BRISTOL - In the bottom of the third inning, Bristol Blues left fielder Frankie Gregoire launched the first grand slam in team history over the center field wall at Muzzy Field, driving in what would be the winning run as the Blues took down the Pittsfield Suns 7-4 on Sunday evening.
“It felt pretty good,” Gregoire said after the game. “I’ve been struggling a little bit but I’ve just been thinking about relaxing and not winging too hard and it’s been paying off lately.”
Gregoire came up with the bases loaded in the third after Austin Chauvin and Liam Scafariello each drew a walk to start the inning and Zach Scott got on with a single. In the second inning, Gregoire put one off the fence in dead-center field, which resulted in a double. This time, he squared it up and sent it out of the deepest part of the field.
“Frankie Gregoire had a huge night,” Blues manager Pat Riley said. “A couple other guys had multiple hits. It was good seeing guys get on base and getting some extra-base hits. That’s kind of what we’ve been lacking.”
That second-inning double also earned Gregoire an RBI, one of his five on the night out of Bristol’s seven. The double scored Scott, who had lead-off the inning with a single. Two batters later, Gregoire was driven in by a Logan Greene single, giving him a hand in six of the Blues’ seven runs. Nick Conti joined Gregoire and Greene as the only Blues with RBI when he drove in Greene on the next at-bat.
Making his Muzzy debut on Sunday, Izzy Fuentes gave the Blues a chance to win, which was made easier by Gregoire’s historic day at the plate. Through the first five innings, Fuentes gave up four hits and only one run, scored on a Justin Morhardt single in the fourth.
“Honestly, I just did my normal routine and, luckily, it was one of those good days,” Fuentes said. “The heat helped me out. I love the heat. It just helped me out and my body felt really good.”
But the Suns got to him in the top of the sixth. Pittsfield recorded four hits in the first 2/3 of the inning, scoring two runs, before the Blues brought in Jacob Wallace in relief.
Wallace plunked the first two batters he faced, driving in a run that was charged to Fuentes, but struck out the third batter and got out of the inning.
The combination of Wallace and Adam Goss, who came in for the save in the ninth inning, shut out the Suns, maintaining the lead that Fuentes and Gregoire built.
In all, the Blues racked up 14 hits in eight innings. The Bristol offense has been stagnant in recent games but this win showed signs that the tides might be turning for the Blues.
“That might be the most [hits] all season,” Riley said. “It was good to see the bats come out ready to go. Seven runs and 14 hits. I like our chances with that.”
Josh Kestenbaum can be reached at (860) 973-11811 or firstname.lastname@example.org