The Worcester Bravehearts went into the Futures Collegiate Baseball League’s All-Star break on a bit of a hot streak that they hoped would continue as they headed south to take on Bristol on Thursday.
Worcester got on the board first on Zack Tower fifth home run of the season. They increased their lead in the fourth on Nick Rybarczyk‘s two-RBI single. The Blues got two back in the fifth, but in the sixth the Bravehearts came right back with three of their own on a Rybarczyk sacrifice fly, a Ryan Ward RBI single, and a run on a Bristol passed ball.
The Blues would rally a bit in the bottom of the ninth, but Danny Barlok got out of the jam for his second save on the year. Zach Whitaker had his fourth good outing in a row to pick up his third win on the season.
It was back to Hanover Insurance Park at Fitton Friday to complete the home-and-home for Worcester and Bristol in what was the Blues final trip to the city this regular season. The Bravehearts wasted no time jumping out ahead as Rafael Bournigal crushed the second pitch of the bottom of the first to deep right center. Later in the frame a Joe Caico single drove in John Friday, who had doubled earlier, for the two run lead.
In the third inning Tower smashed a two-run homer to give Worcester a four run cushion. The Bravehearts would need every run of that as in the next couple innings Bristol would hit three solo home runs to cut Worcester’s lead to one, but that was as close as the Blues would get in the Bravehearts 4-3 win. Frankie Moscatiello upped his record to 3-0 with the win, Pat McGowan had another great outing in middle relief, and Peter Bovenzi picked up his fifth save of the season with a two-strikeout ninth inning.
On Saturday Worcester headed to Brockton to take on the Rox in the first of two trips in a row to Campanelli Stadium. It was not a great night at the plate for Bravehearts batters as the only hit they’d get was a single in the top of the seventh by Ward in the 1-0 loss to the Rox. Greg Stagani was the hard-luck loser for Worcester, allowing just a single run in six innings pitched. In the bottom of the first Stagani became the franchise’s strike-out king with his 63rd of the season. He’d have seven for the game, raising the career mark to 69.
It was back to Brockton Sunday afternoon, and it was close early as Nick Barry‘s RBI single scored Joe Mercadante in the top of the second to offset a Rox run in the bottom of the first. But that was pretty much the lone highlight for Worcester as the Bravehearts fell apart in the later innings to lose 8-1.
210Sports’ Bravehearts of the week
Pitcher: Greg Stagani gets the nod here, striking out seven batters on Saturday and allowing just a single earned run. Stagani also became the Bravehearts career strikeout king during the start.
Batter: Joe Mercadante is the winner this week, going 4-7 and scoring a run in the abbreviated week.
This week’s opponents
Monday at North Shore, 7pm
Tuesday vs Wachusett, 7pm (Free Money Tuesday)
Wednesday at Wachusett, 6:35pm
Thursday vs Wachusett, 7pm
Friday at Wachusett, 6:35pm
Saturday vs Brockton, 7pm (Bike Night & Free T-shirts)
Sunday vs Pittsfield, 5:05pm (Teddy Bear Toss & Team Photo Giveaway)
Around the FCBL
@Wachusett 11, Bristol 7
FCBL East All Stars 4, @FCBL West All Stars 3
Seacoast 7, @Brockton 4
North Shore 16, @Nashua 10
Torrington 4, @Pittsfield 1
Martha’s Vineyard 5, Wachusett 1 (3+ innings, susp/rain)
Nashua 19, @Torrington 5 (game 1, game played in Nashua)
@Nashua 2, Torrington 1 (game 2, 10 innings)
Pittsfield 4, @Wachusett 3 (game 1)
@Wachusett 3, Pittsfield 2 (game 2)
@Seacoast 8, Brockton 3
@Martha’s Vineyard 6, North Shore 3
@North Shore 8, Seacoast 6
Bristol 10, @Torrington 3
Wachusett 5, @Pittsfield 4
@Nashua 2, Martha’s Vineyard 0
Martha’s Vineyard 10, @Wachusett 9 (10 innings, cont’d of suspended game)
Martha’s Vineyard 3, Wachusett 2 (7 innings)
@North Shore 12, Nashua 8
Torrington 5, @Bristol 0
@Pittsfield 11, Seacoast 2
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