WooBall Weekly: Bravehearts clinch FCBL playoff spot, top seed still to be decided

Worcester Bravehearts Art

For the second consecutive Monday the defending Futures Collegiate Baseball League champion Worcester Bravehearts took to the field, and for the second consecutive Monday they probably wished they’d had the day off as they dropped a 7-5 contest to the expansion Bees at New Britain Stadium.

Things didn’t start off well for Worcester as they allowed three runs in the bottom of the first. They slowly crawled back into it with solo home runs from Ben McNeill in the second and third innings, but a Bees run in the bottom of the fourth made it 4-2.

The Bravehearts managed to take a 5-4 lead with single runs in the fifth, sixth, and eighth frames. In the fifth it was a Ben Rice solo homer, the sixth saw a sacrifice fly from Trevor Johnson, and in the eighth Andrew Selima tacked the leading run on with a sac fly. But the bottom of the ninth wasn’t kind to Worcester as New Britain got a three-run homer to win 7-5.

On Tuesday it was out to Westfield for the Bravehearts as they took on the Starfires in a doubleheader. In game one McNeill picked up an RBI in the top of the first on an infield out, and Tyler Patane made it 2-0 with a sacrifice fly. A third inning RBI single from Ben Rice made it 3-0.

In the fifth back to back RBI singles by Rice and McNeill made it a five run lead, and later in the frame Aidan Wilde singled in a run to make it 6-0. The Starfires would get single runs in the fifth, sixth, and seventh innings to make the final a more respectable 6-3. Angelo Baez picked up his third win of the season, striking out five in six innings while allowing two unearned runs.

Game two was a lot like the opener, with Worcester getting a run on the second pitch of the game off a Matt Shaw homer. In the second Shaw added a run with a sacrifice fly, and then Ben Rice crushed a three-run shot. In the third Shaw struck again, this time with a two-run single. Two batters later Ben Rice did the same and it was 9-0. Patane made it a ten-spot with a home run in the fourth.

Westfield would once again slowly make the score respectable again with five runs over the last three and a half innings, but in the end the Bravehearts had a 10-6 win and a sweep of the twin bill.

It was the Starfires again on Wednesday, this time at Doyle Field in Leominster and Worcester pitchers Christopher Mott, Justin Murray, and Hunter Reynolds held up their end of the bargain by allowing just five Westfield hits and a single run. Unfortunately, the Bravehearts offense was nowhere to be found in a 1-0 loss.

Thursday saw Worcester heading north to Nashua to take on the Silver Knights and once again Bravehearts pitchers Cole Chudoba, Carson Hauben, and Brad Marchetti did their job holding Nashua to just five hits and a single run. But this time Worcester got the offense they needed in a 3-1 victory.

With it scoreless through five frames in the top of the sixth Patane laces a two-run single to left. In the seventh Shaw hit a solo home run. Chudoba picked up the win with six strikeouts in six innings, and Marchetti picked up his second save despite getting in a little trouble in the ninth.

North Shore made their lone visit to Doyle Field Friday night, and it was a record-breaking night for all the wrong reasons in a 15-1 loss for Worcester. The less said, the better.

Looking to get back on track the Bravehearts made the trip west to take on Westfield once again, and behind a combined five hit shutout by Jack Steele, Murray, and Jakob Barker Worcester got back into the win column with a 2-0 victory.

They got the only run they’d need when Shaw homered on the second pitch of the game, and in the third Shaw would score on again a Nick Martin sacrifice fly.

Sunday’s doubleheader in New Britain was postponed due to rain. Those games are scheduled to be made up on Monday. With Brockton losing to Nashua Sunday Worcester clinches a playoff spot, with a magic number of 2 against the Nashua Silver Knights to earn the top seed.

210Sports’ Bravehearts of the week
Pitcher: Christopher Mott gets the nod, striking out eight batters and allowing just one hit in five innings of work.
Batter: Matt Shaw is the winner this week, going 9-26 with four home runs and seven RBI. He also scored nine runs.

This week’s opponents
Monday at New Britain, doubleheader, game 1 5pm
Tuesday vs Brockton, 6pm
Wednesday vs New Britain, 6pm
End of regular season.

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
@Nashua 10, North Shore 2

Nashua 9, @New Britain 8
@Brockton 4, North Shore 3; HRD (9-8)

@Brockton 10, North Shore 5
New Britain 6, @Nashua 4

Westfield 7, @New Britain 3
@North Shore 3, Brockton 0

@Brockton 6, Nashua 4
@Westfield 8, New Britain 1

North Shore 4, @Nashua 3
@Brockton 7, New Britain 3

Nashua 8, @Brockton 3
Westfield 10, @North Shore 8

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