Cards catcher Rowan Wick tags out Bristol's Thurman Hall.
It was the kind of game the Bristol White Sox and Tony Bucciffero needed.
Bucciffero baffled the Johnson City Cardinals, allowing three hits through seven innings Friday night, as Bristol won 8-0 at ETSU’s Thomas Stadium.
Bucciffero (1-1) had been hit hard in his first start to the tune of seven runs. This time, he faced just two batters over the minimum in his seven innings of work.
“I just had to rebound from that last start,” said Bucciffero, a 14th-round pick out of Michigan State in 2012. “Baseball’s all about bouncing back and I was able to do so. I needed that.”
Bucciferro, who struck out seven and didn’t issue a walk, allowed only one runner past first base. Two relievers joined in to complete a four-hitter.
Bristol (3-6) came into the game tied for last place in the Appalachian League’s West Division and with the league’s worst batting average (.185). The Cards (7-2) were in first place and had the league’s top pitching staff, boasting a team ERA of 1.87.
So what happened? Bristol banged out 15 hits, five for extra bases.
“It just depends on a given night,” Johnson City manager Joe Kruzel said. “Any particular pitcher on a given night is capable, and that young man threw a heck of a game. He mixed speeds pretty well. He hit his spots continuously and we just failed to make some adjustments. You have to take your hat off to that young man.”
The top four batters in Bristol’s lineup combined for 10 hits. Trey Michalewski and Patrick Palmiero each had three.
“That takes a lot of pressure off you when the bats are swinging,” Bucciffero said. “It was a good team win today.”
In the second inning, Cards starter Nick Lomascolo worked himself into a bases-loaded, one-out jam before getting Victor Velazquez on an inning-ending double play.
An inning later, Thurman Hall led off with a double and advanced to third on a groundout. With the infield playing in, Michalewski grounded to third and J.J. Altobelli threw him out at the plate.
Just when it seemed as though the Cards were out of trouble, Palmiero drilled a run-scoring triple off the wall in left and scored on a wild pitch.
Bristol broke it open with three more runs in the fourth, two on a double by Toby Thomas -- that ended the night for Lomascolo -- and another on a double by Michalewski.
Lomascolo (1-1) allowed five runs on seven hits and three walks in his 3 2/3 innings.
“That’s why we play 68 of these,” Kruzel said. “One game’s not gonna decide. Hopefully by the time the season’s over, we’re gonna be consistent and getting better.”
The Cards are scheduled to play one more game at Thomas Stadium, July 26 against the Elizabethton Twins.
“Beautifuly facility ... this is outsstanding,” Kruzel said. “The city and the community should be very proud of this. The result wasn’t very good, but the experience of playing here ... they have a state-of-the-art facility and they should be very proud of that.”