The Worcester Bravehearts entered the first full week of the Futures Collegiate Baseball League season hoping to keep the momentum up from the handful of games before Memorial Day, and the team did just that by going 5-2 and now find themselves just a half-game out of the top spot in the FCBL.
It was a rare Monday game as the Bravehearts took on Pittsfield at Hanover Insurance Park at Fitton Field, and while they seldom play on Monday they tend to win when they do and that was no different on Memorial Day when they defeated the Suns 9-6. In the game, Worcester set a new franchise record by hitting seven doubles, and Matt Livingston tied the team’s single-game record with three two-baggers.
WooBall got on the board in the second inning when Livingston hit his first double of the game and Lewis Barnum followed with a triple. Barnum then scored on a wild pitch for a two-run lead. In the third Kosta Drosidis doubled, and two batters later TJ Wachter doubled him in. Two more batters later Barnum singled to score Wachter and after an infield error Andrew Chronister singled in Barnum to make it 5-1.
Drosidis’ second double of the game scored Matty Warren in the fourth inning, and later in the frame, Livingston singled him in. In the sixth Wachter and Livingston had back-to-back doubles to make it an 8-1 lead. Pittsfield began to show some life scoring two runs in both the seventh and eighth frames, but Livingston’s third double of the game plated Gavin Noriega to give Worcester some breathing room and the eventual 9-6 win.
Chris Grome got the win striking out ten in five innings. The bullpen was a tad shaky but held on to give WooBall the victory.
Tuesday saw some morning baseball at New Britain Stadium as the Bravehearts took on the Bees, with Worcester getting off to a quick start and some timely big outs helped WooBall in a 4-2 win.
Worcester did most of its damage in the top of the first when Gavin Noriega, Matt Livingston, and David Pedanou had consecutive doubles to score three runs. The Bees got one back in second but in the sixth a Joe Pesce RBI single made it a three-run lead again. New Britain scored again in the eighth to make it 4-2, when Sean Scanlon slammed the door on any comeback bid with a scoreless ninth to earn the save. Jack Sefrino earned the win, allowing a single run while striking out five in five innings.
It was back to the HIP on Wednesday as the Bravehearts took on the Brockton Rox, and despite a slow start it was all Worcester in the end as WooBall put up nine runs in the fifth inning to help mercy the Rox 15-5 in seven innings.
Brockton held a 5-1 lead after two frames, with WooBall’s run coming on Matty Warren‘s double and a wild pitch, but a four-spot in the third knotted the score 5-5. A Warren solo homer led off the home half of the frame, and four batters later David Pedanou singled in a second run. A Cam Seymour double scored Pedanou, and Andrew Chronister followed that with an RBI single. In the fourth Kosta Drosidis‘s RBI single made it 6-5.
The Bravehearts sent 12 batters to the plate in the fifth, capped by an inside-the-park grand slam. A Chronister single and an infield error scored two runs, with Chronister taking third on a stolen base. Four consecutive walks would score two more runs, and then for the second time this season Gavin Noriega earned an RBI by being hit by a pitch. TJ Wachter got the big hit in the inning, roping one down the first baseline. By the time the ball made it back to the infield, Wachter had touched them all for the 15-5 lead.
Tyson Luna earned the win in relief, going four and a third and striking out five. Assumption’s Austin Stone pitched the final two frames, allowing just one hit while whiffing three.
Dodd Stadium in Norwich was the site of Thursday’s contest for Worcester in the first of two in a row in The Nutmeg State with the Sea Unicorns and WooBall wasn’t able to get the big out when they needed in a 7-6 loss.
It was all Bravehearts early as a David Pedanou first-inning single scored two, with Pedanou then scoring on Cam Seymour’s RBI single. In the second Worcester scored runs on an infield out and a Matt Livingston RBI single. But Norwich slowly crawled back into the game and held a 6-5 lead after five innings. Worcester tied it in the six on a Gavin Noriega RBI single, and it stayed that way until the bottom of the ninth when the Sea Unicorns walked off with a 7-6 win.
Nate Novia was the best pitcher of the night for WooBall, striking out three of the four batters he faced.
The return match-up was Friday night, and this time it was WooBall coming out on the right end of the 7-6 final.
