Worcester, MA— The Worcester Bravehearts split their doubleheader against the Westfield Starfires on Wednesday night at Fitton Field. Worcester lost the first game 8-5, and won the second game 3-2. With the split, Worcester moves to 18-16, while Westfield sits at 16-16.
Game 1 – Westfield 8, Worcester 5
The first game of the doubleheader began with a Bravehearts 5-2 lead in the bottom of the third inning, where the game had left off on May 26th before the game was postponed due to rain.
Westfield wasted no time erasing the deficit, plating three runs before Worcester could record an out thanks to a three-run home run off ‘Hearts starter and Grafton native Tyler Nielsen (Maine). The Starfires would not be slowed down by a lengthy rain delay, driving in three more runs as soon as the game resumed, bringing the score to 8-5.
Westfield pitcher Solomon Washington (Calhoun CC) got the win, pitching 2.2 innings, giving up one hit, five walk while striking out six. Holden native Luke Delongchamp (Boston College) took the loss in his Bravehearts debut, running into trouble in his second inning on the mound.
Game 2 – Westfield 2, Worcester 3 (F/7)
The ‘Hearts got off to a strong start in game two after Rico Riley (Jackson State) drove in Randy Flores (Franklin Pierce) in the first inning. The Starfires responded in the second inning with a run of their own, tying the game 1-1.
A strategic play by Worcester regained the lead in the third inning. Riley reached base on a double to left field, then advanced to third on a passed ball. After Alex Neff (Dayton) reached base on a walk, he strolled down the base path, forcing a run-down situation. At the same time, Riley took off for home, scoring on a stolen base after Neff made it back to first base safely. Westfield got the run back in the bottom of the inning thanks to a Cam Meyer (Georgetown) RBI double, knotting the game at 2-2.
The ’Hearts retook the lead in the fifth after a home run to right field by Gavin Noriega (Marist), a 3-2 lead they would not relinquish.
The win went to Barre native Croix Jenkins (NJIT), who tossed three scoreless innings, giving up two walks and striking out four. Alek Elges (Webster) took the loss for Westfield. He went two innings, giving up one run on three hits, striking out three.
Worcester will face the Starfires in Westfield tomorrow, July 8th with first pitch scheduled for 6:30 p.m. The Bravehearts return home to Fitton Field on Saturday, July 10th for a noon-time game against the Pittsfield Suns, which will be broadcast on NESN.