On paper, last week the Worcester Bravehearts had the same week as the previous one by going 3-3 over their last six games. But this past week was a little different, as Sunday’s loss to the Martha’s Vineyard Sharks was one that could be a pivotal point in their season. Will losing after having a commanding lead so late in the game be a moment they can’t recover from and it turns into the end of their season? Or will they rally around the experience, rise above it, and carry themselves into the playoff? Time will tell.
On Tuesday the Bristol Blues came to town to take on the Bravehearts and it was a close ballgame until the Blues batted around in the top of the seventh inning, plating six runs. Worcester never recovered and went on to lose 8-2. Christian Whigham and Davis Strong were both 3-4 with two runs scored for Bristol, with Strong tossing in 3 RBI. Catcher David Noworyta was 3-4 for Worcester, but the real highlight for the Bravehearts was Ian Strom‘s amazing catch in center field that ended up being the #2 play on ESPN SportsCenter’s Top-10 plays for the night.
Wednesday saw Worcester heading north to take on Seacoast, and with a little help from the Mavericks defense Ian Strom turned a single and a stolen base into the game’s first run. The bottom of the fourth inning was on the odd side as Bravehearts starter Dylan Collett struck out four Seacoast batters in the frame but Max McCoomb reached on a passed ball. McCoomb would score on Cameron Oliveira‘s home run, the second round tripper for the Mavericks in the inning. Louis Mele led the home half of the inning off with a homer. Worcester would trail by two heading into the seventh where Zack Tower would hit his sixth home run of the season to drive in Mike Coggeshall. Later in the inning Derek Gibree singled home Gavin Tristan for the eventual game winning run. Currently the box score erroneously indicates Gibree does not have an RBI on the play. Charlie Butler earned his first save of the season with a scoreless ninth.
The Bravehearts had a golden opportunity to gain on another team they were chasing in a visit to Wachusett on Thursday, but other than a Zack Tower RBI single in the top of the ninth Worcester could not get their bats working in a 4-1 loss to the Dirt Dawgs. Chris Chiaradio‘s second home run of the season would be the eventual game winner for Wachusett as Dirt Dawgs starter Steve Colella held the Bravehearts in check for seven innings before turning the game over to the bullpen. Ben Brown earned his first save for Wachusett putting down Worcester’s rally in the ninth. Bravehearts starter Jacob Stevens pitched well in his own right, allowing just one earned run and striking out eight in 5 1/3rd innings.
On Friday Worcester went out west to play Pittsfield and the Bravehearts jumped out to an early lead when Ian Strom scored on Alex Sanchez‘s groundout in the top of the first. Unfortunately that lead wouldn’t last long when Suns designated hitter Casey McCone doubled in two runs in the bottom half of the inning. Worcester would regain the lead with Mike Coggeshall’s 2 RBI single in the top of the fifth, and then lose it once again when Cam O’Neill scored in the bottom of the sixth. The Bravehearts would go ahead for good on David Noworyta’s RBI double in the top of the eighth, and needed Willie Allen‘s insurance RBI from the top of the ninth as McCone would homer off of Worcester closer Adam De La Cruz for the 5-4 final. The save was De La Cruz’s third on the season, tying him from the franchise season mark with Charlie Butler and Josh Desai.
Saturday it was Seacoast’s turn to head to Worcester and it was all Bravehearts as the home town team put up four first inning runs. After Bobby Dragon earned an RBI via a bases loaded walk TJ Riccio cleared the bases with a three run triple. Next inning Mike Coggeshall earned an RBI of his own with a bases loaded walk, then Ian Strom scored on Alex Sanchez’s sacrifice fly. The Mavericks would get two back in the third, but a Seacoast error and a Willie Allen double in the sixth got those runs back for Worcester. The Bravehearts would tack on two more in the seventh for the 10-2 final. Charlie Butler struck out two of the three batters he faced the ninth inning. It was almost a full year between double digits runs scored for Worcester, the last time being a 11-8 win vs North Shore on July 22, 2014.
