With the rains falling on Monday and the other two games on the Futures Collegiate Baseball League schedule already postponed the Worcester Bravehearts moved the start time of their tilt against the Pittsfield Suns at Hanover Insurance Park at Fitton Field up to 5:45 hoping to get the game in before the storm front moved in.
At first it didn’t look like the time change would work out in the Bravehearts favor as the Suns jumped out to a 2-0 after a half inning, but Worcester came right back in the home half of the frame with two of their own. Mariano Ricciardi doubled and John Thrasher singled to put runners on the corners, and then Ben Rice laced an RBI single to left. After a double steal Thrasher would score on a wild pitch.
It stayed 2-2 until the top of the third when with one out and a Pittsfield runner on second the heavy rains halted the game. The game was picked up from that point on Sunday, so more on the contest a little later…
On Tuesday it was the Brockton Rox visiting the HIP, and with Worcester finding themselves down two in the bottom of the fifth Paul Coumoulos cut the visitor’s lead n half with an RBI single. The Bravehearts then took the lead in the sixth on a Tyler Becker and Ben McNeill RBI single to center. McNeill would advance to third on a Riley Livingston hit and then score on a passed ball.
The top of the seventh saw Brockton score five to take a 7-3 lead, but in the bottom half Worcester would get back within one with a Trevor Johnson bases loaded double. But that was as close as the Bravehearts would get as the Rox added an eighth inning run for the 8-6 final.
Starter Shawn Babineau struck out eight in five innings and didn’t allow an earned run. He did not figure in the decision.
After an off day on Wednesday Worcester headed to Wahconah Park in Pittsfield to take on the Suns Thursday night, and the pitchers ruled the day as newcomer McCabe Sargent, Cole Chudoba, and Christopher Macca held the high-flying Pittsfield squad off the board. The Bravehearts took a seventh inning lead on a Ricciardi sacrifice fly, but the Suns would score two in the bottom of the ninth with two outs to win 2-1.
Friday saw a franchise record breaking 5,554 fans crammed into the HIP to watch Worcester take on the Nashua Silver Knights, and after the second longest nine inning game in Bravehearts’ history (four hours, twelve minutes) Worcester ended up on the wrong end of a wild 17-16 score.
Bases loaded walks for Coumoulos and McNeill made it 2-0 after one. In the second a Ricciardi double drove in a run, and then he scored on Rice’s home run to left field. In the top of the fourth the Silver Knights scored seven runs to take the lead, and then added one in the fifth to make it 8-5. In the bottom of the frame McNeill knocked in a run with a sac fly and Johnson cut the lead to one with an RBI infield single.
In the top of the sixth Nashua would score seven more times to make it 15-9, but the Bravehearts wouldn’t go away and got two in the home half on a Rice RBI double and Mack Cheli run scoring single. The teams then exchanged runs in the seventh, with Worcester’s coming on a Jakob Sessa sacrifice fly.
The Silver Knights scored one in the top of the eighth to make it 17-10, but back came the Bravehearts again in the home half. Becker scored two with a triple to left, and then Johnson knocked him in with a single. After a passed ball scored another run Sessa grabbed another RBI with a single. A Cheli sac fly made it a six run frame and a 17-16 game, but unfortunately for Worcester that’s where the scoring ended.
Saturday it was off to Westfield for the Bravehearts to take on the Starfires, and like in Monday’s rain delayed contest Worcester’s run scoring started with singles by Ricciardi and Thrasher. This time instead of a single Rice hit a double and drove both in. Westfield got one back in the home half, but that’s all they’d get off starter Eric Chavarria, who went six and two-thirds while striking out seven.
In the seventh Thrasher had an RBI triple, and he was knocked in by a Chris Rinaldi single. In the eighth Thrasher earned another RBI with a single, and Nicholas Martin, who had doubled earlier in the inning, scored on a passed ball. Troy Klemm earned the save in the 6-1 contest.
On Sunday Pittsfield returned to the HIP to complete Monday’s contest before playing Sunday’s scheduled game. I’d love to tell you the ins and out of the game, but despite the “Game Live” still being up for Monday’s portion of the contest it wasn’t used for Sunday’s restart. What is known is the score, and the Bravehearts used a nine-run fifth inning to help defeat Pittsfield 15-6.
In the regularly scheduled game, Worcester jumped allover the Suns with a three run first inning when Thrasher doubled, Johnson tripled, and then Rinaldi homered. In the second it was three more runs as Livingston doubled, Martin walked, and then Thrasher tripled. he then scored on Johnson’s sac fly.
It was more of the same in the third as Cheli scored on an infield error, Martin walked with the bases loaded, and Thrasher hit a sacrifice fly. Pittsfield got two in the sixth bit that was all the scoring in the 9-2 Bravehearts win.
Angelo Baez picked up his fifth win of the season with a strong six inning effort. Jakob Barker added a scoreless seventh inning.
210Sports’ Bravehearts of the week
Pitcher: Cole Chudoba from Assumption College gets the nod, holding the Pittsfield Suns scoreless for five innings in relief on Thursday and striking out six batters.
Batter: Ben Rice from Dartmouth College is the week’s winner, going 10-19 with three doubles, a home run, and nine RBI. He also scored four runs and stole a base.
This week’s opponents
Monday vs North Shore, 6:30pm “Baseball Card Giveaway”
Tuesday OFF DAY
Wednesday at Bristol, 7pm
Thursday at Westfield, 6:30pm
Friday vs Nashua, 7pm “Ted Williams Bobblehead” and “Post-Game Fireworks”
Saturday vs Westfield, 7pm “Worcester Firefighter Jersey Auction to Benefit Ava Roy Fund”
Sunday at Brockton, 3pm
Tickets to Bravehearts home games can be purchased online or by calling (508) 438-3773.
Around the FCBL
Brockton @ North Shore, ppd, rain
Nashua @ Bristol, ppd, rain
Pittsfield 6, @Bristol 3 (game 1, 7 innings)
@Bristol 7, Pittsfield 6 (game 2, 7 innings)
Westfield 5, @North Shore 4
North Shore 4, @Brockton 2
@Bristol 14, Nashua 0
@Pittsfield 13, Westfield 12
@Brockton 3, North Shore 1
Westfield 8, @Nashua 6
Bristol 12, @Westfield 5
@North Shore 3, Pittsfield 1
Brockton 9, @Pittsfield 3
@Bristol 2, Nashua 1
Brockton 10, @Bristol 6 (game 1, 7 innings)
@Bristol 9, Brockton 3 (game 2, 7 innings)
@North Shore 7, Nashua 4