BRISTOL, Conn. (WTNH) — The Bristol Greeners and Bristol Shock opened their 2023 baseball season with a special, interleague exhibition game to honor two fallen Bristol officers on Friday night.

The teams collected donations to benefit the families of Lieutenant Dustin DeMonte and Sergeant Alex Hamzy –  the Bristol police officers who were shot and killed in the line of duty during an ambush last October.

Hartford police officer and left-fielder Gil Roy is a Bristol native who says he was friends with Hamzy.

“[Hamzy was a] one-of-a-kind person, can’t miss his smile from anywhere,” Roy said. “He was a great guy. Always lending a helping hand to anyone he knew.”

A third officer, Alec Iurato, was injured in the October 2022 shooting.

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The Bristol Shock wore a special patch on their uniforms of a thin blue line through the name of the city they play for. 

Justin Martella, a catcher and Wolcott police officer, says the tragedy is a stark reminder of the sacrifices they make.

“It’s been rough. Every night or every day when you leave your family, you kiss them goodbye. You don’t know if it’s going to be the last,” Martella said. “You never expect it to happen to you. You don’t expect it to happen so close to home, but it did.”

Though the shooting hit the so-called tight-knit community seven months ago, the teams stepped up to the plate to honor the fallen officers.

“When this happened, it was just after our season,” said Scott Dickens, chairman of the Connecticut Twilight League. “So, we are just finally starting up our season for the summer and we just felt like we really needed to do something.”

“It’s been a difficult time for the community as a whole, but there’s been a ton of outreach from different sources from around the community, and we’ve really picked each other up,” said Trevor Mays, manager of the Bristol Greeners. “I think it’s something that’s been something that has brought us together.”

All proceeds go directly to the Fund the First Campaign, which has raised more than $1 Million dollars for the officers’ families. 

If you are interested in donating to the Fund the First Campaign you can do so here.