WooBall Weekly: Bravehearts use record week to remain in first place

With the Worcester Bravehearts in just their third season one would expect lots of new team records to be set, but this past week there was an unusual amount of them and they were some pretty big ones. Frankie Moscatiello set the all-time franchise record for consecutive scoreless innings, going 18.2 innings dating back to last season. Mike Coggeshall broke the consecutive games hitting streak, which now stands at 14 games and counting.

Also, Tom Walraven tied the franchise mark for consecutive games getting on base (15), and that streak is still ongoing. On Friday Worcester had a single game franchise record 19 hits by the team, and to top it all off the Bravehearts recorded their largest comeback ever by erasing a seven run deficit to come back to win on Saturday.

The week started after a couple days off as the Bravehearts got back at it on Wednesday when Pittsfield came to Hanover Insurance Park at Fitton Field. The Suns scored a run in the top of the first, but Worcester grabbed the lead in the home half of the second on an RBI single by Dante Ricciardi and a double by Chad Miller that also drove in a run.

After five and half the Bravehearts found themselves trailing by two, but a four spot in the bottom of the sixth put them back in the lead. Another Miller double plated a run, and later in the inning Coggeshall’s triple cleared the loaded bases. Unfortunately for Worcester, big innings by Pittsfield in the seventh and eighth put the Bravehearts in a big hole. John Friday had a homer in the eighth and Ryan Ward scored on a wild pitch in the ninth for the 11-8 loss.

It was a pitcher’s duel in Bristol on Thursday as both squads held the other in check for 11 innings before Worcester finally broke through in the top of the 12th. After a Miller walk and a stolen base a Nick Barry sacrifice bunt moved Miller to third, where he would eventually score on a wild pitch. The Blues were able to manufacture a run of their own in the home half of the inning, so there was more bonus baseball to be played.

The road half of the 14th was a lot like the 12th when Miller would once again walk and advance to second on a wild pitch. Another Barry sacrifice moved Miller to third, were he scored on a passed ball for the 2-1 lead. Danny Barlok, who came into the game in the 13th, slammed the door shut with a 1-2-3 inning for the win for the Bravehearts.

On Friday Worcester headed north to Leominster for a visit with Wachusett, and after four innings the Bravehearts found themselves trailing by two. Walraven cut the deficit in half when he drove in Nick Rybarczyk, but the Dirt Dawgs would grab another couple of runs in the home half to put Worcester down by three. Zack Tower led off the sixth with a home run, and later in the frame Walraven drove in another run to get the Bravehearts within one.

As the see-saw battle continued Wachusett would strike again in the seventh to get their lead back to two. In the eighth Rybarczyk launched a two run homer to tie it, and three pitches later Joe Mercadante gave Worcester its first lead of the night with a solo shot. That lead was short lived as Dirt Dawgs outfielder Chris Stanford homered on the first pitch of the home half of the frame to eventually send the game into extras.

In the 11th inning a Coggeshall double and an Austin Lonestar triple gave the Bravehearts the lead, but Wachusett scored a run in their half of the inning, so on to the 12th the teams went. Matt Rothenberg was the hero of the inning, knocking a seeing eye single past the shortstop to drive in Mercadante for the 8-7 final. Baylor LaPointe was the winning pitcher for Worcester.

Saturday saw the Torrington Titans come to town, and as the opening says it was a record setting performance by the Bravehearts as they came back to win after trailing big early in the game. Worcester starter Mike Bruemmel, one of the pitching staff’s two legitimate aces, couldn’t get it going and retired just three of the 11 batters he faced. It looked bleak for the home town team as they trailed 8-1 after two and a half innings.

In the third inning the Bravehearts cut the Titans’ lead in half with back to back doubles by Coggeshall (RBI) and Tower (2RBI), and in the fifth Rafael Bournigal scored on an error to get Worcester within three. It was the home half of the seventh where the fireworks began as Worcester batted around, sending 11 batters up against three different Torrington pitchers.

After a Bournigal single and a Coggeshall walk Tower doubled in two runs to cut the Titans’ lead to just one. A Matthew Diesel walk and a Rothenberg single loaded the bases for Joe Caico, whose fly ball to right off a full count pitch just kept carrying and eventually found its way over the wall for a grand slam and an 11-8 Bravehearts lead.

Torrington got one back in the eighth, but a Coggeshall homer and a Rothenberg RBI double put the game firmly in Worcester’s pocket with the 13-9 final.

The Bravehearts hot bats continued on Sunday when the Nashua Silver Knights came to town. In the second inning a Ricciardi double drove in two runs, and a little later in the frame a Walraven single added another run. A Diesel RBI groundout capped the scoring in the frame. Worcester would get single runs in the third, fourth, and fifth innings on a Friday RBI double, a Coggeshall RBI single, and another Ricciardi RBI to make it 7-1 after five.

In the sixth Worcester broke open the game when they sent nine batters to the plate. A Ward triple cleared the loaded bases, followed by Mercadante’s RBI single. Ricciardi picked up his third RBI of the game with a double. Nashua would add three in the top of the ninth for the 12-5 final.

210Sports’ Bravehearts of the week
Pitcher: Frankie Moscatiello wins for the third time in four weeks with five innings of shutout ball to bring his season total to 15, and 18.2 overall. His six strikeouts added to his team leading total, now at 24 on the season.
Batter: Mike Coggeshall is the obvious choice, going 13-18 (.722) with 3 doubles, a triple, a home run, 6 walks, and no strikeouts. His OBP was .783 and he slugged 1.167.

This week’s opponents
Tuesday at Wachusett, 6:35pm
Wednesday vs North Shore, 7pm
Thursday vs Bristol, 7pm
Friday at Bristol, 7pm
Saturday at Pittsfield, 7pm
Sunday vs North Shore, 5:05pm

Around the FCBL
Tuesday
@Torrington 16, Pittsfield 4 (7 innings/game one)
Pittsfield 5, @Torrington 4 (7 innings/game two)
@Brockton 5, Nashua 1
@North Shore 7, Wachusett 6 (10 innings)
Seacoast 12, @Martha’s Vineyard 4

Wednesday
@North Shore 4, Brockton 3
@Martha’s Vineyard 7, Torrington 2
@Bristol 9, Wachusett 4
@Seacoast 4, Nashua 1

Thursday
@Seacoast 5, Wachusett 4
Brockton 17, @Nashua 1
Martha’s Vineyard 4, @North Shore 3

Friday
@North Shore 8, Martha’s Vineyard 0
Nashua 8, @Torrington 2
@Brockton 7, Seacoast 3
@Pittsfield 5, Bristol 1

Saturday
Seacoast 4, @North Shore 1
@Wachusett 15, Bristol 3
@Martha’s Vineyard 10, Brockton 6
@Nashua 2, Pittsfield 1

Sunday

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

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