NEW BRITAIN - New Britainâ€™s bats never got going Wednesday afternoon against visiting Bristol Eastern, which pulled out a 4-1 victory to move to a perfect 3-0 on the season.
The Lancers jumped out to an early 2-0 lead in the first inning with the help of an RBI double from MacGregor Goulet. A Hurricanes error scored the second run of the inning.
â€śItâ€™s always good to get ahead, especially against a team like New Britain,â€ť Bristol Eastern coach Mike Giovinazzo said. â€śTheyâ€™re aggressive and do a lot of good things offensively. We got bats on the ball and put it in play, and when you do that in high school, youâ€™re going to get rallies.â€ť
Goulet went on to hit a home run in the top of the fifth and finish 2-for-3 with two RBI. The only out he made was on a line drive up the middle that was snagged by New Britain pitcher Danniel Rivera.
â€śI just sit fastball every pitch, that way Iâ€™m able to adjust if itâ€™s a curve,â€ť Goulet said of his approach at the plate. â€śThat way it gives the ability to hit the ball hard to any side of the field.â€ť
On the other side, New Britain struggled to put the ball in play for the second game in a row. The Hurricanes were only able to muster three hits off Lancers pitcher Jagger Duquette, who gave up just one earned run, striking out 10 in a complete game. Six of the strikeouts were looking.
Duquette was happy that he established the fastball early and also used his curveball to keep the Hurricanes off-balance.
â€śHe did a great job keeping us off-balance and had a good curveball, throwing it for a strike and a ball and we chased it,â€ť New Britain coach Roberto Mercado said of Duquette. â€śBut he did really well. We got to give him credit as well.â€ť
One bright spot for the Hurricanes was Rivera, who started at shortstop but came in to pitch in relief of starter Kevin Rodriguez. Rivera gave up no earned runs, three hits and had two strikeouts in 2 2/3 innings of work.
â€śComing in like that, itâ€™s anything for my ball team,â€ť Rivera said. â€śTo keep my team in the game, Iâ€™ll do anything. If my boy Kevin lets up a home run like that, what am I going to do to pick him up. So Iâ€™m going to go in and throw strikes just to keep my team in the game and give us a chance to win.â€ť
Despite falling to 1-2, Mercado is still optimistic that his team will improve as the season goes on. He gave his team a simple message after the game.
â€śJust keep getting better. We have to trust in what the coaches are telling these guys and what we want them to do. I think theyâ€™re seeing the results of them doing things on their own and the results just arenâ€™t happening. So we will keep working and again, itâ€™s still early in the season and we want to peak at the right time.â€ť
Bristol Easternâ€™s next game will be Friday at home against Norwich Free Academy. New Britain wonâ€™t play again until Wednesday, April 18, when they host Hartford Public.
Tyler Roaix can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org