Burlington, VT — In the first ever matchup between the Worcester Bravehearts and the Vermont Lake Monsters, Worcester was able to hang on to a 2-1 victory on on Thursday night in Burlington. In the ninth inning with one out and two bases runners on Rico Riley (Jackson State) took over on the mound and was able to register the final two outs.
Worcester grabbed their two runs in the second when Rico Riley reached first on a fielder’s choice which then sent Andrew Selima (Holy Cross) and Sebastian Salado (Palm Beach Atlantic) home after two errors from the Vermont infield giving the Bravehearts a 2-0 lead.
In the bottom of the sixth inning Vermont would score after an RBI double from Noah Garnet. Worcester still held a 2-1 advantage through six innings of play.
Max LeBlanc (Umass Amherst) was stellar on the mound for the ‘Hearts finishing the night with 6 2/3 innings, three hits, one run, and six strikeouts on 26 batters faced while picking up the win on the mound. Gavin OConnor (Assumption) took over for Leblanc and finished the evening throwing for 1 2/3 innings striking out one batter. Riley registered the save for Worcester in the bottom of the ninth.
Starting for the Lake Monsters was Patrick Harrington (Assumption) who threw for 5 innings surrendering three hits.
Things got interesting in the bottom of the ninth when Worcester committed an error to begin the frame which allowed the tying run on first base. One batter later, the runner from first stole to second. After a fly out to center field, Vermont delivered a base hit which led to runners on first and second with just one out. That is when Riley came in and was able to put the Lake Monsters to rest recording two punch outs.
Salado finished the night going 3 for 5 while recording a run. Nic Britt (William & Mary), Christian Sicilliano (Southern Maine), and Michael Perales (Amherst) also logged assists for Worcester who out hit Vermont 6-5.
The Bravehearts and Lake Monsters will square off again on Friday night in Burlington for a 7:05pm first pitch from Centennial Field.