BRISTOL - The Bristol Blues came into the weekend set to take on the hottest team in the Futures Collegiate Baseball League, the Nashua Silver Knights.
Nashua was on a three-game winning streak and picked up a close 2-1 win over Bristol on Saturday in a rain-shortened five-inning game.
Both teams had strong pitching over the five innings.
Bristol’s Casey Elbin started and pitched the first four innings, allowing two earned runs on five hits and three walks. Elbin struck out one. Justin Rouse relieved him with a scoreless fifth inning.
Nashua’s Luke Dawson picked up the win, pitching all five innings and allowing two hits and a pair of walks. He struck out Bristol’s Dylan Reynolds and Teddy Hague.
Alex Loparco and Peyton Stephens had the two hits for the Blues.
With a chance to bounce back Sunday, Bristol took the field on the road against the second place Worcester Bravehearts.
The Blues’ offense and bullpen was the difference in a 7-5 win over the Bravehearts on Sunday afternoon.
Zach Dionne, Rouse and Neal McDermott combined to pitch five scoreless innings out of the bullpen in relief of Bristol starter Adam Riggleman, who got hit hard with six hits and five runs (three earned) in four innings.
Dionne and was the first out of the bullpen and pitched one scoreless inning, with a pair of walks.
Rouse capped off a stellar weekend with three shutout innings and three strikeouts. Rouse earned the win.
McDermott, the Blues’ lockdown closer, pitched another scoreless inning to pick up his 14th save of the year.
Offensively, Justyn-Henry Malloy, Alex Baumann and Jimmy Sullivan led Bristol. Malloy went 3-for-5 with two runs scored and an RBI, Baumann finished 3-for-4 with an RBI and Sullivan was 2-for-5 with one run scored and an RBI.
Alex Loparco went 2-for-5 with a pair of runs scored. Richard Brereton finished 1-for-5 with an RBI.
Teddy Hague and Stephens each went 1-for-5 for the Blues and Hague drove in a run.
Bristol moved to 25-22 on the season following the weekend and has six games remaining in the regular season.
The Blues have one regular season home game remaining: on Thursday against the Pittsfield Suns at 7 p.m.