Benoit takes one for the team as Bristol Post 2 moves on in state tourney (with Southington game time updated)

Jalen Benoit (4) celebrates with teammate Mike Massarelli (10) after being hit by a pitch
to end Saturday’s state tournament game at Tunxis Meade in Farmington. (Copyright, Sports on CT-69)

In a 12-inning game featuring a slew of walks, errors and baserunning miscues, it seemed fitting that a walkoff hit by pitch ended it.

Jalen Benoit was hit by a pitch with the bases loaded, which brought in Chadd Richardson with the game-winning run in a 3-2 Bristol Post 2 victory in 12 innings over Berlin Post 68 American Legion game on Saturday afternoon at Tunxis Meade in Farmington. The game was a Northern Division Sectional single elimination contest between the No. 11 and No. 14 seeds.
Berlin led 2-1 entering the bottom of the 12th after getting the go-ahead run off of Bristol reliever Zach Marquis. Bristol’s Cory Fradette led off with a walk. Richardson followed with a RBI double down the right field line. Jake Violette, the cleanup batter, put down a great sacrifice bunt to push Richardson to third base. Berlin elected to walk Anthony Lozier and Noah Plantamuro to load the bases, but Benoit was hit by the pitch to bring home the winning run.
A Bristol offense that struggled to sustain a rally all game did so when it mattered most. Post 2 will face No. 6 Southington on Sunday at 1 p.m. (time change) at Southington High School in another single elimination game. Bristol will be without Marquis and Wes Lahey. Lahey started against Berlin and threw the first six innings, then Marquis came in to begin the seventh and pitched six innings in relief.
Marquis was remarkable in relief, picking up a called strike three in with the bases loaded twice with two outs. One of those came in the top of the 11th inning, after he had taken a line drive off of his leg. The bases were loaded with one out, and Marquis was hit by a hard comebacker. Marquis had the presence of mind to get the ball and fire home to Richardson for the force out. Marquis then caught the next batter looking for a strikeout to end the jam.
The bases were also loaded in the top of the ninth inning, but Marquis escaped that jam with a called third strike.
Plantamuro and Ben Mazzone had three hits each. Richardson had the only extra-base hit for either team in the game.
Bristol was helped out by some shoddy baserunning from Berlin. On two different occasions, Richardson threw bullets behind a runner at second base to pick him off. Bristol also caught a runner between third and home on a failed suicide squeeze with the bases loaded.
There were 16 walks, four hit batters and five errors between the teams.