WooBall Weekly: Bravehearts stumble on road trip but end week on an up note

The Worcester Bravehearts spent most of the week on the road and didn’t play well in almost all of those games, but did manage to end the week on a positive despite a rough final two innings on Sunday. Despite the poor week Worcester still finds itself at .500 and in the thick of the Futures Collegiate Baseball League’s standings.

New Britain Stadium was the host of the Tuesday night clash between the Bravehearts and Bees, and things started off decent for Worcester when Sal Grinstead tripled in the third inning and scored on an infield out. Unfortunately, that was the only run WooBall would score as they went on to lose 3-1.

Wednesday’s contest against Westfield was postponed due to rain, so it was off to Norwich on Thursday where unfortunately the Worcester bats took another night off, managing just two hits in a 10-0 loss. It was a 1-0 game until the bottom of the eighth when the Sea Unicorns sent 14 batters to the plate and scored nine runs to end the game.

It was back to New Britain on Friday where Worcester looked to have everything pointed in the right direction again, but WooBall once again stumbled in the late innings to lose 5-4. Down a run after two frames WooBall jumped into the lead in the third on back-to-back doubles by Kosta Drosidis and Gavin Noriega. Lewis Barnum then followed with a two-run blast to make it 3-1.

The Bees got one back in the home half and in the fifth a Matt Livingston RBI single made it 4-2. Starting pitcher Tanner Smith made that lead stand up through seven innings, working very efficiently and throwing just 81 pitches. While FCBL pitch count rules would have allowed Smith to pitch the eighth inning, that’s not something that usually happens in the league, and WooBall head coach Alex Dion went to the bullpen. That’s when the wheels fell off as New Britain got three runs in the eighth to pull out the win.

The road trip continued Saturday on a return visit to Norwich when the Bravehearts once again took on the Sea Unicorns, and just like Thursday Worcester left with a 10-0 loss in their pockets. The Bravehearts had plenty of baserunners, with Gavin Noriega, Lewis Barnum, Cam Seymour, and Matty Warren all having multi-hit games, but they couldn’t manage to get anyone across the plate. WooBall’s best pitcher was Mike Simes, who allowed an unearned run in two innings of work.

It was back home Sunday for the Bravehearts as they took on the Brockton Rox at Hanover Insurance Park at Fitton Field, and after opening up a six-run lead Wooball had to hold on for dear life as the Rox came storming back to get within one run before Axel Johnson slammed the door shut retiring the final two batters with the bases loaded to give Worcester the 7-6 win.

The Bravehearts opened the scoring in the first on a Jack Goodman home run to left. After the Rox tied it in the third Lewis Barnum gave Wooball the lead back with a sacrifice fly in the home half of the frame. Mark Darakjy followed with an RBI single in the next inning to make it 3-1 Worcester.

In the sixth Sebastian Mexico tripled, and two batters later Andrew Chronister singled him home. Sal Grinstead then made it 5-1 with a triple of his own, and later stole home as part of a double steal. In the seventh Barnum tripled, giving the Bravehearts their team record-tying three-bagger of the game. Kosta Drosidis‘ sac fly made it 7-1, but from there is was all Rox until Johnson bailed his team out.

210Sports’ Bravehearts of the week
Pitcher: Tanner Smith is this week’s winner, pitching seven innings and scattering four hits and two runs. He threw just 81 pitches in the seven innings, 51 for strikes.
Batter: Lewis Barnum gets the nod this week, going 7-14 with two doubles, a triple, and a home run. He also had three runs and rwo RBI.

This week’s opponents (Schedule subject to change)
Monday off
Tuesday at Nashua, 3pm (DH)
Wednesday vs Norwich, 6:30pm
Thursday vs New Britain, 11am
Friday vs Brockton, 6:30pm
Saturday at Norwich, 6:30pm
Sunday at New Britain, 6:30pm

Tickets to Bravehearts home games can be purchased online or by calling (508) 438-3773.

Around the FCBL
Norwich 7, @Brockton 3 (game 1, 7 innings)
Norwich 18, @Brockton 7 (game 2, 6 inning/mercy)
@Vermont 7, Pittsfield 5
@Nashua 8, Westfield 7

Norwich 3, @Nashua 1
@Vermont 15, Pittsfield 2 (7 innings, mercy)
New Britain 5, Brockton 4

Vermont 4, @Brockton 4 (VT wins HRD 4-0)
Westfield 3, New Britain 0
Nashua @ Pittsfield, ppd, rain

Vermont 5, @Nashua 1
Brockton 4, @Norwich 0
Pittsfield 6, @Westfield 4

@Westfield 3, Nashua 1
@Vermont 11, New Britain 1
Brockton 6, @Pittsfield 2

@Nashua 5, Norwich 2
@Pittsfield 7, Westfield 6
@Vermont 16, New Britain 0 (7 innings, mercy)

For frequent updates on the Worcester Bravehearts follow @210Darryl on twitter.

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