Nashua, NH- Worcester’s historic season came to an end in Nashua as they fell in game two of the FCBL championship series. The final score was 2-0 as the Bravehearts did not manage to get much offense going.
Sebastian Gruszecki started for Worcester pitching 4 innings, giving up only 1 run and 5 hits. Justin Willis came in for relief and pitched 2 1/3 IP giving up one run. Frank Moscatiello came in for the final 1 2/3 Innings and shut out the Silver Knights. Number 9 hitter Tom Blandini drove in the first Nashua run in the 2nd inning with a single scoring Dylan Maher. The Silver Knights scored again in the 5th inning when shortstop Kyle Bonicki knocked in Ted Williams with a 1-out single. Bonicki is a student-athlete at Clark University in Worcester, where he plays for Bravehearts' head coach J.P. Pyne.
Nashua starter Anthony Lupi scattered 6 hits over 5 innings, neither walking nor striking out any Bravehearts batter. The best scoring opportunity for the Bravehearts came in the 1st inning when Trevor Johnson— just back from the disabled list— hit the first pitch of the game off the center field fence for a double. He was stranded at third after two groundouts and a flyout to center.
In a season during which Worcester was hardly even mentioned in the playoff picture, they found themselves in the championship series. On the final day of the season, Worcester managed to sneak in after winning their last game of the season, after Martha’s Vineyard lost their final game on the previous day. Worcester and Martha’s Vineyard were in a deadlock tie for sixth place. Because the first tiebreaker of head-to-head was tied 3-3, it came down to a second tiebreaker of record against playoff teams. With Worcester having the edge, they managed to sneak into the playoffs.
Worcester traveled to Wachusett for their first playoff matchup. In a do-or-die winner move on game, the Bravehearts’ bats exploded for a 9-2 win.
Worcester then went up against the number one seed Brockton Rox and swept the second round series. The Bravehearts won the first game at home 4-3 and the second game in Brockton by a score of 13-8.
Worcester’s struggles were mostly due to injuries and many players leaving the team halfway through the season. Worcester’s lineup changed so drastically by the end of the season, that only three of the Bravehearts starters in the beginning of the season started in the championship series.
“This run at the end of the season was incredible. I don’t know exactly what the key to success was, but these guys liked each other. They truly enjoyed being on the field with each other,” said GM Dave Peterson on the team’s success.
The Worcester Bravehearts would like to thank all players, staff, press and especially all the fans. Thanks to the tremendous support of our fan base, Worcester managed to lead the league in attendance for the fourth consecutive year. The Bravehearts organization is truly grateful for the support they have received from the city.