BRISTOL - The Bristol Blues are going to want to forget about Monday night’s game.
The Blues’ defense was uncharacteristically poor, committing five errors as Bristol fell to the struggling Pittsfield Suns 10-3 to start their three-game homestand.
“I think our kids come from too good of college baseball programs and schooled the right way in baseball not to compete,” Blues manager Ronnie Palmer said. “I think this is just one of those days. The tough part for me is it’s been our past two home games that we have played like this. We certainly got to put a better effort forward, not just for ourselves, but for our fans who show up and watch us play.”
The Suns came into Monday’s game just 2-9 on the season and had given up a league-high 94 hits along with 60 runs in 93 innings. Those numbers, however, didn’t seem to matter as Pittsfield held Bristol to three runs and seven hits.
All three of the Blues’ runs came in the bottom of the first inning on a double by Richard Brereton and a two-run single by center fielder Connor Nolan. The Suns’ offense, meanwhile, took advantage of every mistake the Bristol made.
The Blues’ pitching staff gave up 12 hits and 10 walks in the nearly three-hour game with the Suns scoring in every inning except the fifth, seventh and ninth innings. Starting pitcher Jared Kollar only went four innings and allowed 6 runs (4 earned) and 8 hits.
“We didn’t play great defense, our pitching wasn't what we usually get and I thought we gave away some at bats,” Brereton said. “All those things compiled into the result we got tonight.”
If there are any good things to take away from the game, it’s not to run on Blues right fielder Peyton Stephens, who twice threw out runners. The first came when Stephen's lasered a ball to third base beating Pittsfield runner Jack Culumovic by a long shot.
Culumovic made no effort to slide, rather allowing Blues third baseman Alex Loparco to apply the tag to him. Upon trotting off the field, Culumovic made a respectful gesture towards Stephens, tipping his helmet towards the right fielder.
The second throw came when Stephen's robbed Sun’s catcher Taylor Meilleur of a double in the top of the ninth inning.
But it would take more than some good defensive throws to save Bristol. The Blues only collected three more hits over the final eight innings.
The loss to the Suns moves Bristol’s record to 8-3, yet the team remains just half a game behind first place, which is currently held by the Martha’s Vineyard Sharks. The Blues’ next game is tonight against the Worcester Bravehearts at 7 p.m. at Muzzy Field.