By MICHAEL LETENDRE
BRISTOL – It was only a matter of time before the Bristol American Legion baseball team would hang a loss on Torrington after two disappointing losses earlier in the campaign.
And on Wednesday, July 17, the squad from the Mum City finally got its victory over Torrington as Bristol blanked Post 38 in a 6-0 shutout from Muzzy Field in Bristol.
It was a significant victory for Post 2 as it moved to 13-10 in Zone 1 play and maintained a one-game push over fifth place Terryville (12-11).
Bristol won its third game in a row, moved to 18-14-1 overall, and behind a tremendous effort from the crafty Nate Carney, the home team was in control from start to finish.
With Carney throwing strikes, he – along with reliever Eli Minella – limited Torrington (8-15) to only three hits over the seven inning affair.
In fact, Carney gave up just two hits while Minella yielded one hit and cut down two in the relief effort.
The win propelled Carney to his third victory of the campaign.
Post 2 did all its scoring over the first frame and slammed Torrington for six big runs.
Torrington’s Shane Bierfeldt was blitzed from the start and was chased out of the game after just one frame of play.
Though he only gave up one hit, the damage was certainly done over that fateful first stanza.
But Bierfeldt gave up four base-on-balls and hit a batter in the process of what turned into a long inning of work.
Kyle Pileski had a ground-out RBI for Bristol while Vin Nocera cracked a RBI single over the first frame.
Nocera ended the contest with 2-for-3 performance at the plate that included an RBI, a run, and three stolen bases.
It was a big stanza for the home team and getting that 6-0 cushion all but crushed the visitors and never allowed the squad to get a foothold in the game.
And the early scoring was significant for Bristol as it only wrangled up four total hits in the game but hung on to win it off that early cushion.
Torrington’s Sam Shurberg did a good job in relief – not allowing any additional scoring – and kept Bristol from padding its lead any further.
Shurberg went five frames but the Torrington offense never offered any resistance as Bristol picked up an important victory to remain in fourth place in Zone 1 play.
Then on Friday, July 18, Bristol ended its Zone 1 campaign with a 7-0 stomping of Wolcott from Wolcott high school.
Again, pitching was the key and Jarrett Michaels was sharp from start to finish.
He threw a complete game, two hit shutout.
Michaels struck out four along the way and faced just one batter above the minimum.
Offensively for Bristol, the squad zipped up 10 hits as Jake Martel and Kyle Pileski combined for five of those tallies.
Martel was sharp as his 3-for-3 performance included two singles and a double while Pileski went 2-for-4 with two RBI and a run scored.
Post 2 constructed five runs in the third inning as the combination of Troy Micale, Andrew Martin, Jake Martel, Kyle Pileski, and Vinnie Nocera all nabbed hits over the frame to make the game a bit of a blowout.
With a 5-0 push in hand, Wolcott was unable to solve Michaels on the mound and in the top of the fifth, Bristol padded its edge.
The visitors scored twice more off the combo of a base-on-balls and three hits to quickly zip up a 7-0 push that eventually served as the conclusion for the contest.
Bristol finished 2014 Zone 1 play at 14-10 while carrying a 19-14-1 record overall with just one game left to play against Plainville on Saturday, July 19.
NOTES…Post 2 dropped Plainville 3-0 from Alumni Field to win its fourth straight game and win its 20th contest of the year on the door of the state tournament.
But one day later, Bristol’s season was over as Post 2 lost a sectional game to New London by a 7-0 final.
The loss ended Bristol’s year at 20-15-1.
By MICHAEL LETENDRE