BRISTOL, July 15 – The Bristol American Legion baseball team is keeping the heat on Simsbury. Post 2 beat Avon on Monday night, 4-0, in a Zone 1 contest at Muzzy Field to remain in the hunt for the Zone 1 Northern Division championship.
But Simsbury, which dropped a one-run decision to Southington on Sunday, picked up a huge victory with an 8-7 victory over Southington Post 72, the Zone 1 Southern Division champions at Memorial Field on Monday night.
Simsbury (18-7, 17-6 Zone 1 Northern) can clinch their first Zone 1 championship since 2016 with a victory over Avon on Wednesday night at Memorial Field. Simsbury would also clinch the title if Avon can upset Bristol (19-7, 17-6) on Tuesday night in the regular season finale for both clubs.
If Simsbury and Bristol finish tied for first place, Simsbury captures the championship because Post 84 captured two of the three games with Bristol this summer. Simsbury and Bristol have both qualified for the American Legion state tournament but winning a zone title would give the zone champion several home games in the first round of the tournament.
It was a scoreless game for three innings at Muzzy Field between Avon and Bristol before Avon committed two errors and threw a wild pitch to put runners on second and third base in the fourth inning. Bristol’s Evan Bouchard had a RBI single to center field while Stephen Warkowski grounded out to second base but still drove in a run for a 2-0 Bristol lead.
Bristol added two more runs in the sixth inning. With two runners on thanks to an error and a single, Joshua Nohilly drove in a run and Bouchard had a RBI double for a 4-0 Bristol advantage.
That was more than enough support for Bristol starting pitcher Alex Balfour, who allowed just three hits and struck out 10. Balfour improves to 3-0 on the season.
Jake Coppen had a double for Avon (6-19, 6-16 Zone 1 Northern) while Miles Borenstein and Emmett Borenstein each had singles. Ben Angus gave up seven hits and struck out two on the mound. Post 202 has lost seven straight games — their longest losing streak of the season.
Avon hosts Bristol in the final game of their three-game series Tuesday night at Buckingham Field.
Bristol 4, Avon 0
Avon (6-19) 000 000 0 — 0-3-3
Bristol (19-7) 000 202 x — 4-7-1
Ben Angus and Emmett Borenstein; Alex Balfour and Carson Sassu; WP: Balfour (3-0); LP: Angus (1-4); 2B: Jake Coppen (A), Evan Bouchard (B); 3B: none; HR: none
Zone 1 standings
x- won division title; y-clinched state tournament berth. Two division champions qualify along with three wild cards.
Bristol 5, Avon 2
Newington 1-1, Hartford 0-0 (forfeits)
Southington 2, Simsbury 1
West Hartford 8, Berlin 2
Bristol 4, Avon 0
Simsbury 8, Southington 7
Newington 1, Hartford 0 (forfeit)
Berlin 4, West Hartford 3
Bristol at Avon
Berlin at West Hartford
Avon at Simsbury, 5:30 p.m.