BRISTOL - Coming into this season the Bristol Eastern baseball team was looking to see who would step up and provide quality innings on the mound.
And so far it’s been the same story as the past two years.
After a 21-win season in 2016 led by top pitchers Nate Carney and Tyler Troth the Lancers have been a strong team but haven’t been able to get back to that level, much of it has to do with the pitching performance.
Last season Zach Marquis and Jake Violette stepped in to provide quality innings, yet the team won 10 less games than 2016. With Marquis and Violette graduated the Lancers’ once again needed to replace a pair of quality arms.
Now 16 games in Bristol Eastern is still seeking more out of its pitching staff. With the team already qualified for the postseason, the four remaining games in the regular season (East Catholic, Maloney, Plainville and Bristol Central) will be a good indicator of what to expect coming into the playoffs.
“Even in some of our losses we’ve hit the ball,” Giovinazzo said. “We’ve scored six runs, seven runs and seven runs and got beat. So our pitching and defense has been our problem, not our hitting.”
Over the last six games, improvement hasn’t shown and the pitching and defensive woes have led to a 2-4 record for the Lancers with the losses coming to Middletown (8-7), Berlin (9-7), Glastonbury (10-4) and Wethersfield (9-5).
Jagger Duquette, Trevor Mays, Ethan Ryan, Dave Bernier and Josh Nohilly have all pitched and make up a staff that allows just over five runs per game.
Throughout the year the group has shown potential, yet the inconsistencies have led to games that resulted in losses but could have been won with the strong offense.
Hitting hasn’t been an issue, as Bristol Eastern scored a combined 22 runs in the four losses while giving up 34. The team averages six runs per game offensively.
“Our pitching has been less than stellar and our defense hasn’t done a lot to back them up,” Bristol Eastern coach Mike Giovinazzo said. “It puts a lot of pressure on the offense and makes them feel like they have to score 10 runs to win a game.”
If the Lancers’ can improve on the mound, a deeper postseason run could be in store after losing 7-2 in the first round last year to New Canaan.
“As soon as we turn it around we’re going to be a tough team to beat,” Goulet said.
Today against East Catholic, the Lancers will get a chance to prove that they’re a better team than what has shown in the recent games and they hope to return to the form that got them out to a 4-1 start.
“I think it’s a combination of everything,” Fradette said. “We haven’t played the way we did in the beginning of the year. We were a lot more solid then but it looks like we’re going to start to turn it around. I think East Catholic is a huge game. We have to get some wins so we can get back here and play for a home tournament game.”
Dan Orencole can be reached at 860-973-1811 or