BRISTOL - The Bristol Blues first season in the New England Collegiate Baseball League did not start the way anyone wanted.
The Blues began their 2021 summer campaign with a 4-18 record in their first 22 games and lost nine in a row after splitting their first two games of the season. They struggled to find any rhythm early in the season, in part because they could not put out a consistent lineup.
As of late, Bristol found some consistency and won six of their last nine games including a five-game winning streak. With 11 games to go in the regular season, the team will look to build some momentum ahead of the playoffs and escape last place in the NECBL Southern Division.
“In the beginning we had a pretty big team and guys were not getting consistent work,” pitching coach Jordie Scheiner said. “Now they know that whether it's today or tomorrow, they’re going to be in the lineup and they know they’re going to get consistent work and they know their job and they just feel a little bit more comfortable in the box.”
The Blues have at least one game left against each team in their division, giving them a solid chance to creep up the standings. They are two games back of the Ocean State Waves, which they will play three straight road games against at the end of July. Bristol and Ocean State split their first four meetings, so if Bristol is able to enter that series with some momentum the games could look noticeably different from their previous matchups.
The Blues are coming off of a 10-2 loss to the Danbury Westerners, giving them two losses in a row. Errors were a serious problem for Bristol in this game, as they have been for much of the season and that will need to be corrected soon for the team to continue improving. With a road double-header Thursday against the Valley Blue Sox, Bristol is reaching its final chances to make any sort of run.
“[Pitchers] need to throw strikes, they need to not walk as many guys and the defense needs to be there,” Scheiner said. “In the past nine games, mostly all of the games we won we probably had zero or one error and that error didn’t end up costing us a run. Starting pitching has been there for all of those games and the offense is getting a little more comfortable.”
Matt Hornick can be reached at (860) 973-1811 or firstname.lastname@example.org.