BRISTOL - Bristol Senior League pitcher James Hall didnâ€™t get the call to start the game but with his team trailing 1-0 in the bottom of the second inning and the bases loaded, Bristol head coach Mike Ziogas made the move as starter Ryan Fradette struggled to find his command.
Hall was in shutdown mode all game long leading to Bristolâ€™s 10th consecutive District 5 Tournament championship in a 6-2 victory over Southington South/West Monday night at Barnes Field.
â€śI like the pressure,â€ť Hall said. â€śI like being able to come in and control the game and keep my team in the game.â€ť
Hall pitched 5 2/3 innings, allowing one unearned run and struck out three.
The loss to Bristol was all too familiar for Southington, as the two teams have played seven times and Bristol has won six of the games.
â€śWeâ€™ve played them seven times in the past two and a half weeks and weâ€™ve been in every game but one,â€ť Southington South/West coach Fred Parke said. â€śTheyâ€™re a top team. My players know them from year-to-year playing districts from junior league to little league. Theyâ€™re one of the top teams in the state, they always win the Division 5.â€ť
Bristol was being shutdown before the sixth inning, when it struck for four runs.
Chris Osuch was hit by a pitch to score a run and then Sean Mathews had a 2 RBI single to put Bristol up 3-2 in the sixth. Trevor Nohilly added the fourth RBI of the inning with a groundball hit to the right side of the infield.
It was one bad inning for Southington South/West starter Kade Santino.
The everyday catcher was thrust into the starting role because his arm was fresh. He went six innings on the mound, struck out three, walked two and hit a pair.
Before the sixth inning he was shutting down Bristol in just his second game pitching this season.
â€śHeâ€™s my natural catcher, heâ€™s behind the plate every game so he doesnâ€™t get a chance really to pitch,â€ť Parke said. â€śBut he did a heck of a job considering he just got back from vacation. He caught the game yesterday so we wanted to take our chances with him, he had the freshest arm.â€ť
With the bases loaded in the sixth inning and Southington South/West still leading 2-0, Parke visited Santino on the mound and kept him in the game.
â€śI was trying to settle him down, he was starting to get a little wild,â€ť Parke said. â€śHe hit a couple kids that inning so I just wanted to make sure his arm was okay. His pitches were starting to run out I just wanted to settle him down and tell him to fire strikes.â€ť
Southingtonâ€™s two runs came off a RBI single by Nate Gorr and a RBI walk for Connor Wood in the second inning.
Fradette walked four consecutive batters in the second inning, leading to the pitching change.
â€śHe had a tough day today,â€ť Bristol coach Mike Ziogas said. â€śHeâ€™s one of those guys where heâ€™s either on or heâ€™s off and today he was off. Sometimes we can work him through it but today we just couldnâ€™t. And it was too big of a game. We saw an opportunity here to close this thing out and keep it close at that point.â€ť
Rhom Colquitt had two hits in the game and a walk. Hitting in the No. 2 spot throughout the tournament Colquitt has provided a spark at the top of the order.
â€śIâ€™m very comfortable right now, in the regular season I was doing not that good hitting but I like got it together and Iâ€™m hitting good now,â€ť Colquitt said.