Despite a slow start, the Bravehearts took down the Westfield Starfires 7-4 on Friday night June 28. They were led Angelo Baez’s 5-inning, 10 strikeout start and Riley Livingston’s 4 for 4 night.
Though it was hot, it was a good night for baseball, and the stadium was packed. The Bravehearts were wearing special jerseys for Ghostbusters Night. A couple of those jerseys were auctioned off during the game. Bernie Carbo, an ex-Red Sox player on the 1975 American League champions, was in attendance. I got the chance to interview him:
After the game there were fireworks for the nearly sold out stadium. A good show to get everyone excited for the upcoming holiday.
Before the game, I caught up with leadoff hitter Mariano Ricciardi and assistant coach Adam Chase:
Krish Vyas, the team’s honorary captain, was in attendance. He went on the field and in the clubhouse before the game, and spent the game with me and other Bravehearts media members in the press box. Check out my interview with Krish about what he does for the team and how his role with Bravehearts all got started:
The Bravehearts started off slow. They did load the bases twice during the first 3 innings, but they weren’t able to score a run in these innings. The Starfires ended up striking first in the top of the 4th. Star outfielder Thomas Joyce led off the inning with a single, and he advanced on a long single into the left field corner by Danny Crossen. C Tommy Quinn hit a deep double that scored both runners to make it 2-0 Westfield.
But Worcester’s bats had been heating up, and it showed as the game progressed. In the bottom of the 4th, Riley Livingston (who had already singled once), hit a solo shot into left center, making it a 1 run game. The Bravehearts continued to rally their way back in the bottom of the 5th. John Thrasher hit what looked to be a single into center field but he was able to stretch it to a double. That allowed him to score on Mack Cheli’s RBI single and tie the game. Tyler Becker followed with a deep shot into center for a double, putting both him and Cheli in scoring position. Paul Coumoulos’ single drove them both in. It was now 4-2 Bravehearts, and there was only one out. The Bravehearts loaded the bases again with two outs thanks to another hit by Livingston and a walk by Nick Martin, but their bases loaded struggles continued as Ricciardi struck out to end the inning.
With Angelo Baez out of the game in the 6th, Thomas Joyce hit a moonshot, all the way to the Papa Gino’s sign in right. But the Bravehearts still held the lead after this, and extended it when 3B Ben McNeill hit a 2-run dinger of his own into deep center. But this wasn’t it for home runs. Devin Kellogg hit one for Westfield in the 8th to make it 6-4 Worcester.
The Bravehearts extended their lead in the bottom of the inning with a pair of singles followed by an RBI ground out. Bryce Hellgeth earned another save to seal the victory in the 9th.
I caught up with Ben McNeill, one of the game’s best hitters, after the game:
Riding a 3 game win streak, the Bravehearts are now above .500 with a record of 13-12. This week, they travel to the North Shore on Monday and Nashua on Wednesday for a twin bill. Will their win streak continue?