Bristol Blues miss chance to gain ground against first place Martha's Vineyard Sharks

Published on Sunday, 22 July 2018 21:03
Written by DAN ORENCOLE

@ORENCOLEDAN

BRISTOL - With Sunday’s game cancelled, the Bristol Blues closed out the weekend dropping one game to the first place Martha’s Vineyard Sharks, 6-4 on Saturday.

Michael DeLease got the start for the Blues and struggled in his 3 2/3 innings with four runs allowed, three earned. He struck out a pair.

Patrick Hannon came on in relief of DeLease and it didn’t get better as Hannon allowed a pair of runs in 2 1/3 innings.

While the pitching for Bristol struggled, a pair of batters shined and continued their recent hot streaks at the plate.

Patrick Winkel, the UConn-bound catcher and Futures Collegiate Baseball League All-Star, extended his hit streak to seven games with an impressive four-hit game against Martha’s Vineyard. The team had 13 hits in the game.

“Pat is just a good hitter and has had good plate appearances all summer and lately balls have been falling in for him,” Bristol manager Ronnie Palmer said.

Andy Hague also continued his improvement at the plate.

After just 11 hits in his first 59 at bats, Hague has hits in five of his last six plate appearances, raising his average to .246.

While the average is still low for Hague, the late improvement can only help him grow after seeing limited playing time in his freshman year at UConn.

“Andy has gotten more comfortable as the summer has progressed and has made solid contact of late, which in turn has produced base hits,” Palmer said.

Pitching for the Blues the season has been up and down and that’s been the story for Justin Rouse as well.

Rouse has flashed dominant strikeout potential, with 12 strikeouts in 12 2/3 innings pitched.

“Justin has good velocity, as his fastball will sit 88-92 [mph] with a solid breaking ball and change up,” Palmer said. “When he has command of these pitches, he can get outs for us at a rapid pace.”

His command at the plate is what has held Rouse back, though.

His 8.52 ERA is reflective of his 12 walks allowed.

In seven appearances this season, Rouse has shut out his opponents with a scoreless inning. In the other four appearances, he’s allowed 12 earned runs in 9 2/3 innings.

Still, Palmer and the coaching staff are hoping Rouse turns it around down the stretch. There’s only one way to see if he can.

“His consistency in the strike zone will continue to improve as he throws more in game situations,” Palmer said.



Posted in New Britain Herald, Bristol Blues on Sunday, 22 July 2018 21:03. Updated: Sunday, 22 July 2018 21:06.