The Bravehearts’ opening run came in the second on a double-play ball, and after Norwich tied it in the third fifth inning RBI singles by TJ Wachter and Cam Seymour made it 3-1. The teams exchanged runs in the nest two half innings, with Lewis Barnum‘s sacrifice fly making it 4-2. Wachter’s solo homer in the seventh made it a 5-2 game, but the Sea Unicorns came right back with two in the home half of the frame.
In the eighth, a Wachter single scored two more runs, and those runs proved to be big as Norwich put up two runs in the bottom of the ninth but couldn’t grab another as WooBall added another to the win column. Gavin Price got the victory in relief, with Sean Scanlon notching his second save of the campaign.
Brockton was the visitor to the HIP Saturday, and after a shaky top of the first Worcester can roaring back with a nine-run, 19-hit attack as they topped the Rox 9-4. Anna Maria’s Kosta Drosidis tied the WooBall single-game record with five hits in the contest.
Some Little League defense put WooBall down a run after a half-inning, but in the bottom half Worcester grabbed two runs to take a lead they would never relinquish. Drosidis’ first hit of the game was an RBI single, and three batters later he scored on Cam Seymour‘s RBI single. In the second the Bravehearts grabbed a run on a wild pitch and Drosidis’ second RBI single of the game.
The fourth inning saw another two runs scored by WooBall, both on a Brockton infield error. In the fifth Matty Warren singled in a run to make it 7-1. TJ Wachter then led off the sixth frame with a moon shot to left-center, and later in the frame Joe Pesce knocked in Worcester’s ninth run of the night. The Rox grabbed three runs in the ninth for the 9-4 final.
Starting pitcher Clay Robbins earned his second win of the season, going five innings while allowing three hits and an unearned run. He notched eight strikeouts in the contest.
Sunday saw the Bravehearts heading to Brockton to take on the Rox at Campanelli Stadium and after making up a huge deficit the Bravehearts strumbled in the bottom of the ninth as the Rox walked off with a 6-5 win.
Down 5-0 after three innings outfielder Sal Grinstead got Worcester back into the game with a three-run bomb in the fourth inning. In the sixth inning Grinstead ripped a two-run single to left to tie the score 5-5. But Brockton would manufacture a run in the bottom of the ninth to take the contest 6-5.
210Sports’ Bravehearts of the week
Pitcher: Chris Grome is this week’s winner, strking out half of the 20 batters he faced while allowing just one earned run in five innings, earning the win.
Batter: TJ Wachter gets the nod this week, going 10-22 with two doubles and three home runs. He also scored eight runs and knocked in ten.
This week’s opponents (Schedule subject to change)
Tuesday vs Nashua, 10:30am (Baseball in Education)
Wednesday vs Norwich, 10:30am (Baseball in Education)
Thursday vs Vermont, 6:30pm
Friday vs Norwich, 6:30pm (Fireworks Friday)
Saturday vs Pittsfield, 6:30pm (Worcester Tornadoes Night)
Sunday vs New Britain, 4pm (Worcester Tercentennial)
Tickets to Bravehearts home games can be purchased online or by calling (508) 438-3773.
Around the FCBL
Westfield 11, @Nashua 6
@Vermont 9, Brockton 3
New Britain 5, @Norwich 2
@Vermont 7, Brockton 4
@Westfield 4, Norwich 3
Nashua 5, @Pittsfield 2
@Westfield 11, Pittsfield 1 (8 innings, mercy)
Vermont 3, @Nashua 1
Norwich 9, @New Britain 5 (10 innings)
Brockton 8, @Nashua 1
@Vermont 5, Westfield 3
@Pittsfield 5, New Britain 1
New Britain 5, @Nashua 0
@Vermont 3, Westfield 2
Pittsfield 5, @Brockton 3
@Nashua 8, Westfield 2
@Pittsfield 9, Norwich 8
Vermont 7, New Britain 6
Pittsfield 16, @Norwich 12
@Westfield 13, Nashua 2 (7 innings, mercy)
@Vermont 4, New Britain 2
For frequent updates on the Worcester Bravehearts follow @210Darryl on twitter.
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