The Worcester Bravehearts have made the Futures Collegiate Baseball League playoffs every season of their existence, and have many times done so after being a handful or more games out of the final playoff spot. They have their work cut out for them in 2022 after a 1-5 week finds them in 7th place in the FCBL and four games out of the final spot, with two teams between them and the 4th place New Britain Bees.
It was a rare Monday game for Worcester as they ventured north to Nashua to take on the Silver Knights on the July 4th holiday. Unfortunately, the Bravehearts’ slow slide toward the bottom of the FCBL standings continued in a 4-2 loss. Despite the rest of the FCBL schedule being nine-inning games, this game went just seven.
Nashua would get all their runs in the bottom of the first. WooBall’s first run came in the second frame when Gavin Noriega doubled and scored on an infield out. In the fourth David Pedanou was hit by a pitch with the bases loaded to make it 4-2.
After an off-day on Tuesday, the Bravehearts went west to take on the Pittsfield Suns at Wahconah Park in a late morning start, and once again they ended up on the wrong side of a game ended my mercy, dropping the contest 14-4 in seven innings. A fourth-inning RBI double by Gavin Noriega made it 1-1, but by the time Noriega batted again WooBall was trailing 6-1 in the 6th. He made it 6-2 with his second RBI two-bagger of the game. Jack Goodman also had two doubles for Worcester.
Cam Caraher‘s seventh-inning two-run blast made it a 7-4 game, but the Suns put up seven in the home half for the 14-4 mercy final.
The Bravehearts’ road trip continued Thursday with a jaunt east to Brockton, and Connor Peek‘s two two-run homers were the story in WooBall’s 6-4 win over the Rox. Gavin Noriega‘s first-inning double started the scoring for Worcester, and Jake Marquez‘s solo shot to left-center in the third made it 2-0. Peek then hit his home runs in the fourth and sixth to make it 6-0.
Worcester had a scary bottom of the seventh where Brockton scored four, but Ben Smith was able to slam the door shut for the 6-4 win. Sean Scanlon earned the victory striking out ten in six and a third.
Friday it was back to Wahconah Park to take on the Suns, and while the game went the full nine innings this time WooBall still ended up in the loss column dropping the contest 10-7. Matt Livingston‘s second-inning RBI single made it 1-0, but Pittsfield would put up five in the fourth to take the lead.
The Bravehearts would grab another run in the fifth on a Cam Caraher single, but once again the Suns would have a crooked number inning to take a 9-2 lead after seven. In the eighth Worcester scored runs on an infield error, a double-play ball, and a passed ball. After Pittsfield scored in the bottom of the eighth Cam Seymour made it the final 10-7 with a two-run blast.
Brockton was the visitor at Hanover Insurance Park at Fitton Field Saturday as Worcester took on the Rox in an early afternoon game broadcast on NESN, but once again a crooked-number inning was WooBall undoing in an 8-4 loss. Down 1-0 after two frames Matty Warren had an odd trip around the bases in the third to tie it. He walked, and after four pickoff attempts advanced to second on a balk. He then stole third and scored on a wild pitch.
In the sixth Sal Grinstead bombed one to left-center, and three batters later TJ Wachter singled in a run to make it 3-1 WooBall. The teams exchanged runs in the seventh, with Worcester coming on a Grinstead RBI double, to make it 4-2. Unfortunately in the ninth Brockton would put up six runs, all with two outs, to win 8-4.
Sunday saw Pittsfield invading the HIP, and Worcester could only manage three hits in the contest in a 6-1 loss. The Bravehearts’ lone run came in the eighth on a Lewis Barnum RBI single.
210Sports’ Bravehearts of the week
Pitcher: Matt Pizzelli is this week’s winner, allowing just two baserunners and no runs in 3.1 innings.
Batter: Cam Seymour gets the nod this week, going 5-15 with a double, two homers, and four RBI in five games. He also scored three runs and walked twice.
This week’s opponents (Schedule subject to change)
Tuesday at Brockton, 7pm
Wednesday vs Westfield, 6:30pm
Thursday vs Vermont, 6:30pm
Friday vs Vermont, 6:30pm
Saturday at Westfield, 1pm
Sunday vs Westfield, 4pm
Tickets to Bravehearts home games can be purchased online or by calling (508) 438-3773.
Around the FCBL
@Brockton 7, New Britain 4
Westfield 9, @Norwich 2
@Pittsfield 8, Vermont 7
Nashua 2, @Vermont 0
@Westfield 4, New Britain 1
Norwich 2, @Brockton 1
@Nashua 4, Vermont 3
Norwich 7, @New Britain 6
@Pittsfield 12, Westfield 4
Vermont 4, @Nashua 2
@New Britain 6, Norwich 1
Westfield 8, @Brockton 0
Nashua 10, @Pittsfield 6
@Vermont 11, Westfield 6
@Norwich 8, New Britain 6
Nashua 16, @Brockton 6 (7 innings, mercy)
New Britain 10, @Norwich 4
Westfield 3, @Vermont 2
For frequent updates on the Worcester Bravehearts follow @210Darryl on twitter.
Got something you loved (or hated) about the post? Head on over to the 210Sports Facebook page and leave a comment. You could comment on this post too, but fair warning, the spam filter catches lots of stuff it shouldn’t and it might be weeks before we see your comment. While you’re there, give the page a like if you could.