For the eighth time in their eight-year franchise history the Worcester Bravehearts qualified for the Futures Collegiate Baseball League’s playoffs, but unlike all those previous seasons this year ended before the championship round as WooBall was swept in the semi-finals by the Vermont Lake Monsters.
Game one was on Saturday at Centennial Field on the campus of the University of Vermont and having to travel by bus for four hours after an emotional Friday night game where they clinched their playoff berth with a win over the Nashua Silver Knights proved to be too big a hurdle to climb as WooBall got clobbered 15-2.
The lone highlight for Worcester was a fourth-inning RBI double from Andrew Selima, who had WooBall’s other RBI on his ninth frame sacrifice fly.
Game two was back at Hanover Insurance Park at Fitton Field, and after the Bravehearts didn’t capitalize on Sebastian Salado‘s ninth-inning double they were left wondering “what could have been?” when they were eliminated 4-3.
Down three after one frame pitcher Dennis Colleran entered the game and kept Vermont at bay for nearly five innings, allowing WooBall to regroup and slowly get themselves back into the game. In the third inning, Worcester cut the Lake Monster lead to one with Lewis Barnum and Gavin Noriega each knocking an RBI single. After Vermont scored in the sixth Worcester once again made it a one-run game in the eighth with a Noriega RBI double. That led to the ninth inning where WooBall didn’t score after Salado opened the inning with a double.
This writer never criticizes players because they’re college kids playing for the love of the game, and it doesn’t seem right to shine a spotlight on something negative they do on the field. But that same courtesy doesn’t apply to Bravehearts manager Alex Dion, who inexplicably did not have the batter after Salado sacrifice to move Salado over to third. There were no outs in the inning, and sacrificing there is pretty much written in stone. It should be noted that in the entire FCBL only one team has no sacrifice bunts all season.
And now that team is out of the playoffs.
There are no more games until next May, but you can get yourself signed up and ready for the 2022 Bravehearts season by calling (508) 438-3773 for info on season tickets and other ticket packages.
For frequent updates on the Worcester Bravehearts follow @210Darryl on twitter.
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