BRISTOL - It was a matchup of future Boston College Eagles on the mound Friday night at Muzzy Field with Bristol Blues starter Emmet Sheehan up against future teammate and Worcester Bravehearts starter Joseph Mancini.
Sheehan pitched 5 2/3 strong innings and struck out eight for the Blues but just fell short as Mancini pitched into the seventh inning before being pulled in the Bravehearts 8-0 win.
“I actually didn’t know until the pitching coach from Boston College texted both of us in the group chat and said to take it easy on each other today boys, so I didn’t know until then,” Sheehan said.
Bristol’s offense was shut down by Mancini with just five hits before he was pulled in the seventh inning.
Alex Loparco, Pat Winkel, Justyn-Henry Malloy, Peyton Stephens and Bryce Ramsay had the five hits for the Blues, who trailed 4-0 when Mancini exited.
Worcester’s first run came off a wild pitch by Sheehan that scored Dustin Harris in the third inning.
Harris doubled in Edward Haus in the third inning and Brett Coffel scored the second run of the fourth inning on an error by Bristol third baseman Malloy.
In the sixth inning Harris scored on a throwing error by Blues catcher Ramsay to make the score 4-0.
The strong offense from the Bravehearts continued in the eighth inning as Harris singled home Coffel to make it a five-run advantage.
But Worcester wasn’t done.
With three outs left on offense Worcester took advantage by scoring three runs in the top of the ninth. Chris Rinaldi singled and Mariano Ricciardi scored on an error by Malloy then Haus drove in Rinaldi on a groundout later in the inning for the second run. Errors in the field continued to be costly for the Blues as Michael Dellicarri scored on an error by Blues shortstop Loparco.
Bristol committed four errors in the game.
“I think the biggest thing with us is the process and the intent to play,” Blues manager Ronnie Palmer said. “When we come to the park and have the right intent our process is good and the outcome is usually in our favor. Tonight we didn’t have any intent to be here. To be honest the guys didn’t seem like they wanted to be here. I had guys checking cell phones during the game, I had guys playing hacky sack before the game. So that falls on me as the manager to make sure that stuff doesn’t exist because it’s disrespectful to the game of baseball and it’s disrespectful to this organization.”
Michael DeLease had his best outing of the season in relief of Sheehan. The Central Connecticut State product pitched 2 1/3 innings of one-run ball. It was his third appearance of the summer.
“Mike came in and competed,” Palmer said. “He threw strikes. He’s got a good mentality and approach when he’s out on the mound as far as that stuff. We were pleased with his performance.”