the win. With the victory, Michaels moved to 4-2 on the year as he got just enough support from his offense to hold off the home team. Bristol scored one run in both the first and second innings but Winsted added one of its own during its portion of the second as Post 2 led 2-1. Post 2 added one additional run in the third to make it a 3-1 push for Bristol, which was good enough to hold off pesky Winsted. Bristol notched six hits in the game and tallied a total of 17 overall on the afternoon. Overall, Post 2 s now 14-9-1 overall, in third place in the Zone 1 race, at the close of Sunday, July 6.