WORCESTER – The Worcester Bravehearts entered the last week of the Futures Collegiate Baseball League’s regular season with an outside chance of claiming the top playoff seed, but Head Coach J.P. Pyne decided that a well rested team was better than one tired from a chase at the top spot. As such the Bravehearts cruised through the week as they put themselves in good position to reclaim the league championship.
After an off day on Monday Tuesday had Martha’s Vineyard visiting Hanover Insurance Park at Fitton Field for the first of what was supposed to be three meetings during the week between the Bravehearts and the Sharks. Worcester got started early, taking a quick lead on a Brett Coffel RBI single in the bottom of the first. Martha’s Vineyard tied it in the top half of the second, and the score would stay knotted until the bottom of the fourth where a Paul Gozzo run scoring double gave the Bravehearts the lead.
In the fifth Worcester increased their lead with a run off a wild pitch, and in the seventh a Michael Dellicarri solo home run game them an insurance run. Tyler Becker’s infield grounder drove in the game’s final run in the 5-1 victory for Worcester. David Tiskevics earned his fist win on the season with four innings in relief.
It was off to Campanelli Stadium in Brockton on Wednesday for the Bravehearts as they took on the Rox, and one bad inning did Worcester in as Brockton scored four runs in the bottom of the fifth on their way to a 5-1 victory. The Bravehearts lone run came on a Dellicarri RBI single in the third inning.
Thursday saw Worcester visiting Nashua to take on the Silver Knights at Holman Stadium, and the Bravehearts broke open a scoreless game with a four spot in the fourth inning. Mariano Ricciardi started the run scoring with an RBI single, and Edward Haus followed that with a run scoring single of his own. Dellicarri then made it three in a row, and then a Nashua infield error scored another run.
The Silver Knights scored their lone run of the game in the home half of the fourth, and in the seventh committed three errors as Worcester scored twice more. Dustin Harris’ RBI single in the eighth made it a 7-1 final. With the Bravehearts locked into the second seed after Wednesday’s loss Worcester kept the load on their pitchers light, with Henry Ennen, Kendall Pomeroy, Makenzie Stills, and Ben Terwilliger all taking turns on the hill.
Friday night the Sharks visited Worcester once again, and in a game that was only for pride the 4,313 crammed into the HIP saw a great ballgame with the Bravehearts coming out on top 8-5. The teams exchanged runs in the second, with Worcester’s coming on a Kirk Sidwell RBI double.
In the third three consecutive Worcester batters bunted for base hits to load the bases, and then a Dellicarri single knocked in two. That hit for Dellicarri was his 64th on the season, a new Bravehearts single season record. Harris then launched a sacrifice fly for the 4-1 lead. In the fifth Worcester would score three more times, one again on a Harris sac fly, a Jack Gonzalez sacrifice fly, and a Joe Pesce RBI single.
The Sharks would make it close with three in the eighth and one in the ninth, but that was a s close as they could get as Angelo Baez slammed the door to earn his first save of the season. Sebastian Gruszecki earned his fifth win of the season scattering four hits and striking out nine in five innings.
On Saturday the Bravehearts were supposed to close their regular season out with a trip to Martha’s Vineyard, and they did just that only to have the game canceled due to rain after they had already arrived, and several hours after it was obvious there wasn’t much of a chance of the meaningless game being played.
With Worcester scheduled to be off Sunday their next game will be Tuesday at the HIP in the FCBL semi-finals in a best-of-three series against an as of yet undetermined opponent.
*This week’s Bravehearts schedule
Monday off day
Tuesday Semi-finals game one
Wednesday Semi-finals game two
Thursday Semi-finals game three, if necessary,
*The TWIW Bravehearts Player of the Week is Paul Gozzo (UCONN), who went 4-11 with three doubles and an RBI in three games last week.
*Around the FCBL
@Martha’s Vineyard 8, North Shore 5 (game 1)
@Martha’s Vineyard 9, North Shore 0 (game 2)
Bristol 8, @Brockton 4
Nashua 3, @Pittsfield 0
Brockton 10, @North Shore 3
Bristol 3, @Pittsfield 2, HRD
Pittsfield 11, @North Shore 10
Bristol @ Nashua, canceled/rain
@Martha’s Vineyard 13, Brockton 7
@Bristol 11, Pittsfield 5
@North Shore 10, Bristol 9
Nashua @ Pittsfield, canceled/rain
@Nashua 2, Pittsfield 1 (game 1, 7 innings)
Pittsfield 6, @Nashua 3 (game 2, 7 innings)
@Brockton 8, North Shore 1
Martha’s Vineyard 11, @Brockton 9
@North Shore 2, Nashua 1
Bristol 7, @Pittsfield 4