BRISTOL - A local product has been one of the Bristol Bluesâ€™ best hitters this season.
Ben Maycock graduated from Newington High School in 2016 and redshirted this past season at UConn, but now that heâ€™s in Bristol, he looks like he hasnâ€™t lost a step.
Through the first 13 games of the season, Maycock was third on the team with a batting average of .294 and had the most at-bats of any of the teamâ€™s top three hitters. He was also second on the Blues in hits (10) and RBI (6), trailing Jake Frasca in both categories.
â€śIt feels great. It feels good to be back out here,â€ť Maycock said. â€śI redshirted for the spring season, so I didnâ€™t play at all. So it feels good to be back out. I missed it a lot.â€ť
The Blues got off to a tough start this summer, losing each of their first six games, but Maycock has been impressive for Bristol since his debut on June 2.
From the beginning of the season until Thursdayâ€™s game, Maycockâ€™s average was above .300. It didnâ€™t dip below .400 until after his fourth game, a 1-for-5 night against the Pittsfield Suns. In his first 11 games played this season, Maycock only went hitless in two.
For the Blues, having a hitter that can produce - at least a little bit - each night is key, and a big reason why they have had success of late.
â€śAnytime when you get off to the start that we did, but you have someone offensively thatâ€™s going, it just bodes well. Hittingâ€™s contagious,â€ť Blues manager Ronnie Palmer said.
â€śThe fact that heâ€™s going up and had a solid approach early on and getting some hits was key for us. And now, everybodyâ€™s starting to hit. Itâ€™s always important when you have at least one guy hot.â€ť
Since losing six straight to start the season, the Blues are 5-3. The teamâ€™s hitting helped earn that first win and turn the beginning of the season around.
â€śI think that it kind of broke the ice a little bit,â€ť Maycock said about the teamâ€™s first win.
â€śWe were all, like, very tense, but now weâ€™ve got it and weâ€™re going to start winning some games.â€ť
In addition to his success at the plate, Maycock has also enjoyed playing at Muzzy Field for the Blues. But he played at Muzzy long before joining the FCBL team.
In 2015, as a running back for the Newington football team, Maycock faced Bristol Central on the gridiron at Muzzy Field, but he and the Indians were sent home by the Rams with a 26-19 loss.
Maybe itâ€™s because of the result he had back in November of 2015, but Maycock has a different impression of Muzzy now for baseball.
â€śI like it playing baseball a little bit more,â€ť he said with a slight smile. â€śFootball was fun, but it was a little cold. Itâ€™s been pretty nice. A lot of good fans come out and watch us, so [we] canâ€™t complain.â€ť
Maycock has enjoyed playing for a summer team that is close to home and has such a localized atmosphere, and is looking forward to the rest of the summer.
â€śItâ€™s almost like youâ€™re back in high school, but itâ€™s a better crowd of players,â€ť he said. â€śA lot of local people youâ€™ll see around. Itâ€™s pretty cool.â€ť
Josh Kestenbaum can be reached at 860-973-1811 or firstname.lastname@example.org On Twitter: @K_baum30