Special to the Press
BRISTOL - Looking for their fourth straight win, the Bristol Blues rallied for a three-run eighth inning at Muzzy Field on Wednesday night to beat the Nashua Silver Knights, 5-2.
Heading into the eighth inning tied 2-2, the Blues got things brewing against Knights reliever Justin Snyder, who walked three consecutive batters to load the bases after getting the first out. After Ryan Covelle came in, Garrett Blaylock hit a sacrifice fly to left field to give the Blues their first lead of the game.
Kyle Pileski followed through with an insurance run to score Mitch Williams and Cooper Mrowka scored after Pileski was caught in a rundown, but distracted the Knights defense long enough to give the Blues a 5-2 lead.
Anthony Morrone, who threw a scoreless inning of relief, earned the victory.
Things did not get off to the right start for Blues pitcher Tyler Kovalewich and the Bristol defense.
After getting two quick outs to start the first inning, an error by shortstop Jake Frasca allowed the inning to continue, which came back to haunt them. Ryan Sullivan hit an RBI double to give the Knights a 1-0 lead.
Thomas Joyce followed up with an RBI single to extend the lead to 2-0 and advanced to second an error by left fielder Pileski. However, Kovalewich got Kyle Bonicki to ground out to end the inning.
The Blues responded with two-out magic of their own. Frasca hit a single to get things going, Ben Maycock reached on a fielder’s choice and Williams served an RBI single to cut the lead in half, 2-1.
In the second inning, the Blues were trying once again to get some two-out mojo going, but ended on a base running blunder by Josh Zbierski, who was caught stealing third by Knights pitcher Shane Kittila.
In the fourth inning, Max Goione helped his pitcher out. With a runner on first and one out, Andrew Jaehnig hit a sharp grounder and Goione made a play his to his right and made a behind-the-back throw to get the lead runner.
On the next play, a more routine grounder was hit to Goione and he made the throw to first to get the final out.
Kovalewich settled down after the first, throwing five scoreless innings after the two-run first. Both those runs were unearned.
His final line was six innings, two runs, none earned, four hits, no walks and two strikeouts.
After being kept quiet following the first inning, Chris Davis tried to get things going again for the Blues in the fifth.
After hitting an infield single with two outs, Davis stole his team-leading 13th base of the year to get himself in scoring position for Frasca, but Frasca struck out to leave the tying run stranded.
The Blues were able to come through in the sixth inning. Maycock led off the inning with a single and an out later, he stole second and then scored on an RBI single by Mrowka to knot the game at two.
The Blues are now 12-5 in their last 17 games and climbed above the .500 mark for the first time this season.
Kimberly Pena can be reached at email@example.com On Twitter: @Kimberly_P12