Westfield, MA- The Bravehearts improve their record to 23-23 on the year as they defeated the Westfield Starfires on the road 6-1 following a great pitching performance by Eric Chavarria.
After giving up a run in the bottom of the first inning, Chavarria was near perfect the rest of the way. Following a hit by Westfield’s Sean Murphy in the second inning, Chavarria didn’t allow another hit until the seventh inning. He also struck out five out of six Starfires’ hitters in the 4th and 5th innings.
Chavarria ended the night pitching 6.2 innings and only allowing 1 run on 5 hits. He punched out seven batters while only handing out two walks.
Chavarria was backed by some early run support in this one as the Bravehearts bats came alive in the first inning. Mariano Riccardi and John Thrasher lead off the game with back-to-back singles leading to a 2 RBI double by Ben Rice.
Following a bunt by Mariano Ricciardi that lead to an error by Westfield’s first baseman in the seventh inning, John Thrasher ripped a triple to deep center field, scoring Ricciardi from first. Chris Rinaldi then singled up the middle and drove in Thrasher. This extended the Bravehearts lead to 4-1.
In the bottom of the seventh inning, the Starfires loaded the bases against Chavarria. Bravehearts manager Alex Dion decided to turn to Troy Klemm out of the bullpen with Worcester up three runs. Klemm then gets out the jam after recording a first pitch flyout to deep center field.
After Jack Gardner got hit by a pitch and Nick Martin singled in the top of the eighth, John Thrasher came up big again for the ‘Hearts, this time with an RBI double to left to make the score 5-1. Thrasher was a problem all night for Westfield, as he went 3-5 with a run and a RBI.
The Bravehearts then got another run in the 8th as Nick Martin scored on a pass ball with the bases loaded to extend the Bravehearts’ lead to 6-1.
Klemm recorded a save as he pitched 2.1 scoreless innings out of the bullpen to hold Worcester’s lead.
Looking ahead, the ‘Hearts will return home for a double header with the Brockton Rox on Sunday afternoon. Game 1 is set to start at 1 p.m.