By: AJ Fabbri
06/13/2018 9:54 PM
What promised to be a shootout between the two top teams in the FCBL quickly turned to a blowout, as the Martha's Vineyard Sharks slugged their way to an 11-5 victory over the Bristol Blues at Muzzy Field Wednesday night.
Blues’ starter Zachary Dionne struggled with command early, and the dynamic Shark offense took advantage.
In the top of the second, Martha’s Vineyard scored two runs without hitting the ball out of the infield. Dionne walked two and hit another to load the bases, and a pair of RBI groundouts from Kai Nelson and Matt Chamberlain gave the Sharks and early lead.
The league leaders in extra base hits flexed their muscles the rest of the way.
After an RBI double from Vanderbilt-bound Tate Kolwyck gave the Sharks a 3-0 lead in the fourth, Yale Bulldog Brian Ronai stepped to the dish. On the first pitch he saw, the cleanup hitter crushed a booming two-run home run into the pine trees beyond the left field fence. Ronai’s fourth longball of the year gave the Sharks a 5-0 lead.
Kyle Bouchard went yard the following inning, smacking a screaming line drive over the right field fence to give Martha’s Vineyard a 6-0 lead.
In three of Bristol’s four losses, opponents scored at least ten runs. All of those losses have come at home.
Shark starter Shawn Babineau kept the Bristol batters off balance all night, utilizing his offspeed pitches on the outside corners of the strike zone. Babineau wiggled in and out of trouble early, as the Blues left nine runners on base throughout the first five innings.
The Blues were able to scratch across a few runs in mop up time. Sharks’ relievers walked in two runs in the seventh. In the eighth, Ian Ostberg drove in Alex Loparco on a base hit. Dylan Reynolds then smacked a double, scoring Ostberg and Ryan Lutz.
Loparco and Matt Bonvicini both finished with two hits apiece.
Babineau earned the victory for Martha’s Vineyard, tossing six innings of shutout ball, striking out eight.
Dionne suffered the loss.
The top of the Sharks’ lineup pounded Blues’ pitching all night. Martha’s Vineyard’s 1-4 hitters (Chamberlain, Kolwyck, Jackson Raper, Ronai) combined for nine hits, eight RBI, and six runs.
The Blues now hit the road, as they travel to Worcester to take on the Bravehearts.
Tomorrow night’s first pitch is set for 7 p.m. in Worcester.