Baseball Review //
Record-Journal Expos, 5
Bristol Greeners, 3
at Muzzy Field, Bristol CT
May 28th 2024

Official box score :::

Additional photos can be found in an album here :::

After a rained out game last Thursday night (I didn't want to go to McKenna any way) the Record-Journal Expos started their GHTBL 2024 season in Bristol at Muzzy Field against the Bristol Greeners.   The Greeners did play their first game of the season the previous Friday night, which was a loss to the Middletown Mets.  

The interesting part about this game, and what makes baseball what it is, was that for the first three innings there was no score.   Hector Gonzalez hit a deep shot to left field in the first inning for a double.   He would advance to third on a wild pitch, but that was basically it.  AJ Lorenzetti would hit a grounder out to right field to put him on first base and after two walks by Charlie Hesseltine the bases were loaded for the Greeners.

Perhaps this moment, the bottom of the first with bases loaded, was when the Greeners should've made their move.   Perhaps them not taking advantage of this situation and the inning instead ending on a strikeout is what cost the Greeners in the long run.   But, who is to say?  Who can truly pinpoint the reason why the Greeners lost?  It felt like a number of factors.

The bottom of the fourth inning was when things got interesting and it felt like the game really started, even though there was some stellar pitching prior to this.  Matt Fusco would lead off and drop it deep into left center field for a double.   The Greeners number 14 would ground out to first base while 12 would strike out to make it seem as if the Greeners were about to waste this Fusco double.   (The Greeners numbers on their uniforms and roster page do not match up, so no names unless I know you)

The Greeners got a little bit of luck as number 2 doubled to drive in Fusco and it was a 1-0 ball game.   This continued with what was perhaps the play of the game by the first base umpire.  The Greeners number 23 was clearly thrown out at first base in a routine play- which would have ended the inning.  The umpire called this correctly but then under pressure and after talking with the home plate umpire changed his mind and said that the first baseman's foot had left the base.

At this point in the game, I was on the first base side and since the play was called what it was called I have no reason to argue with it because I'm not in a position to get it overturned- I have nothing to gain by it- but Will Kszywanos foot never left first base.   That was a poor call by the umpire and, well, luckily it did end up mattering as much by the time the game ended.

The Greeners number 22 would end up with a triple on an error throw to first, bringing in two more runs and putting the Greeners up 3-0 after four innings.   The inning ended on a strike out, but had it ended with that play at first it would have been 1-0.   Still, it's the past, can't change it, so we move on.

In the top of the fifth the Expos got their runs back.  The inning started with Jon Remillard grounding out to the pitcher.   But then a HBP put Jonny Doyon on base, followed by a walk for Max Giacco.   Sebby Grignano struck out, but then Hector Gonzalez chose pitches carefully and walked to load the bases.  Javon Malone would also walk and the game was now 3-1.   AJ Hendrickson would blast a shot past the first baseman's glove, driving in two runs, but Javon Malone was out at home plate to end the inning.   This had the game all tied up, 3-3.

The fifth inning saw Luis Delgado come in to pitch for the Expos and he basically just shut down their offense.   A ground out and two fly outs made a quick 1-2-3 inning in the bottom of the fifth.   The sixth inning was three up and three down for both sides again only with Luis Delgado taking a walk in the top of the sixth.   A strikeout and two ground outs to Sebby Grignano had the game tied going into the seventh.

Max Giacco opened things up in the seventh with a shot to shallow center field which dropped between three Greeners players.   One of them clearly could have gotten to that and this could have been a different game, but the Greeners have always felt like that team, to me, that plays against the Harlem Globetrotters.   Hector Gonzalez sent a shot between second and third base for a single to put runners on the corners.

Hector Gonzalez stole second base and the Greeners didn't even challenge it.  They let him have it and this would come back to haunt them with only one out.  Javon Malone would single in both base runners and it became a 5-3 ball game.   This is where it would stay and the only thing that happened in the bottom of the seventh was Greeners #22 nailing the elbow of that first base umpire with a rocket of a foul ball.  

This game saw Charlie Hesseltine keep the Greeners at bay while Luis Delgado would come in and finish them off.   Combined with the pitching were the offensive efforts of the Expos, who put up runs when they needed to, not only to stay in the game but also to take the lead and win it.  It felt like a close game, but it was also the first game of the Expos season so it was also a bit of settling.

The Expos are home on Thursday night in their Ceppa Field 2024 debut as they take on the Middletown Mets.   The Mets also have a win over the Greeners, which means both of these teams are going into the game 1-0 and someone will have to leave it defeated.   The Mets beat the Greeners 6-3, so it will be interesting to see how these two teams match up against each other on Thursday night.  


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