Bristol – The options were limited for the Bristol Eastern baseball team Monday as it hosted East Catholic at Muzzy Field.
Facing the undefeated Eagles at their top pitcher, Frank Mozzicato, the Lancers knew there were not going to be many opportunities to make strong contact. Keeping their opponents to a low run total would be necessary for a win and they were able to accomplish that early. But after a rain delay and a variety of fielding errors, Bristol Eastern fell after five innings 11-0.
Eastern is now 3-13 with four games to go in its regular season and will likely need to win all four to qualify for the state tournament.
“That kid is really, really good, he’s probably going to get drafted in the top five rounds,” senior shortstop Andrew Lozier said. “[In] my last at bat, you can’t really do much, he throws two hammers in a row, I watch them because I’m not hitting the curveball, nobody in the state has hit that curveball. I was just going up thinking middle-in I’m going to swing and if not, I’m not swinging.”
Senior Dylan Woodsome logged two and two-thirds innings as Eastern’s starter and hung tough throughout. He had runners on first and second with two outs when he was removed from the game and the only run on the board at the time was unearned. A talented pitcher, this was just Woodsome’s second appearance of the season as he has been suffering from a recurring shoulder injury. While he was still in control of the game, and escaped a base-loaded jam without allowing a run the inning before, Gaudet did not want put addition strain on his pitcher’s arm.
Freshman Ben D’Amato took the mount in relief and the two runners on scored very quickly off of a bloop-single and a throwing error.
“Dylan should’ve gotten out of there with no runs,” head coach Steve Gaudet said. “We kicked the ball around, we made some errors and then after the rain delay we did that at an even worse pace.”
The score was 3-0 after three innings, which remained attainable for the Lancers despite their lone base runner coming from a first-inning walk. Their errors already resulted in some runs that were preventable, but the team was competitive early on. East Catholic opened the scoring in the first inning when Mozzicato reached on a throwing error in the infield and scored on a single from Ryan Shaw
“Woody was dealing, Woody was doing a great job on the mound getting outs,” Lozier said. “I thought we had some pretty good at bats, you can’t really do much against [Mozzicato], but I think we were doing pretty well, but the five errors on the board killed us.”
With two outs and two runners on base in the top of the fourth inning, one crack of thunder put the game on pause for approximately 20 minutes and once play resumed, Eastern struggled greatly to get that final out. The Lancers had a difficult time finding the strike zone after the weather delay, walking several batters and moving players around the bases without hits.
The Eagles posted seven two-out runs in the frame and blew the game open in a third of an inning. With Mozzicato still available after the stoppage in play, the clock was ticking on Eastern’s opportunities.