WooBall Weekly: Bravehearts enter last week of regular season chasing the last playoff spot

The Worcester Bravehearts have found themselves in this position before, needing wins and some help to qualify for the Futures Collegiate Baseball League’s playoffs. Their 5-1 week has kept them in the playoff hunt, but with only one game against the teams they’re chasing they’ll need some help to qualify for their playoffs for the ninth consecutive time.

With Monday and Tuesday off for the FCBL’s All-Star break, Wednesday was a doubleheader for the Bravehearts as they took on Westfield in a twin bill, and in game one Worcester was the road team at Hanover Insurance Park at Fitton Field in a make-up game that was originally scheduled for Bullens Field in late June. Who batted last turned out to not matter as WooBall put up eight runs in the fifth inning to win 8-3.

Down 2-0 entering the fifth, the Bravehearts tied the game on David Pedanou‘s two-run single with the bases loaded. Two batters later WooBall took the lead on an infield out, and then Gavin Noriega doubled in two more runs. Lewis Barnum‘s single scored Noriega, and Cam Seymour capped the frame with a two-run homer.

Jack Sefrino earned his third win of the season with a five-inning stint. Nick Choate closed out the game with two strong innings.

In game two WooBall was back to being the home team, and their late-inning comeback finished up just short in a 4-3 loss. Down 2-0 again WooBall tied it in the fourth inning on an Andrew Chronister RBI single and an outfield error. Westfield retook the lead with two runs in the top of the seventh, and while Mark Darakjy‘s RBI single in the bottom of the frame got the Bravehearts within one that was as close as they could get.

Thursday New Britain was the visitor to the HIP in a late-morning game, and it was all Worcester in a 13-6 victory. WooBall started off quick with a three spot in the bottom of the first, with runs coming off a Bees’ infield error, a Sebastian Mexico RBI single, and an Andrew Chronister sacrifice fly.

In the fourth Lewis Barnum‘s grad slam made it 7-2 Worcester. In the seventh WooBall had another three-spot frame, the first on Cam Seymour‘s RBI single, and three batters later Matty Warren doubled in a pair. Seymour’s three-run homer in the eighth capped the scoring for Worcester.

The Bees were back in town Friday night to take on the Bravehearts, and it took until the final batter of the game for it to be decided was WooBall walked off with a 5-4 vistory. WooBall got on the board in the bottom of the first on an infield out, but then found themselves down 4-1 after three innings.

In the fifth Lewis Barnum tripled and scored on a Gavin Noriega single. Three batters later Andrew Chronister singled home Noriega to make it 4-3 New Britain. In the seventh Mark Darakjy tied the game with an RBI single, and the clubs headed to the ninth tied 4-4.

The Bees went down in order in the top half but in the home half Connor Peek singled and took second on a wild pitch, and Darakjy walked. Matty Warren moved the runners up with a sacrifice bunt, and with Barnum standing at the plate Peek would score on a wild pitch to win the game.

Saturday saw the Pittsfield Suns invading the HIP, and after falling behind early the Bravehearts came storming back in a 6-3 victory. Down 3-0 after four and a half frames Matt Livingston got WooBall on the board with an RBI double in the fifth. Three batters later Lewis Barnum doubled in a second run.

In the sixth Worcester scored two runs without getting a hit. Cam Caraher soared a deep fly ball to left-center that was dropped and he ended up on second. Matt Livingston was then hit by the next pitch. With David Pedanou at the plate, Caraher stole third and scored when the catcher’s throw sailed into left field, with Livingston taking second. A passed ball allowed Livingston to reach third, and eventually, Pedanou was walked. Two pitches later Pedanou stole second, and the second error of the frame by the Suns’ catcher allowed Livingston to score to make it 4-3.

Worcester got some insurance runs in the eighth when Matty Warren‘s single drove in a run and they scored another on an infield out. Nick Choate earned the win for WooBall with Tyson Luna picking up the three-inning save.

The week closed out on Sunday with Norwich visiting the HIP, and the game was all but over after WooBall put up ten runs in the first three innings en route to a 12-2 win in seven innings. Gavin Noriega opened the scoring in the bottom of the first with a two-run homer. Jake Marquez followed with a double and took third on a wild pitch. He scored on Cam Seymour‘s sac fly. The Bravehearts then loaded the bases, scoring another run on Matty Warren‘s walk and a fifth on a wild pitch.

In the second Noriega tripled in a run, and David Pedanou began the scoring with a triple and scored on a wild pitch. Four batters later Noriega tripled in two more runs, and Marquez’s single plated Noriega. In the sixth Seymour homered, and in the seventh Marquez doubled home Noriega for the ten-run lead, which ended the game.

Clay Robbins earned the win in impressive fashion, going six innings. Despite two long breaks as Worcester racked up the runs, Robbins was solid all game, scattering five hits over six innings while striking out six.

210Sports’ Bravehearts of the week
Pitcher: Clay Robbins gets the nod this week, for the reasons mentioned just a couple lines above.
Batter: Gavin Noriega is the easy winner this week, going 11-22 with four doubles, two triples, and a home run. He also knocked in nine runs, scored eight times, and walked five times.

This week’s opponents (Schedule subject to change)
Monday off
Tuesday vs New Britain, 6:30pm
Wednesday at Brockton, 7pm
Thursday at Vermont, 6:30pm
Friday at Vermont, 6:30pm
Saturday vs Norwich, 6:30pm
Sunday at Nashua, 3pm

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

Around the FCBL
Wednesday
@Pittsfield 6, Brockton 1
New Britain 5, @Norwich 0
@Vermont 6, Nashua 3

Thursday
@Pittsfield 10, Nashua 2
Norwich 6, @Brockton 6 (NOR wins HRD 1-1, 1-0)
@Vermont 5, Westfield 4 (10 innings)

Friday
@Norwich 4, Brockton 0
@Westfield 9, Vermont 7
@Nashua 6, Pittsfield 5 (10 innings)

Saturday
@Nashua 12, Norwich 2 (8 innings, mercy)
@Westfield 9, Vermont 6
New Britain 12, @Brockton 7

Sunday
@New Britain 6, Brockton 2
Vermont 4, @Pittsfield 0
@Westfield 13, Nashua 0 (7 innings, mercy)

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


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