Worcester Advances to Fifth Consecutive Championship Series
Bravehearts sweep Blues, will await winner of Sharks and Brockton series
Bristol, CT - For the fifth convective season, the Worcester Bravehearts will advance to the FCBL Championship Series after sweeping the Bristol Blues in the semi-Finals. In game two, Worcester went into Bristol and came away with an 11-5 victory.
Bristol jumped on the board early scoring in the second, but it did not take long for Worcester to answer. In the top of the third, an Idleson Taveras single and Mariano Ricciardi double got things going for Worcester. Edward Haus recorded an RBI as he grounded out to second, but scored Taveres. After a Dustin Harris walk, Brett Coffel ripped a single into center, scoring both Ricciardi and Harris.
The Blues struck back in the bottom half of the inning. After starting pitcher Joseph Mancini gave up three runs, allowing the Blues to re-take the lead, and loaded the bases with no outs, righty Jared Freilich was called upon in relief. Facing the Blues 5,6 and 7 batters in the lineup, Freilich struck out all three batters he faced in the inning to get out of the jam.
It did not take long for Worcester to carry the momentum and re-take the lead. In the top of the fourth, back-to-back singles for Ricciardi and Edward Haus set up Harris with two on and two out. Harris then ripped a double down the right field line, scoring both runners as Worcester took a 5-4 lead.
While Bristol tied the game in the bottom of the fifth, Worcester once again rallied to take the lead. With two outs, Kirk Sidwell hit a double off the left-center field wall, and was quickly driven in by a Tyler Becker single.
Jared Freilich ended his day going four innings, giving up only two hits and one run while striking out seven.
In the bottom of the seventh the Blues continued to threaten. With runners at the corners, Peyton Stephens stepped up with the tying run ninety feet away. Stephens lifted a fly-ball to mid-center, which looked deep enough to score Justyn-Henry Malloy at third. Taveras rifled a throw home to Paul Gozzo, who tagged Malloy out for a double-play to end the inning.
Worcester added some insurance in the eighth inning. Harris led off the inning with a double, and Paul Gozzo followed with a walk. After both runners were able to advance after a wild pitch, Sidwell singled off of FCBL Reliever of the Year Neil McDermott two score both runs and increase the lead to 8-5.
The insurance continued in the top of the ninth. Taveras led off the inning with a double, which was followed by a Haus walk. Harris then slapped a base hit into right field, scoring Taveras. Haus, who advanced to third on the single, scored on a passed ball on the Brett Coffel at-bat. Coffel lifted a fly-ball to right, which scored Harris to put Worcester up 11-5.
Worcester will await the winner of the Martha’s Vineyard Sharks and Brockton Rox tomorrow night to see who they will face in the FCBL Championship. The first game of the championship series will be on Friday night. If Worcester was to face Brockton, the first game would be at Hanover Insurance Park in Worcester. If the Vineyard was to advance, the first game would be Friday night in Martha’s Vineyard with game two coming Saturday at Hanover Insurance Park.