NEWINGTON - Through six-plus innings, the Bristol Knights had trouble getting any offense going against Elmer’s Angels starting pitcher Scott Kelleher, who took a no-hitter into the seventh inning of a Connecticut Twilight League contest on Tuesday at Newington High School.
But with one out in the top of the seventh, two Angels’ errors, two walks and two singles led to a 5-4 comeback victory for the Knights, who entered the final frame trailing by three.
With one out and facing a 4-1 deficit, the Knights’ Rick Barrett reached second on an error, followed by Kyle Pileski and Marco Ross loading the bases with a walk and a single. Steve Clout then cut the Knights’ deficit to one with a grounder up the middle, leading to an error that allowed Barrett and Pileski to score.
Following a Justin Martella groundout, Sean Cameron gave the Knights (7-5-1) the decisive lead by slicing an opposite-field, two-run single to right, tucking it inside the line to plate Ross and Clout.
“I was being patient at the plate. I knew he was trying to go outside,” Cameron said. “I knew I just had to wait on it, just get a good pitch and push it the other way just to try and get something in play so we could get some runners across the plate.”
In the bottom of the seventh, Angels catcher Mike Dean pounded a hard-hit ball to deep left field on what would have been a walk-off two-run home run, but the ball was snagged by Ross a few feet in front of the wall, and Ross moments later caught another hard-hit liner by Nick Hudyma to give Bristol its first win over Elmer’s (7-4-2) this summer.
In the top of the second, the Angels’ Kyle Maglio reached first after an error by Cameron, and Maglio scored moments later on an RBI double to the left field wall by Nick Magoulas.
Magoulas stole third, sliding in safely, and a throwing error by catcher Martella skipped into left field, allowing Magoulas to breeze in for a 2-0 lead.
The Knights responded in the bottom half, as Tyler Favreau and Clout each reached base. Martella grounded into a potential double-play ball, but a throwing error by shortstop Carter Marshall allowed Favreau to pull Bristol within a run.
In the top of the fifth, the Angels piled onto the lead with three straight singles by Jeff Gilcrest, Marshall and Russell LaFleur.
With Gilcrest and Marshall on first and second, LaFleur pushed a sinking liner into right field, which skipped between both Bristol outfielders, rolling past them and allowing both players to score for a 4-1 cushion.
Magoulas roped a hard-hit single in the sixth, and Dean followed with a line-drive single of his own, but Magoulas was doubled up at second base after a pop-out.
Kelleher, however, breezed through the sixth, ending the frame with a looking strikeout on a curveball to take four walks and no hits allowed into the last inning.
“It was a little frustrating,” Cameron said. “[Kelleher] was making good pitches, and he was getting good calls. But we just hung in there and finally put the bat on the ball.”
Zack Carpenter can be reached at (860) 973-1811 or firstname.lastname@example.org