PLAINVILLE - While Bristol was cruising, things went from bad to worse for the Plainville Legion team.
Bristol beat Plainville 12-0 on Monday in a mercy rule-shortened six innings at Trumbull Park.
Bristol moved to 12-5 on the season, still with two games left, while Plainville finished its season 4-14 overall and dropped eight of its final nine games.
Bristol held just a 3-0 lead through five innings, but then the flood gates opened. In the top of the sixth, the team plated nine runs on six hits to take complete control of the game.
“That’s a great ball club over there, but we didn’t help ourselves today,” Plainville head coach Brian McCarthy said of the struggles. “We are a young team. We had guys playing out of position. So we gave up a lot.”
Anthony Lozier set the tone at the top of the Bristol lineup. The left fielder had four hits, all of them singles, drove in two runs and scored another in the game.
“Basically, just see what the pitchers have and take mental notes of that type of stuff,” Lozier said of his approach. “I’m kind of more old school - I don’t like to take a lot of strikes. So, first strike, I go ahead and swing away.”
In all, eight different Bristol hitters reached base multiple times in the games.
Much of Bristol’s offensive onslaught was a result of Plainville struggles on the mound. Alec Karal started on the mound for Plainville and struggled with command throughout the outing. In 3⅔ innings, Karal gave up just two earned runs, but walked seven batters and surrendered four hits.
“He didn’t really have the best command, but the kid works hard and he battles,” McCarthy said of his starting pitcher. “He kept it at 2-0, when it could have been a lot worse. That’s a testament to how hard he works and how much he wants to compete.”
On the other side, Plainville was unable to get anything going against Bristol’s Stephen Warkoski. In a complete game, Warkoski struck out 10 batters while giving up just three hits.
“I knew my fastball was good early on and I felt good throwing in the bullpen,” Warkoski said. “My offspeed was a little iffy today but I made up for it with my fastballs. I made my pitches when I needed to and got them out.”
One Plainville hitter who did have some success was Ryan Rodriguez, who reached base each of his two times at the plate. He saw it as a great chance to get bragging rights over Warkoski, a good friend of Rodriguez, being that they are both from Bristol Central High School.
“[Warkoski] joked once when I was coming off the field that he was going to strike me out,” Rodriguez said. “So to get a hit like that and then walk after a tough at-bat was pretty cool.”
Though Plainville’s record doesn’t show much to be proud of, McCarthy was still happy with the way his team played this season.
“There were a lot of positives this year,” McCarthy said. “There was a lot of growth from a lot of guys that played last year. We had some newcomers that really came in and meshed well. I think the future is very bright here.”
Bristol head coach Jerry LaPenta isn’t worried about seeding, as his team currently holds the second spot in Zone 1.
“The playoffs are always tight, regardless of who you play,” LaPenta said. “Whoever we play, we will face their top pitcher, and they’re going to face ours.”
Tyler Roaix can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org