BRISTOL - Nicholas Martin and Paul Coumoulos exploded at the plate, Angelo Baez dominated on the mound, and the Worcester Bravehearts cooled off the Bristol Blues with a 16-2 blowout win Saturday night at Muzzy Field.
Baez, a 5-foot-8 right-hander, took a no-hitter into the fifth, delivering seven innings of two-run, four-hit ball, while Martin (5-for-7 with four RBI and four runs) and Comoulous (5-for-6 with three RBI and two runs) paced an explosive Bravehearts offense that racked up 22 hits with just one player not recording a hit.
“Baseball’s a contagious sport. Offensively, they swung well, and they had a little bounce in their step,” Blues manager Ronnie Palmer said. “[Baez] had a good pace going, and we didn’t slow his pace down. ... He was just spotting his pitches up, and we couldn’t figure him out. I don’t think we did anything differently. I just think he was really good tonight.”
Martin, who finished a triple short of the cycle, led off the game by smoking the second pitch off starter James Judenis for a line-drive double off the left field wall, and he never slowed down, mashing a three-run home run and three singles.
Coumoulos brought Martin home on a single for a 1-0 first-inning lead that Martin tacked onto with an RBI single of his own in the second.
Judenis finished with three earned runs allowed on eight hits in three innings and was replaced by Blues newcomer Tyler Boisvert, a right-handed reliever who surrendered four runs in the fourth in his first appearance with the club.
Coumoulos’ RBI double and Ben Rice’s RBI single highlighted Worcester’s fourth inning, and it scratched across two more runs in the frame on a fielder’s choice and a wild pitch.
After Worcester plated two more in the fifth off Dylan Reynolds, a left-handed first baseman making his second relief appearance this summer, Jack Gardner (3-for-5, three RBI) ripped a two-run double for an 11-0 lead, and Martin’s homer gave the Bravehearts (16-15) a bigger cushion, 14-0, in the sixth off righty reliever Andrew Marrero, also making his first appearance for the Blues (16-13) this season.
Bristol plated its lone runs on a Brandon Miller sacrifice fly and an RBI single from Buddy Dewaine.
“Everything they hit it seemed like it fell in, and any time we had an opportunity to minimize it, we didn’t,” Palmer said. “We couldn’t turn double plays on routine balls, and balls would sneak through. Or we had bad routes to balls in the outfield.”
The Blues will get back to the diamond Saturday night at Muzzy, though if the rain in the forecast postpones the game, it might be a welcome break for the club.
“No excuses, but this is game eight of a 12-game stretch,” Palmer said. “The boys are a little bit tired, but that’s no excuse. Everyone’s always tired at this point in the season. I think there’s always been a night in my three years here where you somewhat lay an egg, and that night was tonight.”
Zack Carpenter can be reached at (860) 973-1811 or firstname.lastname@example.org