WooBall Weekly: Bravehearts still looking for winning formula

bravehearts-blog

The Bravehearts opened the week hosting the expansion Westfield Starfires at Hanover Insurance Park at Fitton Field Monday night, but it was the newcomers playing like champions as they defeated Worcester 7-1. The Bravehearts were never in the contest, allowing three runs in the top of the first and were down six before they could push a run across the plate on a Jakob Sessa solo home run. Sessa and Ben McNeill had two hits each in the game.

On Tuesday it was Bristol invading the HIP, and an uncharacteristic poor inning from starter Shawn Babineau had the Bravehearts down 2-0 after two innings. Babineau returned to form quickly, striking out seven in six innings and holding the Blues at bay the rest of his stint to earn his third win of the season.

In the top of the fourth Worcester took the lead scoring four runs on just one hit. Bristol pitching allowed McNeill, Sessa, Mack Cheli, and Tyler Becker all to reach by walk, scoring Worcester’s first run. They’d get another hitting into a double play. Cheli would then score on a balk. PJ Barry capped the scoring in the frame with a solo shot to left to make it 4-2.

Nicholas Martin added a run in the top of the fifth with a moon shot to left field. Bristol got a run back in the top of the seventh, but in the home half Worcester would match that score when a Sessa single knocked in Riley Livingston.

Angelo Baez and Bryce Hellgeth slammed the door over the final two and a third innings, with Hellgeth earning the save.

Wednesday had the Bravehearts visiting the Pittsfield Suns at Wahconah Park, and after an ugly bottom of the first Worcester found itself down 5-0. It was a six run deficit after four full, but the Bravehearts tried to make a game of it in the top of the fifth by putting up a four spot. With Ricciardi and McNeill on the corners a Sessa single scored a run. Cheli then followed with a titanic home run to make it 6-4. But that was as close as Worcester would get as the Suns added three more runs for the 9-4 final.

Thursday’s game at Bristol was rained out. The game will be made up as part of a doubleheader on July 31st.

Fraser Field in Lynn, Massachusetts was the site of Friday night’s double header for the Bravehearts against the North Shore Navigators. In game one the Worcester bats were very quiet, and that spoiled Baez’s first start for the team. The reliever-turned-starter pitched five strong innings, allowing just two runs while striking out nine.

North Shore got a run in the bottom of the fourth, which the Bravehearts would get back after an Idelson Taveras single, an error, and a Ricciardi sacrifice fly to center. But in the bottom half the Navigators would score again for the 2-1 final.

In game two once again Worcester found itself down early when North Shore scored two in the bottom of the first. The Bravehearts took the lead in the top of the fourth when a Cheli double to right scored McNeill. After back to back walks Aidan Wilde earned an RBI with an fielder’s choice. Jack Gardner, who had earlier walked, then scored on a wild pitch.

The Navigators made it 3-3 in the bottom of the fourth, but Worcester regained the lead in the top half of the fifth when Joseph Pesce doubled and then scored on two wild pitches. In the sixth inning a Craig Corliss triple knocked in two runs to make it 6-3. North Shore added a run in the bottom of the inning for the 6-4 final.

Troy Klemm earned his first win of the season, and Hellgeth pitched two scoreless innings to notch his second save of the week.

On Saturday former Bravehearts pitcher Aaron Civale made his MLB debut with the Cleveland Indians, and earned the 2-0 win over the Detroit Tigers. Civale retired the first eight batters he faced, striking out four of them. He finished the game with six strikeouts in six innings of work.

Worcester could have used Civale in their game at Bristol where once again it wasn’t a great night for Bravehearts pitchers as they dropped an 8-5 contest to the Blues. Things started off the great when Worcester struck in the top of the first on a Ricciardi double, a John Thrasher single, and a McNeill sacrifice fly. But Bristol would put up the next eight runs to lead 8-1 after six innings.

In the top of the eighth Worcester made the score look respectable when a Gardner bases loaded single drove in two. They grabbed another run on an infield error. In the top of the ninth a Thrasher sac fly made it the 8-5 final.

Sunday it was North Shore visiting the HIP, and for the first time in a long while it was all Bravehearts early. After a scoreless first inning Worcester got two in the bottom of the second on a Becker RBI triple, and then Becker scored on Livingston’s single.

They got two more in the third, one on a McNeill RBI double and another on an infield out. Worcester then put up four in the fourth, starting with a Cheli bases loading single driving in one. Paul Coumoulos then singled in another run. After a Navigators pitching change McNeill walked to force in a run, and Becker followed with a sacrifice fly.

North Shore put up a three spot in the top of the seventh, but in the home half the Bravehearts plated two more on a double by Barry. The Navigators put up three in the top of the ninth, but that was as close as they would get as Worcester capped it’s week with a 10-6 victory. Eric Chavarria earned the win with six strong innings to start. Hellgeth picked up his second save of the week.

210Sports’ Bravehearts of the week
Pitcher: Bryce Hellgeth from the University of Dayton is this week’s choice, picking up two saves. He pitched two and a third scoreless innings, allowing just one base runner. He struck out four of the eight batters he faced.
Batter: Mack Cheli of Chapman University gets the pick this week, collecting five hits, with two doubles and a home run. He also walked five times, scored six runs, and had five RBI.

This week’s opponents
Monday at Westfield, 6:30pm
Tuesday vs Bristol, 6:30pm “Beach Day”
Wednesday OFF DAY
Thursday double header vs North Shore, 5pm “The Baseball Draught Craft Beer Night” (Special tickets required for craft beer tent, click ticket link below for more info)
Friday vs Westfield, 7pm “Ghostbusters 30th Anniversary Jersey & Post-Game Fireworks”
Saturday vs Bristol, 7pm “Brady Bunch 50th Anniversary T-shirt Giveaway”
Sunday at Pittsfield, 5pm

Tickets to Bravehearts home games can be purchased online or by calling (508) 438-3773.

Around the FCBL
Monday
Nashua 7, @Brockton 6 (HRD, 6-4)
Bristol 6, @Pittsfield 5

Tuesday
@Nashua 10, Brockton 2
@North Shore 7, Pittsfield 3

Wednesday
@Westfield 6, Brockton 5
@Bristol 7, North Shore 0

Thursday
@Brockton 3, Westfield 1
@Nashua 15, North Shore 8

Friday
Pittsfield 4, @Westfield 3 (10 innings)
Nashua 3, @Brockton 1

Saturday
North Shore 5, @Brockton 2
Nashua 4, @Pittsfield 3 (HRD, 10-6)

Sunday
Pittsfield 4, @Nashua 3
Bristol 7, @Westfield 4

For frequent updates on the Worcester Bravehearts follow @210Darryl on twitter, and you can follow 210Sports on Facebook and on Twitter

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