TORRINGTON >> Torrington’s Jake Reynolds threw a no-hitter in a 1-0 American Legion baseball win over Bristol Saturday morning.
In a seven-inning game in an hour and 10 minutes, Bristol pitcher Jaeden Rasmus was right alongside Reynolds, allowing just one hit – a first-inning single by Evan Shortsleeve that decided the game.
Reynolds, an incoming junior at Torrington High School, used only 72 pitches.
“I was hitting my spots,” Reynolds said, throwing the no-hit credit to his defense. “I don’t have an overpowering fastball, so usually I rely on my curve. My catchers (Nick Andro and John Swanson) did a great job with their calls.”
Reynolds walked two, struck out five and overcame a harmless error in the fifth inning.
The first inning was the crucial one for both sides.
Reynolds, stepping up as an emergency starter after scheduled pitcher Clay Langer hurt his finger, walked leadoff batter Nick Sassu.
Shortsleeve, with a sore hand of his own, moved to second base from his usual shortstop position.
He was on the bag for a fielder’s choice on a nice play by third baseman Jason Vinisko for the first out. The surviving runner, Zach Marquis, stole second.
Jake Hall, Bristol’s next batter, popped a fly just over second base. In the midst of a defensive committee, Shortsleeve made a last-minute lunge; the ball slipped off his glove.
Marquis, at second, broke for third.
Centerfielder Shane Bierfeldt, a step away from Shortsleeve, grabbed the ball, throwing a strike to Vinisko on the third-base bag.
Call it an error or a fielder’s choice, the runner was out.
Reynolds got the inning’s last batter on strikes, then breezed through the rest of the game with just two more Bristol base-runners.
Rasmus, an incoming junior at Bristol Central, fared worse in the first inning, but even better for the rest of the game.
Lead-off batter Shortsleeve banged a line-drive single to left in the bottom of the first. Rasmus missed on a pick-off attempt, then did it again on a throw to second. Shortsleeve raced to third.
Shane Bierfeldt, waiting out Rasmus’ only walk of the day, stole second on the next pitch.
With runners on second and third, no outs, Vinisko arced a fly to left. Shortsleeve, tagging up on the catch, made it home easily, 1-0.
Rasmus, with just one strikeout in the game, allowed no more Torrington base-runners.
“We were swinging out in front of him,” said Shortsleeve.
“He had a good curve and he threw strikes,” Vinisko added.
“Our pitching has been great,” said Bristol coach Jerry LaPenta. “We’re just not scoring any runs.”
“Defense has been a big problem for us,” said Reynolds, playing multiple positions without really considering himself a primary pitcher, perhaps until Saturday.
“He pounded the zone,” said Torrington coach R.J. Reynolds. “We finally made plays today.”
Bristol, a perennial Zone I power, slips to 6-5 with the loss. Torrington, with a record full of close-miss losses, is 3-6.
The P38s line up for a double header beginning at 1 p.m. today at Fuessenich against 2-8 Winsted, fresh from a one-run win (6-5) over Torrington Friday night in Winsted.
Torrington 1, Bristol 0
At Fuessenich Park, Torrington
Bristol 000 000 0 – 0 0 2
Torrington 100 000 X – 1 1 1
WP: Jake Reynolds. LP: Jaeden Rasmus.
Records: Bristol 6-5; Torrington 3-6.