On Monday Worcester visited historic Fraser Field in Lynn, Massachusetts to take on North Shore but couldn’t hold a mid-game lead and dropped a 4-3 contest to the Navigators. After falling behind by a run in the bottom of the second the Bravehearts evened the score in the top of the fourth when a Bryce Hellgeth single scored Paul Coumoulos.
Another North Shore run in the bottom of the fifth put Worcester down again, but the Bravehearts answered with two runs in the top of the sixth on a CJ McKennitt triple and PJ Barry RBI single, and a bases loaded RBI from John Thrasher. But in the bottom of the sixth the Navigators picked up two to retake the lead and ultimately win 4-3.
On Tuesday Worcester headed west to Pittsfield to take on the Suns at Wahconah Park in the first of three morning games for the Bravehearts last week. Tyler Becker got Worcester on the board quick with a homer in the top of the first, but the Suns tied it with an unearned run in the home half of the frame.
In the top of the fourth the Bravehearts put up a four spot on Pittsfield, with Jakob Sessa lacing a bases loaded single to right field to score Becker. Riley Livingston then earned an RBI with a sac fly that scored Jack Gardner. Two batters later Mariano Ricciardi singled in Hellgeth and Sessa for the 5-1 lead. Unfortunately for Worcester the Suns grabbed five runs in the bottom of the sixth to take the lead.
To the eight the Bravehearts went, where they put up three runs to retake the lead. The first two runs came when Pittsfield failed to turn a double play and threw the ball away, allowing Sessa and Nicholas Martin to score. Becker then singled in Thrasher to make it 8-6 Worcester. But once again the Suns would answer back, and they tied the game 8-8 after eight innings.
It took just three pitches into the top of the ninth for Worcester to retake the lead when Coumoulos launched a home run, and that turned into the winning run as the Bravehearts defeated Pittsfield 9-8. Angelo Baez earned the win with a nice two inning outing to end the game.
Wednesday morning had the Suns visiting Hanover Insurance Park at Fitton Field, and 4,933 school children saw Worcester defeat Pittsfield 4-2. Eric Chavarria started the game on the mound for the Bravehearts, and had an outstanding outing pitching seven solid innings while striking out ten.
After a scoreless six innings Chavarria allowed the only two hits he would give up in the top of the seventh as Pittsfield parlayed some small ball into a run. Worcester got that run back in the home half of the frame on a Barry double that scored pinch-runner Sessa.
The Suns would grab another run in the top of the eighth, but the Bravehearts answered back with two in the bottom of the inning. Two batters after Ricciardi doubled Martin singled him in. A Sessa sacrifice fly scored another run. Hellgeth then pitched a scoreless ninth inning for the win.
Thursday was the second of the Bravehearts “Baseball in Education” days and saw a franchise record 5,157 fans at the HIP, but the kids at the game went home disappointed when the expansion Westfield Starfires upended Worcester 6-1. The Bravehearts lone run in the contest came in the bottom of the eighth when Ben Rice walked and Craig Corliss doubled him in.
Christopher Macca had a good two inning stint on the mound for Worcester, striking out five of the eight batters he faced. Ethan Teixeira added two punch outs in the ninth.
The two “Baseball in Education” games had a total of 10,090 fans in the stands, a new franchise mark for consecutive games. Starting with their May 31st game the Bravehearts had 13,453 attending, a new three game record. And counting Saturday’s game Worcester set a new franchise record for four consecutive games at 15,501. We don’t track consecutive games after four, but it’s a safe bet the Bravehearts would have made a run at any mark if it existed. Through six home dates Worcester is averaging 3,243 per game.
After an off day on Friday the Bravehearts welcomed the Brockton Rox to the HIP, but Worcester starter Shawn Babineau wasn’t very neighborly, allowing just four baserunners while striking out ten over seven innings while earning the win. In 13 innings pitched so far this season Babineau has allowed only five batters to reach base, one of them via a fielder’s choice. Not one has reached second base.
Hellgeth got all the offense the Bravehearts would need when he smashed a home run over the left field wall for the 1-0 lead. It was the 150th home run in franchise history. Worcester grabbed two runs in the fifth when Ricciardi tripled to lead off the frame and Sessa doubled him in. Gardner then singled scoring Sessa. In the seventh Gardner would score on a Rox error after singling earlier in the frame for run number 1500 in Bravehearts history.
McKennitt pitched a scoreless eighth for Worcester, and Baez followed with a three strikeout ninth. It was the Bravehearts first ever regular season shutout at the HIP. As the team mentioned on Twitter, they clinched the 2014 FCBL championship at home with a playoff shutout.
On Sunday the Suns visited the HIP, and the less said about the game the better as Pittsfield pummeled Worcester 18-6. A bright spot for the Bravehearts was Ricciardi going 3-5 with a double and a triple, and scoring two runs.
210Sports’ Bravehearts of the week
Pitcher: Eric Chavarria of Cypress College gets the nod this week, allowing two hits and one run over seven innings while striking out 10 in his start against Pittsfield on June 5th.
Batter: Mariano Ricciardi, also of Cypress College, is the easy pick this week. The Bravehearts all-time walks leader added three more to his career mark, and went 9-23 with three doubles and two triples. He scored four runs and knocked in three.
This week’s opponents
Monday vs North Shore, 6:30pm (Trivia Night)
Tuesday at Brockton, 10:39am
Wednesday vs Bristol, 6:30pm (First Perfect Game Celebration)
Thursday OFF DAY
Friday vs Brockton, 7pm (Post-Game Fireworks)
Saturday at Pittsfield, 6pm
Sunday at North Shore (DH), game one 3pm
Tickets to Bravehearts home games can be purchased online or by calling (508) 438-3773.
Around the FCBL
@Westfield 7, Pittsfield 4
Brockton 7, @Nashua 2
@Nashua 8, Bristol 5
@Westfield 4, Brockton 1
Nashua 9, @North Shore 6
Bristol 9, @Westfield 5
@Brockton 4, Bristol 2
@North Shore 7, Pittsfield 4
@Pittsfield 5, North Shore 3
@Nashua 4, Westfield 0
Brockton 7, @Bristol 5
@North Shore 12, Nashua 7
@Westfield 10, Bristol 9
@Brockton 5, Nashua 3
@North Shore 14, Westfield 2