BRISTOL - The Bristol Legion Baseball Team failed to extend its five-game winning streak on Thursday, suffering a 9-4 loss to Meriden at Muzzy Field.
Bristol won the first matchup between these teams 6-3, but six fielding errors and inconsistent hitting allowed Meriden to take a five-run lead in the top of the seventh inning. The score was tied 4-4 after six innings, but Meriden was outhitting Bristol 11-4 and the floodgates opened for the road team in its final trip to the plate.
Bristol survived every other threatening situation Meriden put it in, but the big inning came when Bristol could least afford it.
“I thought we played a pretty good game, we had some clutch hits early on,” coach Jerry Lapenta said. “It just comes down to execution, we didn’t execute.”
Starting pitcher Andrew Lozier escaped a bases-loaded jam in the top of the third inning to keep the game scoreless and his teammates rewarded him in the bottom half. Evan Bouchard opened the inning with a single and then took two bases on an error before a single from Tyler Martin brough Bouchard home.
A hit from Nate Ouellette gave Bristol two runners on base with no outs and Austin Brown moved them both with a sacrifice bunt. The next two batters also made out, however, keeping Bristol’s lead at 1-0.
Meriden answered back in the top of the fourth when Andrew McCarty hit a double to left-center field to start the inning. McCarty moved to third on a misthrown pick-off attempt from Lozier and then scored on a groundout by Ethan Brazel.
“I can live with the physical errors, they’re a part of the game, we just didn’t execute,” Lapenta said. “They had a bunch of seeing-eye hits all over the place, which is a part of the game, too. They’re a pretty good club, they swing the bats well.”
Bristol added two runs in the bottom of the fifth to retake the lead, but failed to hold on for long as three runs from Meriden in the top of the sixth put it ahead for the first time. Lozier was removed from the mound before the end of the frame and replaced with Alex Canzellarini, who got the remaining outs.
Bristol answered back to tie the game in the ensuing frame when Bouchard tripled to right field to start the inning. Martin finished the job once again and brought his teammate home on the following at bat.