NEW BRITAIN – The bats are heating up for the New Britain Bees as its offense appears to be getting into a rhythm following its 7-6 victory against the Pittsfield Suns on Saturday.
The New Britain trio of Todd Petersen, Ryan Bagdasarian and Luke Broadhurst had their fingerprints all over its win versus Pittsfield and all three have swung the bat well to start the 2021 season.
Petersen has popped hits in eight of his last nine games, with his homerun on Saturday kick starting the Bees comeback performance.
“I think Todd’s hit was a loud one and it definitely set the momentum for us to comeback as a unit and take over,” New Britain head coach Donnie McKillop said.
The 6-foot-6 shortstop started the season with three hits through his first five games, but since then, the UConn Huskie hasn’t slowed down in the batter’s box.
“I think we’re really letting the ball travel,” Petersen said on the team’s recent offensive outburst. “We’re seeing it deep and we’re barreling it up even if it’s right at guys.”
Petersen has totaled 20 hits in 17 games so far this season.
Bagdasarian paced all hitters Saturday with five hits in five at-bats. New Britain’s center fielder has cooled off some after hitting safely in seven of his first eight appearances, but currently boasts a three-game hitting streak.
“I don’t know the last time I saw a 5-for-5 game so that’s awesome,” Petersen said.
The Glastonbury native bumped his batting average up to .333 after his five-hit performance.
While he didn’t register a hit, Broadhurst brought in the all important go-ahead run during Saturday’s battle with a sacrifice fly. The Bee’s third baseman carried a seven-game hit streak into the contest and bats third in New Britain’s lineup.
“He sees the ball well, super composed,” McKillop said. “Great hitter, great player, awesome at third base, [he’s] just a complete player. The way he’s going about his business is just professional. He’s been outstanding to follow and when he’s hot, there’s no one hotter.”
The Eastern Connecticut State product leads the Futures Collegiate Baseball League in the homerun department with four.
“The ball freaking flys off his barrel,” McKillop said. “It’s just a big boy swing.”
“Luke’s been amazing all year and all of the guys,” Petersen said. “I think a lot of the bats are starting to come alive for some of the guys that were struggling early and it’s really good to have it all come together as a unit.”
As a team, New Britain is currently third in the FCBL in hits (153), fourth in runs (103) and fourth in RBIs (94). A seven-game losing streak stunted the Bees offense as they scored just 13 runs during the skid.
Since then, New Britain has won four of six while outscoring opponents 42-32.
“I think we’re recognizing pitches better,” McKillop said. “I think in the early part of our season we were figuring out what we were going to get in this league. Adjusting to some pitching, and our team is a little bit younger too. Guys are starting to get more consistent at-bats, see the ball better and have the right approach to getting base hits.”
Petersen added the team is starting to get more comfortable with each other now that the season is just about a month old.
“That team chemistry, we’re a couple weeks in, we got everyone here this week finally, and the Bee unit is definitely together now, it’s awesome,” Petersen said.
New Britain is now tied for fifth place in the FCBL at 8-11 and sit just 3.5 games back of the first place Brockton Rox at 12-7.
Ryan Ames can be reached at 860-801-5094 or on Twitter @_RyanAmes.