Bristol Eastern baseball’s four-game win streak ends against Tolland

Bristol Eastern’s Jake Violette runs toward first after hitting a single in Thursday’s game against Tolland at Page Park.

A four-run first inning Thursday at Page Park was the beginning of the end of Bristol Eastern baseball’s four-game winning streak.
After losing their first two games of the season, the Lancers had knocked off Maloney, Norwich Free Academy, Plainville and Glastonbury. Eastern met its match in a 9-2 loss Thursday to undefeated Tolland.
The Eagles improved to 6-0 while the Lancers dropped to 4-3.

Junior Shane Caron made his first varsity start Thursday.

Eastern junior Shane Caron made his first varsity start, and the beginning was rough. Two one-out singles and a walk loaded the bases for Jack Cerra, who smacked a ground-rule double through the hedges by King Street for a 2-0 lead. Caron got a strikeout for the second out of the inning, but a Parker Ryan pop down the left field fell off the glove of a diving Cory Fradette for a two-run single and a 4-0 Tolland advantage.
Eastern got a run back in the bottom of the first on a MacGregor Goulet grounder to first, and Caron settled down. 
Caron tossed three straight scoreless innings, with help from his defense. Fradette turned a 6-3 double play to end the second inning. In the third, Fradette and second baseman Shawn Savior cleanly fielded grounders for the final two outs to leave a Tolland runner on second base.
In the fourth, the Eagles got a leadoff single, but Caron got the next batter on a called third strike. A pop up to first baseman Mike Massarelli and a trickler in front of catcher Gary Gagnier provided the final two outs.
Eastern’s problem was it couldn’t get anything further off of Tolland senior right-hander Jacob Simon. Using an 85-86 mile-per-hour fastball and a good breaking ball, Simon was able to limit Lancer chances.

Catcher Gary Gagnier looks for the sign.

Jake Violette had a two-out single in the third, then reached second on a wild pitch, but Simon got Zac Marquis to fly to right to end the threat. Simon put Eastern down in order in the fourth.
In the fifth, Cerra rocketed a RBI triple down the right field line to put Tolland up 5-1, and Caron was knocked out of the game after lasting 4.1 innings. 
Gagnier delivered a RBI single in the bottom of the fifth to cut the deficit to 5-2. It was the final Lancer run of the game. Simon kept Eastern scoreless, and Tolland put the game away with four runs over the final two innings. Clayton Keane had the big hit, a two-run triple the other way down the right field line. Keane scored when the relay throw to third went out of play.
Eastern gets a long weekend off from game action, then goes to Simsbury on Monday for a 6 p.m. game at Memorial Park.

PHOTOS: Click here to view photos from Thursday’s Bristol Eastern game.