BRISTOL - Sean Matthew gave up a 5-2 lead on the mound in relief of Shane Oulette but had a chance to redeem himself up at the plate in the bottom of the sixth inning.
Matthew did just that with an RBI double scoring Ryan Fradette as the Bristol Senior League team beat Southington West 6-5 on Friday night at Barnes Field.
“I started slow on the mound but I got the big hit so that’s what really mattered in the end,” Matthew said.
Fradette had a double to begin the sixth inning.
“You’re always trying to get on base leading off, especially in a tie game,” Fradette said. “That’s the best you can do is get on and put yourself in scoring position to have somebody drive you in.”
In the first inning Bristol and Southington West traded a pair of runs.
Southington’s Connor Wood ripped a leadoff double and Henry Roper reached on an error by Bristol third baseman Matthew to put two on the bases.
Wood and Roper came into score the first two Southington West runs, Wood on a RBI single by Jacob Brooks and Roper on a RBI single by Nate Gorr.
Facing an early 2-0 deficit Bristol needed to strike back and it did.
Rhom Colquitt started it out with a one-out single. Fradette followed him up with a walk and Nate Oullette drove in the first run of the game for Bristol.
Chris Osuch scored Fradette on a groundout to tie the game 2-2.
There was some controversy in the top of the second. Southington West’s Josh Hamilton hit a double that scored Cam Destern but the run was cancelled out because Roper failed to touch second base as he headed for third. The run taken away left the game tied 2-2.
Colquitt put Bristol ahead 3-2 in the bottom of the second, scoring Gabe Bartolome on a RBI single.
In the bottom of the third Osuch singled to start it out and Sean Matthew singled him home to make it 4-2. Osuch drove in the fifth run of the game in the bottom of fourth with a sacrifice fly.
After 4 1/3 strong innings from Oullette, Bristol went to the bullpen.
Following the two-run first Oullette shutdown Southington West in the three innings following. He finished with six strikeouts in the game.
“I just don’t think I warmed up enough for the first inning,” Oullette said. “I just had to settle down in the second and third and I was able to do that.”
Matthew came into pitch for Oulette and struggled at first. Matthew gave up three runs in the fifth on three RBI singles from Southington West’s Ben Parke, Stephen Statkevich and Cam Destern.
The three runs tied the game 5-5.
Matthew settled down though and retired three of the four batters he faced in the top of the sixth. The only runner to reach was Patrick Mercier, who was hit by a pitch.
Colquitt had a team leading three hits in the game for Bristol in the No. 2 spot of the batting order.
Bristol will be looking to win the District 5 tournament for the 10th straight year and Southington West didn’t go down easy.
“We had to battle tonight,” Bristol coach Mike Ziogas said. “They gave us a good game and we had some opportunities that we just couldn’t seem to get that timely hitting.”