On Sunday the Bravehearts jumped all over Martha’s Vineyard, and were enjoying a four run lead entering the eighth inning due in part to home runs by Willie Allen and Zack Tower and superb pitching from Joe San Felippo, who had held the powerhouse Sharks lineup to just three hits and an unearned run over six innings. The road half of the eighth was not good for Worcester as Martha’s Vineyard scored four times to tie the game and send it into extra innings. The top of the twelfth was pure agony for Bravehearts fans as the Sharks sent 12 batter to the plate and scored six runs for the 11-6 win.
210Sports’ Bravehearts of the week
Pitcher: Joe San Felippo gets the nod, allowing four hits and having six strikeouts in seven inning pitched.
Batter: Ian Strom is the winner, going 8-21 with two doubles, six walks, six stolen bases, .552 OBP, .476 SLG, and another mind boggling catch in center field.
This week’s opponents
Tuesday at Wachusett, 6:35pm
Wednesday at Bristol, 7pm
Thursday vs Wachusett, 7:05pm (Trip to Fenway & College Night)
Friday vs Bristol, 7:05pm (Healthy Living Night & Fireworks)
Saturday at Bristol, 7pm
Sunday at Pittsfield, 4:05pm
Around the FCBL
There was one game on the FCBL schedule and it was the Brockton Rox visiting the Martha’s Vineyard Sharks. Brian Campbell‘s RBI single in the first put MV ahead, but Brockton scored runs in the third and fourth to grab the lead. The Sharks would come back to tie it but a three run fifth put the Rox up for good. MV would make it interesting with a Guy Davidson two-run homer in the bottom of the eighth, but it was not enough as Brockton would go on to win 6-5. Tommy Stoffel would earn the save for the Rox striking out three of the six batter he faced after going 2-5 as the designated hitter.
Brockton went to Nashua to take on the Silver Knights in a double header, and the Rox took game one 6-3. Matt Dauby‘s two-run homer capped a four run opening inning for Brockton. After the two teams exchanged two run innings in the fourth, with Nashua’s coming via Ryan Sullivan‘s fifth home run of the season, the Silver Knight would add a sixth inning run but couldn’t get any closer. Zack Kirby picked up his second win of the season for the Rox striking out three in five innings. Game two was all Nashua as starting pitcher Kevin Magee allowed just two singles in five innings of work for the win while Justin Snyder picked up the save retiring all six batters he faced in the 6-0 win for the Silver Knights. Tyler Schwanz had a homer for Nashua… Martha’s Vineyard went to New Hampshire to take on the Seacoast Mavericks, and it was Michael Purcell‘s eighth inning RBI single that was the difference in Seacoast’s 6-5 win. The Sharks opened the scoring with a three run second frame, and then increased their lead to four with a third inning run, before the Mavericks scored three of their own in the bottom of that inning. Seacoast tied the game in the seventh when Max McCoomb was hit by a pitch with the bases loaded… It was a hitter’s paradise in Lynn when Pittsfield visited North Shore, with the two clubs combining for 18 runs and 26 hits in the Navigators 10-8 win over the Suns. North Shore blew the game open with a four run inning in the home half of the seventh, and then held on for dear life as the Suns put up three spots in the eighth and ninth for the eventual final score. Ryan Olmo was 4-6 for the Suns while Giovanni Dingcong went 2-3 and a homer for the Navigators… The Torrington Titans were scheduled to take on the Wachusett Dirt Dawgs, but Mother Nature had other ideas as the game was postponed to July 30 as part of a double header.
