BRISTOL - For the first time all summer, the Bristol Blues got plenty of offense.
From the second inning on, the Blues never trailed against the first-place Martha’s Vineyard Shark Monday night at Muzzy Field.
Sparked by a four-run sixth inning, Bristol cruised its way to a 13-6 win, handing the Sharks their third loss of the summer in the process.
Justyn-Henry Malloy and Peyton Stephens made sure the Blues started the inning off right. Malloy laced a double to the left field wall and Stephens laid down a bunt single down the third base line.
“Being the first guy up, you want to be a catalyst and spark a fire,” Malloy said. “I wanted to do anything and everything I could do to do that. The leadoff man in any inning needs to do his job and be a catalyst and I feel like I did so tonight.”
Matthew Bonvicini drove in the pair with a double on a ball misplayed by left fielder Collin Shapiro and then Alex Loparco scored Bonvicini on a hard-hit ball to right field. Ethan Hunt scored Loparco on a grounder and the score was quickly jumped to 8-2.
Early on in the game, Martha’s Vineyard starting pitcher Matt Mikulski struggled with his command. He loaded the bases in the second inning on three walks setting up a two-run single by Hunt to score Malloy and Stephens to tie the game 2-2.
In the fourth inning, the Blues took a 3-2 lead on a passed ball that scored Stephens, allowing them to play ahead for the right of the night.
Bristol chipped in five more runs, one coming in the seventh and four more in the eighth. Bonvicini had the RBI in the seventh. Dylan Reynolds, Peyton Stephens, Bonvicini and Hunt each drove in one run an inning later.
Hunt and Bonvicini drove in eight of Bristol’s 13 runs, while Malloy and Stephens scored seven of the Blues runs.
Martha’s Vineyard added three runs in the eighth off the bats of Matt Oldham and Luke Hartman. Then in the ninth, the Sharks’ Eric Foggo scored Nelson on a RBI double.
Bristol’s starting pitcher Jared Kollar was steady on the mound through his five innings, allowing two earned runs on three hits and two walks while striking out three.
“I felt like I had more command this game than last time I started,” said Kollar, who picked up his first win of the season. “It’s not how can I strike all these guys out. It’s more working on the things I need to work on this summer to get ready for the spring season.”
Zach Dionne and Kyle Haag pitched in relief of Kollar.
The win evened up the season series with the Sharks 1-1 and the two top teams right now in the FCBL won’t meet again until June 25 when Bristol travels to Martha’s Vineyard.
“This team came in last time and took it to us,” Palmer said. “The fact that we got a pretty good victory tonight against them and I think we left some runs on base too so it’s definitely a big confidence booster.”
With the win Bristol moved to 12-6 on the season and the Sharks fell to 12-3.
The Blues will be on the road tonight to take on the Worcester Bravehearts at 6:30 p.m. at Wahconah Park.