WooBall Weekly: Bravehearts continue march to third championship with solid week

After their usual Monday off the Bravehearts were back at it Tuesday when Bristol visited Hanover Insurance Park at Fitton Field. The Blues got on the board early with a couple of runs in the top of the first, but Worcester got one right back when Chad Miller tripled and two batters later Matt Rothenberg singled him in. Bristol added another run in the top of the second, but once again the Bravehearts answered right back with a three run home half when Rafael Bournigal tripled in two runs and then scored on a wild pitch.

Worcester grabbed another run in the third when Ryan Ward singled in Matthew Diesel, but a two-spot in the top of the fourth by the Blues would knot the game again. Once again the Bravehearts would answer back, batting around in the home half and scoring five runs. Dante Ricciardi scored on a bases loaded passed ball, Miller scored on a walk after Worcester again loaded the bases, and then Ward knocked in two with a single. Nick Rybarczyk‘s RBI single would end the scoring in that frame.

In the sixth Zack Tower hit a solo shot, and in the seventh Rothenberg would double in another run for the 12-5 final. Right hander Eric Close picked up the win in relief. In the game Worcester tied a team record with three triples, and scored runs in the opening four innings for the first time in franchise history.

Wednesday saw the Bravehearts heading west to take on Pittsfield, and after finding themselves down one early came back to take the lead in the top of the third on a two-run homer by Diesel. The lead would be short lived as the Suns got both those runs back in the bottom of the frame. Mike Coggeshall got Worcester back to even in the fifth inning when he drove in Austin Lonestar, who had doubled to lead off the frame.

The Bravehearts would retake the lead in the top of the sixth when a Rothenberg double plated two more runs, but Pittsfield answered with two runs of their own in the home half to knot the score again. Tom Walraven would give Worcester another two run lead in the top of the seventh with a bases loaded single, but one again the Suns came roaring back with a couple of eighth inning runs to send the game into extra innings.

In the 12th inning an RBI single by Diesel drove in pinch-runner Bournigal, and then Diesel would score on a John Friday single for the eventual 9-7 final.

On Thursday it was the Brockton Rox invading the HIP, but the night belonged to Frankie Moscatiello as the Bravehearts starter struck out a franchise record 11 batters in six innings, scattering three hits. Moscatiello now owns the franchise records for strikeouts in a game as both a starter and a reliever.

The hometown team got on the board first in the bottom of the second when Friday tripled in Coggeshall. A Diesel sacrifice fly and a Tower double would add two runs in the third. Brockton would get single runs in the seventh and eighth for the 3-2 final. Baylor LaPointe eared his second save on the season with a solid two inning stint.

“Ring Night” took place Friday against Bristol as several members of the 2015 Championship squad returned to Worcester to celebrate their FCBL title. It was another night dominated by pitching, as Bravehearts starter Greg Stagani struck out 10 in his seven inning stint, allowing just a single run on the Blues’ Liam Sacfariello’s titanic homerun in the second inning. Peter Bovenzi earned his first save of the season with a nice two inning stint, striking out three.

As has happened a lot this season, Worcester came right back after the Blues run in the second with one of their own. This time, however, they got a touch of help from the umpires as after a pitch in the dirt Rothenberg appeared to be out scrambling back to first base but was called safe. Rothenberg then went first to third on Nick Barry‘s single, and then scored on Ricciardi’s flare to left field.

The eventual game winning run came for the Bravehearts in the bottom of the third when Worcester manufactured a run. After a Coggeshall double a slow roller by Tower advanced Coggeshall to third, and then he scored on Miller’s infield putout. The rest of the way belonged to the pitchers of both squads, but the 3,672 fans at the HIP went home happy with the 2-1 win.

Saturday it was off to Martha’s Vineyard for Worcester, a place they’ve not had a ton of luck in during the regular season. The Bravehearts looked to starter Mike Bruemmel to help reverse that trend, and the Wheaton College product delivered with seven solid, shutout innings scattering just five hits. Friday got the Bravehearts on the board in the top of the second with a home run, and Worcester would get two more runs on the fifth on Coggeshall’s double.

Miller added an RBI single in the sixth, and in the eighth inning the Bravehearts batted around to put the game well out of reach for the Sharks. A Ricciardi bases loaded sacrifice fly scored the first run, followed by a Bournigal RBI single. Coggeshall added another run with a single, and then Diesel cleared the bases with a grand slam for the 11-0 final.

With the win Worcester extended its winning streak to a franchise record seven games. Miller’s 4-5 performance tied the franchise record for hits in a game and he became the first Bravehearts player with four singles in a regulation nine inning game.

On Sunday it looked like a whole different Worcester team took the field as it was obvious the Bravehearts MI were suffering from a bit of travel hangover getting home from The Vineyard so late. Seacoast was the beneficiary, scoring two quick runs in the top of the first.

Worcester cut the lead in half with an RBI ground out in the fourth, but the offence never really got on track. A seven run top of the seventh inning by the Mavericks put the game out of reach, but Worcester did show a bit of life in the home half.

Joe Mercadante got the Bravehearts on the board with a bases loaded single, and after a double play ball Ricciardi drove in two with a single. But that was all the scoring as Worcester fell 9-4 to end the week with a 5-1 record.

210Sports’ Bravehearts of the week
Pitcher: Frankie Moscatiello wins for the second time in three weeks, as he set the single game strikeout record (11) while scattering three hits over six innings.
Batter: Matthew Diesel gets the week three nod, going 7-19 (.368), with two home runs and 8 RBI.

This week’s opponents
Wednesday vs Pittsfield, 7pm (Bark in the Park/Paw Socks giveaway)
Thursday at Bristol, 7pm
Friday at Wachusett, 6:35pm
Saturday vs Torrington, 7pm (Scout Sleepover/Free T-shirts)
Sunday vs Nashua, 5:05pm (Superhero & Princess Day)

Around the FCBL
Tuesday
@Seacoast 8, Torrington 7
@Wachusett 7, Brockton 2
Pittsfield 6, @Martha’s Vineyard 4 (10 innings)
@Nashua 5, North Shore 4

Wednesday
Seacoast 9, @Brockton 2
Nashua 6, @North Shore 0
@Torrington 6, Wachusett 5
@Bristol 5, Martha’s Vineyard 4

Thursday
@Bristol 5, Wachusett 4
@Torrington 8, Martha’s Vineyard 3
Seacoast 2, @North Shore 1 (13 innings)

Friday
@Wachusett 6, Torrington 5
@Seacoast 6, North Shore 1
Nashua 5, @Martha’s Vineyard 1
@Brockton 4, Pittsfield 1

Saturday
North Shore 12, @Brockton 1 (game 1)
North Shore 8, @Brockton 1 (game 2)
Bristol 5, @Wachusett 2
Torrington 8, @Pittsfield 6
@Nashua 8, Seacoast 6

Sunday
@North Shore 5, Torrington 2
@Pittsfield 10, Wachusett 6
Brockton 5, @Bristol 1
@Nashua 3, Martha’s Vineyard 1

For frequent updates on the Worcester Bravehearts follow @210Darryl on twitter.

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