On Monday the Bravehearts headed to Fraser Field in Lynn to take on the North Shore Navigators in a double header, and in game one it was once again the pitching being good enough to win and the Worcester bats failing to deliver a timely hit in a 3-1 loss.
After falling behind 1-0 in the bottom of the first Worcester would tie it in the top of the third on a Trevor Johnson triple and Mariano Ricciardi sacrifice fly. North Shore would score runs in the bottom of the fourth and sixth to take a 3-1 lead into the seventh. The Bravehearts had runners on second and third with no outs in the top of the seventh but couldn’t push a run across. Eric Chavarria took the hard luck loss.
Ricciardi and John Thrasher led off game two with singles, and Tyler Becker knocked them both in for the 2-0 Worcester lead after a half inning. And then it got ugly as the Navigators put up five in the home half, and then added two in the second and one in the third for an 8-2 lead after three innings.
Things were going so poorly for Worcester that their bases loaded threat in the top of the fourth was wiped out in one swing as North Shore turned a 5-4-3 triple play.
They say “a journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step”, but for the Bravehearts it was the ninety feet Becker got to walk after being hit by a pitch that started their improbable comeback. What followed was a Paul Coumoulos single and Joseph Pesce double to make it 8-4.
In the top of the seventh Ben McNeill singled and Mack Cheli reached on an infield error. Two batters later Coumoulos singled in a run, and then Worcester grabbed another run on an error. Pesce then singled driving in his third run of the game. Nicholas Martin tied the game with an RBI single. Ricciardi earned an RBI when he grounded to second to knock in the run that game the Bravehearts a 9-8 lead.
Bryce Hellgeth had an adventurous bottom of the seventh but still earned the save. Alex Rosario got the win with three innings of scoreless relief
After an off day on Tuesday Worcester headed north to take on the Nashua Silver Knights in another double header, and they way things turned out the Bravehearts probably wish they’d had Wednesday off too.
In game one Worcester was down 14-0 before they managed to push a run across in the top of the seventh on a Coumoulos double. Ben Rice earned an RBI, although currently the box score doesn’t show that he got one, in the top of the ninth in what turned into a 15-2 loss for Worcester.
Worcester’s game two loss, while not as bad on the scoreboard as game one, hurts a lot more as they took a three run lead into the bottom of the seventh before allowing four runs to lose 7-6.
After the Bravehearts got a run on a double play ball in the top of the second Pesce singled in another run. Two batters later Ricciardi doubled for the 4-0 lead. The Silver Knights got two in the bottom of the fourth, but Worcester answered back with a Becker single, Jack Gardner double, and Martin sacrifice fly. Nashua scored in the bottom of the frame to make it 5-3.
In the top of the seventh Ricciardi earned an RBI after being hit by a pitch with the bases loaded, but as it turned out Worcester could have used a few more runs out of that situation as in the bottom of the seventh the Silver Knights scored four times to walk off winners.
Starter Evan Moore pitched well but did not figure in the decision, striking out five in four innings while allowing just one hit. The two runs he allowed were both unearned.
On Thursday it was Nashua visiting Hanover Insurance Park at Fitton Field as the Bravehearts held their traditional July 4th afternoon BBQ game, and Worcester didn’t take long to jump in front as in the top of the first when Ricciardi scored on a wild pitch after doubling to left and then taking third on Thrasher’s single. Thrasher would then score from second on Becker’s infield hit.
The run scored was the 65th in Ricciardi’s Bravehearts career, breaking the old mark of 64 by Ian Strom.
Nashua answered with three in the top of the second to take the lead, but in the home half Worcester retook the lead when Riley Livingston scored on an infield error and Cheli was hit by a pitch with the bases loaded. Cheli has been hit by 18 pitches the last summer and a half while wearing a Bravehearts uniform, which is a franchise record.
In the fourth Worcester grabbed another run on a Johnson double and Silver Knights infield error. In the fifth the Bravehearts got four more, the first on another infield error by Nashua, the second and third on Johnson’s second double in as many innings, and the fourth on an errant pick-off attempt.
The Silver Knights grabbed a run in the sixth and two in the seventh to make it 9-6 Worcester. In the bottom of the eighth the Bravehearts grabbed two more runs on a McNeill RBI double and Becker sac fly, and those turned out to be important runs as Nashua scored three in the top of the ninth before Jakob Barker could slam the door shut.
