Gregoire is grand at plate for Blues

Published on Monday, 27 June 2016 22:09
Written by Josh Kestenbaum

Staff Writer

BRISTOL - While the Bristol Blues have slumped over the last four games, especially at the plate, left fielder Frankie Gregoire has begun to rediscover his bat.

“The last few games, the big thing is he’s not getting himself out,” Blues manager Pat Riley said. “He’s zoning in on his pitch. You guys saw some of the power that he’s got [Sunday]. When he doesn’t help the guy out on the mound, he’s pretty dangerous. It is really encouraging to see that.”

Gregoire has been on fire, getting at least one hit and scoring at least one run in each of the Blues’ last four games. Saturday’s loss to the Pittsfield Suns was the only game of the four in which Gregoire did not register multiple hits, and the Blues’ loss the day before to the Worcester Bravehearts was the only one in which Gregoire did not drive in a run.

“I’m not trying to do too much,” Gregoire said. “I’m just trying to put the barrel on the ball and let the bat do the rest.”

Amidst the hitting streak, Gregoire has also showed off his power. In each of Bristol’s last two games, both against the Suns, Gregoire hit a home run, including a grand slam at Muzzy Field Sunday on his way to a three-hit, five-RBI night. He has also recorded three doubles through the last four games.

“It was great. First one in Blues history,” Riley said about Gregoire’s grand slam. “That’s awesome. He definitely got a hold of that one. He got a hold of his double off the center field wall, too. He’s squaring balls up, the past few games anyways.”

The grand slam was the highlight in a game that was full of them for Gregoire.

“It felt pretty good. Good to get the win, too,” he said. “That pitch [on the grand slam] was a curveball, left a little up. I was seeing everything, seeing everything well.”

Gregoire got off to a torrid start this season, piling up eight hits in the first five games. But his bat cooled off after that, getting one hit over his next 22 at-bats.

This recent hitting streak put an end to the slump in a big way and Riley credits it all to Gregoire’s work and talent.

“He had a great freshman year,” Riley said. “The numbers don’t lie. [He was a] freshman All-American. There are some things that come along with that. He stayed the course, worked hard and baseball’s such an up-and-down game sometimes.”

Gregoire’s big day at the plate Sunday powered the Blues to a 7-4 win over the Suns, breaking a three-game losing streak. Gregoire hopes his production and recent success will help the team get back to winning on a consistent basis.

“We’ve been a little streaky, on-and-off,” Gregoire said, “but I think we’re starting to pick it up and we’ll start to turn it on and win some games.”

His manager echoed Gregoire’s hope after Sunday’s game.

“We were down for the last three coming into [Sunday] and hopefully we can catch on a winning streak,” Riley said.

Offense has been spotty for the Blues after their hot start but it appears some of the team’s bats are starting to find their way, as Gregoire, Austin Chauvin and Nick Conti are each on hitting streaks that sit at three games or better.

The good news for the Blues is that many people believe good hitting spreads within a team and that is what the Blues are hoping for, especially with Gregoire hitting the way he did Sunday.

“Hitting is contagious,” Gregoire said. “When somebody’s on, more people start to get hot and it’s like the flood gates opening up. Everybody’s going to start to get hot and we’re going to start to win.”

Josh Kestenbaum can be reached at (860) 973-1811 or jkestenbaum@ centralctcommunications.com



Posted in New Britain Herald, Bristol Blues on Monday, 27 June 2016 22:09. Updated: Friday, 7 October 2016 09:28.