SPECIAL TO THE HERLAD
NEW BRITAIN - Michael Crouse and Jon Griffin both hit three-run homers to jump-start the offense and lead the New Britain Bees to a 7-3 victory over the Sugar Land Skeeters on Wednesday night at New Britain Stadium.
The win snapped the Bees’ six-game losing streak and let New Britain split the two-game series with the Skeeters. It was also the first time this season that the Bees had multiple hitters hit three-run homers.
Jovan Rosa also had a big night at the plate with a three-hit game and two runs scored in the contest.
The Bees got on the board early against Jake Hale.
James Skelton got things started for the offense, leading off the bottom of the first inning with a single. One out later, Jovan Rosa reached on a hit by pitch to put two runners on base. With two outs, Griffin blasted his three-run homer to give the Bees an early 3-0 lead.
It was Griffin’s seventh home run of the season and the second three-run homer he has hit in the last two weeks.
The offense got right back to work in the second inning, but this time it was two runners on and two outs for Crouse, who hit his 14th home run of the year to give the Bees a commanding 6-0 lead.
New Britain starting pitcher Jonathan Pettibone had a hard time staying away from trouble all night. The only clean inning he had was the second, as every other inning he had runners in scoring position.
In the fifth inning, the Skeeters touched Pettibone for two runs on an RBI single by Cole Gillespie and an RBI groundout by Wilfredo Rodriguez.
With two runners on, Brandon Fry relieved Pettibone in the fifth and escaped the inning by striking out Caleb Ramsey.
Pettibone’s final line was 4 2/3 innings, allowing two runs on seven hits for the no-decision. He walked three and struck out two, leaving him two strikeouts shy of the 500th strikeout of his career.
The Bees got one of the runs back in the bottom of the fifth inning on an RBI single by Craig Maddox to give them a 7-2 lead.
Kyle Simon came on in the sixth inning in relief of Fry and submitted four innings of relief, allowing one run and one hit
The lone run came in the seventh inning on an RBI groundout by Ramsey, cutting the Bees’ lead to 7-3.
After the fifth inning, Hale settled down and kept the Bees’ bats at bay for the rest of the night. The offense put only two runners on in the next three innings to keep the score at 7-3.
Simon sealed the Bees’ victory by pitching a 1-2-3 ninth inning and only needing four pitches to do it. He was credited with the win.
The Bees will now head on the road to face the York Revolution for an important four-game series.
Kimberly Pena can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org
On Twitter: @Kimberly_P12