Shawn Babineau earned his fifth win of the season with another good outing, striking out six in six innings.
On Friday Worcester headed to the Nutmeg State to take on Bristol at Muzzy Field, and the Bravehearts pounded out a franchise record 22 hits as they pummeled the Blues 16-2. Martin and Coumoulos both tied the franchise mark with five hits in the game, while Gardner tied the team mark of three doubles in the contest. The Bravehearts hit six two-baggers in the game, tying their franchise record.
In the first Martin doubled and three batters later Coumoulos singled him in. In the second Pesce doubled and Martin singled him home. In the third it was a Coumoulos single and Gardner double that led to a run.
The fourth saw Worcester score four times, with McNeill knocking in a run on a fielder’s choice, Coumoulos knocking him in with a double and then scoring on a wild pitch. Rice then knocked in Becker, who had advanced to first on a dropped third strike. In the fifth it was four more, with McNeill earning an RBI with a sacrifice fly, a Coumoulos RBI single, and Gardner doubling in two runs.
Martin then hit a three run homer in the top of the sixth to make it 14-0. Bristol grabbed two in the home half, but that would be it for their scoring. Rice picked up another RBI in the seventh, and in the ninth a Johnson RBI single made it the 16-2 final.
Angelo Baez got the win with seven solid innings. He retired 13 of the first 14 batters he faced and cruised from there, allowing just four hits while striking out five in seven innings. Jack Moynihan pitched two good innings of relief.
Saturday’s game in Westfield was rained out, but the two teams were able to play their regularly scheduled Sunday game at Bullens Field despite a 90 minute delay. The Starfires jumped out to an early 1-0 lead in the bottom of the second. A Gardner RBI in the top of the fifth tied the game, but Westfield made it 4-1 with a run in the fifth and two in the sixth.
In the seventh the Bravehearts took the lead with a five spot in the frame, starting with Livingston driving in two with a bases loaded double. Martin followed with a single that drove in two more. After a double play ball Johnson singled, took second on a wild pitch, advanced to third on a balk, and then scored on a wild pitch.
In the eighth Livingston knocked in another run with a sacrifice fly, and Westfield got two back in the home half of the inning. In the ninth, which saw the return of Chris Rinaldi to the Worcester line-up, the Bravehearts scored two runs on an infield error. Hellgeth recorded the last four out of the game, three by strikeout, for his seventh save of the season. That seven saves ties him with Frankie Moscatiello for the franchise single season record.
210Sports’ Bravehearts of the week
Pitcher: Angelo Baez of St. Thomas Aquinas is the week’s choice, winning his start at Bristol Friday night with a seven inning stint where he retired 13 of the first 14 batters he faced.
Batter: Nicholas Martin of Westfield State gets the nod this week, batting .471 in five games, including a franchise record tying 5-7 night at Bristol Friday night. He had two doubles, a home run, and eight RBI over the week, and scored five runs.
This week’s opponents
Monday OFF DAY
Tuesday at Brockton, 10:30am
Wednesday vs Brockton, 10:30am “Camp Day” (Game appears to be sold out)
Thursday at Nashua, 7pm
Friday at Nashua, 6:45pm
Saturday at Brockton, doubleheader, game 1 2pm
Sunday OFF DAY
Tickets to Bravehearts home games can be purchased online or by calling (508) 438-3773.
Around the FCBL
@Brockton 17, Pittsfield 6
@Bristol 8, Nashua 2
North Shore 11, @Westfield 4
@Pittsfield 8, Bristol 0
Nashua 4, @Brockton 1
@Westfield 4, Brockton 3
@Bristol 5, North Shore 4
North Shore 9, @Pittsfield 0
@Bristol 8, Brockton 7 (10 innings)
@Pittsfield 13, Nashua 4
North Shore 7, @Westfield 4 (game 1, 7 innings)
@Westfield 8, North Shore 6 (game 2, 7 innings)
Brockton @ Nashua, ppd rain
@Bristol 5, Brockton 4 (HRD, 7-6)
Brockton 7, @Pittsfield 2
North Shore 13, @Bristol 10