Torrington went cross state to take on Bristol in a double header and the Titans were probably wishing they had stayed home after being swept by the Blues. In game one all Bristol would need was Gerrad Rohan‘s 2 RBI single in the bottom of the fourth. Torrington made a game of it when Dan Schock scored on a passed ball in the top of the fifth, but Ryan Rinsky‘s RBI double in the bottom of the sixth put an end to a potential comeback in the Blues 3-1 win. Game two went to extra innings where Liam Scafariello‘s RBI singe in the bottom of the tenth was the difference in the Blues 4-3 win. Both team scored in the ninth of the scheduled seven inning game, with Franklin Jennings scoring for the Titans on an infield error and Bristol answering back with Tyler Packanik scoring on an outfield error… Martha’s Vineyard took on Wachusett and the home team Dirt Dawgs jumped out to a three run lead after two innings in part due to Alex Lefevre‘s second inning two run homer. Brian Campbell’s RBI single with the bases loaded in the sixth got the Sharks within two, but that was all the scoring in Wachusett’s 3-1 win. PJ Browne eared his first win on the season for the Dirt Dawgs striking out three in five innings. Matthew Cronin collected his fourth save of the year striking out four of the nine batters he faced… It was a pitcher duel for six innings when North Shore went to Brockton, but in the seventh inning the Navigators sent nine men to the plate and scored five runs. The final three were scored on Brandon Fischer‘s triple and it looked like North Shore was home free. Only the Rox had other ideas and answered back with three of their own, the last two on Jesus Medina‘s RBI single. The Navigators would fire back with two more of their own in the top of the eighth, followed by three from the Rox in the bottom half of the inning. Unfortunately for Brockton Jonathan Salcedo‘s 2 RBI single would be it for both squads as North Shore ended on top 7-6… The pitchers duel in Pittsfield lasted the entire nine innings as the Suns and Silver Knights got together. A Matt Fortin sacrifice fly in the seventh would turn into the game winner in Nashua’s 2-0 win. Gian Martellini scored an insurance run on a wild pitch in the ninth that ended up not being needed. Ryan Moloney improved to 3-2 on the season for the Silver Knights striking out five in six innings and Brandon Walsh earned his second save of the season with a scoreless ninth. Jamin McCann was the hard-luck loser for the Suns, striking out 10 and allowing just one run in seven innings.
The Titans played their second double header in as many days, this time at home against Pittsfield and with slightly better results as Torrington split the night with the Suns. In game one Pittsfield jumped out to an early lead behind Matt Morales‘ second inning RBI single, but the Titans were able to get that run back in Joe Paparelli‘s fourth inning solo home run. The game stayed tied until the bottom of the seventh when Zach Wood singled in Mike Conti for the walk-off 2-1 win for Torrington. Game two saw the Suns jump ahead with a three run top of the first anchored by Casey McCone’s two run homer, and after the Titans put up two in the bottom of the third Pittsfield again put u[p a three spot in the top of the fifth. Dan Schock homered in the home half of the inning for the 6-3 final… North Shore hosted Bristol and it was all Blues as Troy Terzi held the Navigators to just two hits in a complete game 6-0 win for Bristol. At one point Terzi retired 20 North Shore batters in a row, and only went to a three ball count on two of them. Offensively Austin Chauvin was 3-4 with a run scored for Bristol… Seacoast went to Martha’s Vineyard to take on the Sharks, and it was back-to-back three run innings for the home team that put the game out of reach as the Mavericks dropped a 6-2 game on the island. In the second inning the Sharks manufactured their runs with some help from Seacoast mistakes, and the third inning was all on Garet Griffin‘s three run blast. Griffin would finish the game with 4 RBI. Ethan Mohan would have a two-run single in the sixth for Seacoast… Nashua went to Brockton and held the Rox to just three hits in a 3-1 win for the Silver Knights. Matthew Messier earned the win for Nashua allowing just two hits in five innings while striking out five. Brandon Walsh got the save for a 1-2-3 ninth. For Brockton, Andrew Null struck out all three batters he faced in a ninth inning mop-up role.
