BRISTOL - The Wachusett Dirt Dawgsâ€™ aggressive base running and walks issued by the Bristol Bluesâ€™ pitching staff were the difference in the Bluesâ€™ 6-2 loss on Tuesday at Muzzy Field.
Blues starting pitcher Tyler Kovalewich had an up-and-down start. He pitched a flawless first and fourth inning as he retired the side in order. In the second and third he ran into some trouble, but got through it by stranding the Dirt Dawgsâ€™ base runners in both innings.
â€śThe first couple innings I was really good with my fastball command. Then as I got tired I started leaving the ball up and couldnâ€™t throw a strike,â€ť Kovalewich said.
However, Kovalewich really struggled in the fifth inning. He issued four walks in the frame, walking in a run, and left the bases loaded for Blues reliever Anthony Morrone.
Morrone retired two consecutive batters, escaping the inning with just the one run across.
Wachusett was running often in the game and finished with seven stolen bases.
â€śDefensively, we were really flat. Nothing special happened defensively today,â€ť Blues catcher Jeff Sanfeldt said.
Dirt Dawgs starting pitcher Jonathan Gegetskas was impressive.
He pitched seven strong innings, allowing just two earned runs while striking out nine and issuing no walks.
For Wachusett, Jake Coro, Nolan Kessinger and Andrew Bene all had multi-hit performances. Coro drove in a pair of runs and finished 3-for-5. Kessinger went 2-for-4 with a run scored. Bene plated two runs while scoring a run in a 2-for-4 day.
After scoring a new league record 24 runs in their previous game, the Blues lineup struggled against Gegetskas.
Garrett Blaylock finished 1-for-4 and scored the first run for the Blues on a sacrifice fly from Mark Tumosa.
Mitch Williams was 3-for-3 in the game for Bristol with a run scored. Tumosa was 1-for-1 in the game with a walk. Chris Davis had an RBI single in the eighth inning.
â€śWachusett is a good team. They have pitchers who throw strikes and they run the bases really well. For us, we just really have to play team baseball,â€ť Bristol manager Ronnie Palmer said.
Bristol saw their best opportunity to strike in the eighth inning, as they got their first crack at the Dirt Dawgsâ€™ bullpen.
The Blues scored one run in the inning, but had men on first and third with just one out. They could not score them, as Tumosa was thrown out at home on a steal attempt and Mitch Guilmette struck out swinging to end the inning.
The Blues will be on the road for their next game, against the Seacoast Mavericks on Thursday.
Dan Orencole can be reached at (860) -973-1811 or firstname.lastname@example.org On Twitter: @OrencoleDan