Worcester, MA – The Bravehearts scored multiple runs in three different innings, and relief pitcher Makenzie Stills was solid in relief to maintain the team’s lead, and Worcester stormed past Pittsfield, 11-2, at Hanover Insurance Park at Fitton Field on Friday night.
Pittsfield scored first in the second inning. Bravehearts starting pitcher Tyler Patane labored through the first inning after working out of a bases loaded jam and was yanked after just one batter in the second inning due to an apparent injury. Stills entered the game to replace Patane. With Thomas Hughes on first base, Stills walked Taylor Meilleur. An error and a couple of fielder’s choices scored Hughes and Meilleur to put the Suns on top, 2-0.
Worcester, however, responded quickly. In the home half of the second inning, Jack Gonzalez and Brett Coffel recorded back-to-back singles. Later in the inning, David Dunn walked to load the bases, and John Thrasher followed with an RBI-single. With the bases still loaded, Chris Rinaldi brought all the runners home with a double, capping off a four-run inning for Worcester.
Stills ran into trouble in the third, but worked out of a bases loaded jam by striking out Vicente Mendoza and getting Chad Shade to fly out to left field. Stills worked impressive fourth and fifth innings, allowing just one runner to reach base, and his offense repaid him with a five-run bottom of the fifth.
Thrasher led off with a single, followed by a Rinaldi walk. A passed ball and a wild pitch later, Michael Dellicarri brought home Thrasher on a sacrifice fly. Mack Cheli singled home a run, and a few batters later Edward Haus drove in two with a double. Dustin Harris followed with an RBI-double of his own, giving the Bravehearts a 9-2 lead.
Stills worked a clean sixth inning, and the Bravehearts offense scored two more in the bottom half thanks to back-to-back singles from Thrasher and Dellicarri and later an RBI-single for Gonzalez and a fielder error that resulted in a run.
Stills got a double play to work out of first-and-second trouble in the seventh. The Vanderbilt-product turned it over to Keith Scales and Rob Stone to close out the game. Stills overall worked six innings, allowed two hits, two runs (one charged to Patane), walked five, and struck out three. Pittsfield starter Ryan Towle lasted three innings and allowed four runs while striking out five.
All but two Bravehearts recorded a hit but everyone reached base at least once. Thrasher led the way with a 3-5 showing and an RBI. Rinaldi finished 2-4 with three RBI. Gonzalez went 2-4 with an RBI as well.
Worcester is back in action at home on Saturday against the FCBL’s top team: Martha’s Vineyard. The Bravehearts look to extend the winning streak to four games against the Sharks. First pitch is at seven o’clock.