North Shore headed to Doyle Field in Leominster to take on Wachusett, and the Dirt Dawgs got a three run homer from Max DiTondo in the bottom of the second and never looked back as they cruised to an easy win. The Navigators tallied six runs over the last two inning to make the 10-6 score look respectable. Richie Fecteau had an eighth inning two-run homer for North Shore, while Jon Kristoffersen and Chris Stanford homered for Wachusett… Torrington went to New Hampshire to take on Seacoast, and Titans starter Frank Valentino gave up a two run homer to FCBL home run leader Ryan Gendron in the bottom of the first, but those were the one two runs Valentino would allow in a seven inning, 11 strikeout performance. Torrington first baseman Zach Wood led off the top of the second with a solo homer, and later in the inning Jeremy Pena had a two-run shot. The Titans would add single runs in the sixth and eighth for the 5-2 final… Nashua visited Martha’s Vineyard and jumped out to an early lead thanks to Ryan Sullivan’s sixth homer on the season, but the Sharks would answer in the bottom half of the inning with a five-spot led by Guy Davidson’s two run homer. The Silver Knights would get a run back in the next half inning, and a solo home run by Jimmy Hand would get them to within one, but that was all the scoring in MV’s 5-4 win. Hand finished the game 4-4 with a run and 2 RBI. With the victory Soren Hanson recorded his fourth win of the season for the Sharks… Brockton headed south to take on Bristol and it was the Rox striking early, first with Austin Filiere‘s RBI single and followed by Matt Dauby’s two-run double. The Blues clawed back over the middle innings and would take the lead in the bottom of the seventh on Gerrad Rohan’s 2 RBI double, but another three spot by Brockton in the next half was all she wrote for Bristol in the Rox 6-5 win. Filiere tied the game with a two run triple, and scored the game winner on Dauby’s RBI single.
Martha’s Vineyard and North Shore got together at Fraser Field in Lynn for a double header, and each side took away a 2-1 victory for the night. In game one it was the Sharks coming out on top, with Kevin Brice hitting a triple to lead off the sixth and then scoring on Garet Griffin’s sacrifice fly. The Navigators got their run via a first inning sacrifice fly by Kyle Devin, and Martha’s Vineyard’s first run came on a Jack Roberts‘ RBI single. In game two the Sharks struck first with a Bobby San Martin RBI single in the third, and North Shore would cap the scoring with Devin and MJ Brown getting RBI singles in the sixth. Speros Varinos earned his seventh save on the year for the Navigators… Pittsfield visited Brockton and fell behind early on a Nick Johnson RBI double and Tommy Marcinczyk‘s two-run single. The Suns would answer with a three spot of their own in a similar fashion, with Derek Bauer getting an RBI double and then Cam O’Neill following with a two-run single. Jonathan Salcedo’s three run double after two runs were already in was the final nail in Pittsfield’s coffin as the Rox would go on to win 10-4. Matt Dauby added a solo shot in the fifth for Brockton… Torrington and Wachusett looked to be playing dodge ball as five batters were hit in the 5-4 win by the Titans. Torrington got a three run homer by Dan Schock in the fourth inning and then got two unearned runs in the fifth for their scoring. The Dirt Dawgs had two in the fourth on Max DiTondo’s sacrifice fly and Justin Brock‘s RBI single, a single run in the fifth on Brice Erickson‘s infield groundout, and a sixth inning run when Jake Alu scored on an error. Despite all the hit batsmen the five Torrington and Wachusett pitchers combined for 18 strikeouts… The Blues and Silver Knights got together at Holman Stadium in Nashua and after Bristol had a two run lead after five complete it was a four run sixth inning by the Silver Knights that proved the difference in a 8-6 win for Nashua. Tyler Noe was 2-3 with three runs scored for the Silver Knights, while Manny Cruz went 2-4 with 2 RBI. Tyler Roberts led the Blues with a 3-4 night.
Brockton took on Pittsfield and it was the Rox coming out on top 5-4. Matt Dauby’s two-run double in the top of the ninth was the game winner for Brockton. Austin Filiere went 3-5 with two runs scored for the Rox, while Jordan Pallazola went 2-4 for the Suns… Seacoast and Nashua got together in a Granite State battle, with the Mavericks trouncing the Silver Knights 10-3. Seacoast’s Ryan Gendron continued his mashing of FCBL pitching by launching his league leading 13th and 14th home runs on the season, ending the game with 6 RBI to push his league leading total to 34. Nashua’s Nick Angelini was 2-3 with an RBI and a run… It was an even more lopsided score when Wachusett took on Torrington, with the Dirt Dawgs defeating the Titans 17-5. Max DiTondo was 2-4 with 4 RBI and two runs scored for Wachusett, while Chris Chiaradio tossed in a 3-6 night. Zach Wood and Dan Schock both homered for Torrington… North Shore went down to Bristol and the Blues made their five run first inning stand up in a 5-4 win. Ryan Costello went 2-3 with 2 RBI for the Blues while Brandon Fischer was 2-4 with 3 RBI in the losing effort for the Navigators.