WooBall Weekly: Bravehearts launch into first place with a big week

Worcester Bravehearts Art

After all the Futures Collegiate Baseball League teams took their usual Monday off it was off to Bullens Field for the Bravehearts as they took on the Starfires in Westfield. Eric Chavarria was on the hill for Worcester and pitched well, striking out five in four innings of work. The one run he allowed was unearned.

In the top of the fifth Danny Torres singled and EJ Exposito followed with a two-run blast to left to give the Bravehearts a 2-1 lead. That lead would last until the bottom of the eighth when the Starfires tied it, but in the top of the ninth Worcester manufactured a run with two outs on a walk, dropped third strike, and then an RBI single from Torres.

In the bottom of the ninth Torres once again came up big, cutting down the tying run at the plate from his second base position to help seal the 3-2 victory. Alex Amalfi picked up his first win of the season while John West earned his first save.

Wednesday was the back half of the Bravehearts home and home against the Starfires, with Westfield visiting Doyle Field to take on Worcester. The Bravehearts wasted no time and jumped out to an early lead thanks to an Aidan Wilde sacrifice fly in the bottom of the first. Wilde would then make it 2-0 with a solo home run to left-center in the top of the fourth.

The Starfires answered right back in the top of the fifth to cut Worcester’s lead to 2-1, but in the home half Ben McNeill earned an RBI the hard way while getting hit by a pitch with the bases loaded. Westfield would grab a run in the top of the eighth, but Brendan Desautels slammed the door shut to earn the save and preserve the 3-2 win.

Cole Chudoba got the win with five solid innings, striking out three while allowing just two hits and a run. Sebastian Gruszecki threw nine pitches in a scoreless inning of relief.

Thursday the Bravehearts visited Fraser Field in Lynn, Massachusetts to take on the Navigators, and once again the Worcester bats were mostly silent in a 4-1 loss to North Shore. The Bravehearts only run came in the fifth inning when Trevor Johnson doubled and Torres followed with an RBI single.

Carson Hauben and Jakob Barker struck out 11 over the first six innings, with Barker’s sixth-inning strikeout of Cam Climo being the 3,000 regular season strikeout in Bravehearts franchise history. Hunter Reynolds struck out three of the five batters he faced in the eighth and ninth innings.

Friday night Worcester hosted the New Britain Bees at Doyle Field, and the Bravehearts found themselves down 3-0 after three innings. Exposito led off the bottom of the fourth with a solo home run to left-center, and four batters later Joseph Pesce tied the game with a two-run shot to center field.

The Bees would grab a run in the top of the fifth to retake the lead but Worcester came roaring back with four runs in the home half, starting with a Torres triple that scored two runs. Exposito followed with his second home run of the game, this time a two-run homer to left field, to make it 7-4. New Britain grabbed a run in the top of the sixth, but a Torres RBI double got Worcester their three run lead back as the Bravehearts would go on to win 8-5.

Shawn Babineau earned his first win of the season with six strikeouts over the opening five innings. Will Hesslink got the save with a scoreless ninth inning.

Nashua was the visiting club Saturday night as the Bravehearts took on the Silver Knights at Doyle Field. Angelo Baez was on the mound for Worcester, and had another great night as the St. Thomas Aquinas senior struck out 11 batters over six innings work in a 5-2 Bravehearts win.

Torres started the scoring for Worcester with a solo home run in the bottom of the third, and in the top of the fourth Ben Rice hit a full count pitch out to make it 2-0. Nashua tied it in the top of the six, but in the home half Pesce gave Worcester the lead back with another solo shot.

In the bottom of the eighth Pesce gave Worcester a bit of a cushion with a two-run double to make it 5-2. Gruszecki, who had come on in the seventh inning, pitched a 1-2-3 ninth inning for the save.

Sunday New Britain visited Doyle Field again, and in the bottom of the first the Bravehearts put up six runs, starting with a bases loaded single by Jack Gardner and Andrew Selima earned an RBI with a walk. Up came Pesce, who was looking for a franchise-record third game in a row with a home run, and the NYIT senior didn’t disappoint with a grand slam to left to make it 6-0.

The Bees scored two in the top of the second and one in the top of the third to make it 6-3, but in the home half of the third Tyler Patane launched a two-run shot to make it 8-3. Unfortunately, New Britain wouldn’t go away as the Bees scores two runs in each of the fourth, sixth, and seventh frames to take a 9-8 lead.

In the bottom of the seventh Worcester loaded the bases once again, and retook the lead on back to back sacrifice flies from Selima and Pesce. Christopher Mott and Brad Marchetti held New Britain in check the rest of the way, with Marchetti notching his first save of the campaign.

210Sports’ Bravehearts of the week
Pitcher: Angelo Baez the winner this week, striking out 11 batters in six innings during a 5-2 win over Nashua.
Batter: Joseph Pesce is an easy pick this week, hitting three home runs and driving in ten. Pesce also walked twice and scored four runs, and has a slugging percentage for the week of 1.000.

This week’s opponents
Monday OFF
Tuesday vs Nashua, 6pm
Wednesday at Westfield, 6:30pm
Thursday vs Westfield, 6pm
Friday vs Westfield, 6pm
Saturday at New Britain, 6:30pm
Sunday vs Brockton, 4pm
With Hanover Insurance Park at Fitton Field closed for the 2020 season the Bravehearts home games will be played at Doyle Field in Leominster.

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

Around the FCBL
New Britain 3, @ North Shore 2
@Nashua 5, Brockton 5 (HRD, NAS wins 11-10)

@Brockton 2, North Shore 1
Nashua 5, @New Britain 4

@Brockton 15, Nashua 0
Westfield 6, @New Britain 4

Nashua 6, @Westfield 2; 10 innings
North Shore at Brockton, pdd “weather”.

@Brockton 15, new Britain 3
@Westfield 8, North Shore 7

Brockton 8, @Westfield 5; game 1, 7 innings
Brockton 12, @Westfield 5; game 2, 7 innings
@Nashua 18, North Shore 15


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