Box Score 1 | Box Score 2
WORCESTER, Massachusetts (July 27, 2022) – Playing as a guest on his collegiate home field, Brendan Jones clocked a seventh-inning home run to give the Westfield Starfires a doubleheader split with the Worcester Bravehearts in Futures Collegiate Baseball League action on Wednesday, July 27.
With the split, the Starfires move to 25-28 on the season and sit one game ahead of the Norwich Sea Unicorns for the final playoff spot.
In the first game, the Starfires got out to a quick lead on RBI singles by Ryan Lavelle in the second inning and Daniel Burnett in the third inning to put the Starfires up 2-0. Lavelle recorded another RBI in the sixth inning on a sacrifice fly, but the Starfires dropped the first game by a final score of 8-3.
The Starfires once again got out to a 2-0 lead in the second game, this time in the first and the third innings. In the first, Gunnar Johnson singled to drive in Nathan Lincoln, who also reached on a single one batter earlier. In the third, Jones singled before coming around to score on a Lincoln double to make the score 2-0.
The Bravehearts battled back in the fourth inning when two walks allowed Andrew Chronister to drive in one run on a single, with the tying run scoring on an error, to make the game 2-2.
Both the Starfires and Bravehearts would scatter baserunners through the following innings but were not able to bring any one home.
With one out in the top half of the seventh, Lavelle entered the game as a pinch hitter, drawing a walk. Two batters later, Jones stepped to the plate. He fell behind 1-2 in the count, but turned a fastball and drove it to right field, clearing the fence and putting his team ahead by a pair with his second home run of the campaign and his first at Fitton Field as either a Crusader or Starfire.
“I wasn’t really expecting to do that, but I was able to put the bat on the ball and watching it go tonight was pretty cool,” Jones said about his home run. “We got a bunch of guys on the team that can do a lot of things. Everyone on the team has contributed all year long so I just want to do my part every time I’m on the field.”
Alex Perez started game two for the Starfires, pitching four innings and giving up two runs, one earned, on two hits with two walks and seven strikeouts. Tim Krol and Zach Nichols also pitched in relief, combining for three scoreless innings with two hits and five strikeouts.
The Starfires will play their next three games against the league-leading Vermont Lake Monsters, with tomorrow’s matchup scheduled for 6:35 p.m. on the road at Centennial Field, followed by two games at Bullens Field.
“It’s going to be a tough three game stretch against Vermont, but I think with this momentum we should be good,” Jones said.
For the latest on the team, be sure to follow the Starfires on Twitter and Instagram @starfiresbb, and visit us on the web at westfieldstarfires.com.