BRISTOL – About time.
The Bristol Blues snapped its nine-game losing streak with a 6-5 win over the Mystic Schooners on Friday at Muzzy Field.
Down 5-0 after three innings, the Blues fought their way back to tie the score and eventually go ahead during the seventh inning, highlighted by a two-run blast from Brennen Dorighi, as Bristol plated four runs in the frame to turn the tide of the matchup
“I thought we competed much better tonight,” Blues manager Ronnie Palmer said. “We came out and controlled the aspects, the attitude, effort and energy was there and we gave ourselves an opportunity at the end of the game to win the ballgame. With that, it’s just kind of good to get out of a nine-game skid, no matter how you do it.”
Dorighi’s homer made it a 5-4 game, then Tyler Keith, the next Bristol batter, earned a single on what appeared to be a routine fly ball that the Schooners center fielder misread.
The Mystic manager then spoke to the home plate umpire after the play, who announced to the press box that the remainder of the game was being played under protest. Following Dorighi’s homerun, the lights at Muzzy flickered to celebrate the four-bagger, but it appeared that the brightness was not the same during Keith’s hit, causing the center fielder to not see the fly ball.
“Obviously they have the lights here which are pretty awesome, the light show and I guess they didn’t think the lights were bright enough after the play,” Palmer said. “I don’t know what will come about with that. We’ll have to wait and see.”
With visibility back to normal, the Blues knotted the score on a throwing error from Schooners third baseman Charlie Pagliarini, then went up 6-5, on an RBI single from Christian Fedko to round out Bristol’s boisterous inning.
“I think we needed a hit like that just to get some energy going,” Palmer said regarding Borighi’s homer. “We’ve been playing, we’ve been competing, we’ve had some stale games and such, but last night we were really starting to feel it down in Danbury. Tonight, we got behind the eight ball a little bit early, we made some mistakes, but then that just kind of ignited everybody.”
Blues relievers Jaren Zinn and Zachary DeVito shut the door on the mound in the final two innings, with DeVito ringing up two Mystic batters in the ninth to grab the save.
All four Bristol relievers threw well as Hector Alejandro come on during the fourth inning and struck out five in three innings, before Justin Humenay pitched a spotless seventh to receive the win. The quartet combined for 11 strikeouts, no runs and just three walks.
“[They] came in and did exactly what we would hope they would do,” Palmer said. “They all pitched well. The big thing is we tell our guys to work ahead in the count. Eat up the strike zone and pitch to weak contact. They got a couple strikeouts in a row so well done to our relievers tonight.”
Starter Chas Cywin allowed all five runs on four hits, four walks and three strikeouts for the Blues.
The opposite was the case for the Schooners, as their starter, Tyler Schoof, looked locked-in during his four innings of work. Schoff secured eight strikeouts and gave up one run on two hits with no walks to his name.
Mystic’s last pitcher, Rasesh Pandya, took the loss for the visitors while Brennan O’Neill surrendered three runs, including the two-run jack.
Fedko and Keith each finished with two hits and a double a piece while Dorighi and Lucas Stalman each concluded with a pair of RBIs for Bristol.
Chad Knight brought in the first Blues run during the fourth on an RBI single. Both teams finished with six hits and one error.
“Slow starts to the summer aren’t uncommon,” Palmer said. “We still got a couple guys that are coming in and such, and just getting used to the wood bat again. Hopefully we’ll continue to play good baseball.
“All we ask is control the aspects, attitude, effort, energy, show up, trust the process, and the outcome will be what it’ll be,” Palmer said. “Today we came out on the right side of the stick, hopefully that happens more often.”
Bristol (2-10) will try and keep the wins coming when it hosts the first-place Martha’s Vineyard Sharks (7-2) on Saturday at Muzzy Field at 6:30 p.m.
Ryan Ames can be reached at 860-801-5094 or on Twitter @_RyanAmes.