GREATER HARTFORD TWILIGHT: Clutch hits elude the Expos, and so does victory

BRISTOL — It was a gloomy Sunday for the Record-Journal Expos as they lost their second straight Greater Hartford Twilight Baseball League game, falling to a Bristol Greeners team that entered the day’s game at Bristol Eastern High School with just two wins on the season.

The Expos lost 3-2 despite a late push in the seventh inning, where they scored their two runs on a home run by Owen Papciak. 

The Expos will get another crack at the Greeners on Tuesday, when they host the Bristol squad at Maloney High School at 6 p.m.

“Our adjustments for the next game, and even the last few, is we have to hit,” said Expos pitcher and manager Charlie Hesseltine, whose team fell 4-2 to the Vernon Orioles on Thursday night. “It’s hard to win when there’s not many hits.”

In particular, a lack of hits with runners in scoring position really determined the outcome of Sunday’s game. The Expos ended four innings with runners in scoring position.

In the third inning, in the fourth and again in the fifth, the Expos had guys on second and third base. All six were stranded.

The Greeners, on the other hand, had a much brighter day. Zach Bartolome drew a walk and scored on a RBI single from A.J. Lorenzetti to give Bristol a 1-0 lead in the first inning.

The Greeners sustained the momentum in the second inning, when a leadoff single and three stolen bases led to a second run.

After the Expos squandered their opportunities in the middle innings, the Greeners pushing their lead to 3-0 in the sixth. Lorenzetti doubled to begin the inning, stole third and scored on a base hit.

The Expos had one last chance in the top of the seventh to make a comeback and they almost did. A.J. Hendrickson singled and Owen Papciak followed with his home run to cut the score to 3-2.

A strikeout and a line-out to second, however, ended the game.

The last-place Greeners improved to 3-9, while the Expos dropped to 8-7.

The Expos have three games remaining in the regular season. Tuesday’s rematch with the Greeners at Maloney is their final home game. Road games follow on Thursday against Rainbow Graphics at Mt. Nebo Park and next Tuesday against People’s Bank at Glastonbury’s Riverfront Park.

After that, it’s the league’s poststeason tournament, which runs Aug. 5-15 at Palmer Field and McKenna Field. 

Despite Sunday’s setback, Hesseltine is optimistic about the last few games of the season.

“We came together in the last inning today and, hopefully, it carries over to Tuesday.”

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