BRISTOL - Under the lights of Muzzy Field, Bristol Eastern baseball’s Zach Marquis pitched a complete game to lead the Lancers to a 3-0 win over rival Bristol Central on Monday night in the first meeting between the two this season.
Marquis surrendered just two hits to the Rams over seven innings, while striking out five batters and not walking any. He put together six 1-2-3 innings, including the sixth when Bristol Central got a hit but the Lancers executed a double play behind Marquis with help from an interference call from the umpires.
On the other side, the Rams used a committee on the mound. Ken Knox started for Bristol Central but only lasted an inning-plus, giving up two runs, striking out two batters, walking one and hitting two. Alec DiLoreto took over one batter into the second inning and lasted another inning and a third.
Kevin White was the third and final pitcher to enter the game for the Rams and he stabilized the team. Over three and two-thirds innings, White struck out six and held the Lancers to one hit and no runs.
Bristol Eastern jumped out to a lead early, plating a pair of runs in the bottom of the first inning to give Marquis the lead. Cory Fradette and Gary Gagnier picked up back-to-back singles to lead off the Lancers first and two batters later, Marquis was hit by a Knox pitch to load the bases with one out. MacGregor Goulet hit a ball hard up the middle where Bristol Central shortstop Noah Plantamuro ranged over and got the force out at second but did not throw on target to first.
Fradette scored on the contact and, as the ball hit the fence by the Bristol Central dugout, Gagnier was able to round third and score to give the Lancers a 2-0 lead. But after hitting Mike Massarelli with a pitch, Knox struck Anthony Lozier out looking to end the inning and stop the bleeding.
While only one of the two runs in the first was earned for Knox, the one run Bristol Eastern scored in the second was also charged to him. Knox walked Josh Nohilly to start the bottom of the second and was promptly lifted for DiLoreto. After striking out Shawn Savoir, DiLoreto walked Fradette and Gagnier to load the bases for the second straight inning and Jake Violette hit a sacrifice fly to right field to score Nohilly.
The Rams broke up Marquis’ no-hit bid in the fourth inning with a single from Dathan Hickey but they were not able to drive him in after Noah Plantamuro knocked him over to second on the next at-bat.
Four different batters accounted for Bristol Eastern’s four hits in the game: Fradette, Gagnier, Goulet and Lozier. Despite the win, the offense was relatively quiet and all but two of the Lancers batters struck out at least once.
Marquis was strong for Bristol Eastern but the defense behind him made him look even better. Lozier accounted for five outs in right field, including four of the game’s final nine. At second base, Savoir caught line drives for the last two outs of the game and three total.
Monday’s win marked the fifth consecutive time that the Lancers have taken down the Rams on the baseball diamond.
Josh Kestenbaum can be reached at 860-973-1811 or email@example.com On Twitter: @K_baum30