BRISTOL - The Bristol Blues have had a luxury this summer with Emory Universityâ€™s Richard Brereton on the team.
In Brereton, the Blues have gotten a player who has shined both on the mound and in the batterâ€™s box. But thatâ€™s something that isnâ€™t new for the Darien native.
â€śI love to hit but I also love to control the game on the mound,â€ť Brereton said. â€śItâ€™s something that Iâ€™ve worked at for a long time and I donâ€™t plan on giving up until someone tells me I have to do one over the other. And right now I donâ€™t have to make that decision so Iâ€™m just going to continue doing what Iâ€™m doing, which is working as hard as I can at each one.â€ť
In the 3-2 Bristol win Tuesday night against the Pittsfield Suns, Brereton once again showed his dominant ability on the mound. He pitched six scoreless innings allowing two hits and issuing a pair of walks with seven strikeouts. It was his first time on the mound since July 5.
â€śItâ€™s not a surprise that he was his collegeâ€™s Friday night guy (a night reserved for the teamâ€™s best pitcher),â€ť Blues manager Ronnie Palmer said. â€śHeâ€™s been limited with his innings pitched [for us] because he threw so many innings for Emory this past spring. So weâ€™ve used him in different roles out of the [bullpen] but we just thought it was a good time for him to get a start [Tuesday] and he did what we expected out of him because thatâ€™s the type of competitor he is.â€ť
Over the season Brereton boasts a .274 batting average in 157 at bats with 13 stolen bases to accompany a 1.01 ERA on the mound with 25 strikeouts in 17 2/3 innings pitched.
In other words, Brereton is as good as it gets in the Futures Collegiate Baseball League right now.
â€śHeâ€™s done a fantastic job,â€ť Palmer said. â€śHeâ€™s been an infielder for us and an outfielder for us. Heâ€™s pitched for us and heâ€™s DHed a game or two for us so heâ€™s done everything weâ€™ve asked at a pretty high level. To the extent of what heâ€™s done this summer I donâ€™t think anybody else in the FCBL is comparable at this point of the year.â€ť
While Brereton loves playing both sides of the ball, the long-term goal is to get to the next level - playing affiliated baseball with a professional organization.
In order to do so, heâ€™d be willing to make the move to playing just one side of the ball if the opportunity presents itself to him and thatâ€™s the offer.
â€śAbsolutely, I understand how hard it is to play both ways at the next level,â€ť Brereton said. â€śIâ€™ll do whatever it takes to play at the next level whether thatâ€™s swinging the bat or on the mound. If Iâ€™m lucky enough and the opportunity presents itself, Iâ€™ll take whatever comes to me. Thatâ€™s the goal.â€ť
Until heâ€™s told otherwise, Brereton is going to keep playing on both sides of the ball and everything heâ€™s done this summer in Bristol suggests heâ€™s going to be able to keep doing so.
â€śIâ€™m going to let the scouts decided that and Iâ€™ll listen to whatever they have to say,â€ť Brereton said. â€śI havenâ€™t been told to stop doing one yet. I love to do both and I will continue to do both for as long as I possibly can.â€ť
Dan Orencole can be reached at (860) 973-1811 or firstname.lastname@example.org