WESTFIELD, Massachusetts (July 30, 2022) – The Westfield Starfires faced the Vermont Lake Monsters for the third straight night on Saturday, July 30, coming from behind once again to defeat the Futures Collegiate Baseball League leaders by a final score of 9-6.
Following the win, the Starfires move to 27-29 on the season; the team sits a game ahead of the Norwich Sea Unicorns and two up on the Worcester Bravehearts with seven to play.
The first two innings of the game looked very similar to the previous night as the Lake Monsters once again got out to a two-run lead in the first inning. Tommy Martin singled to lead off the game before Tyler Favretto was hit by a pitch and Gio Cueto walked to load the bases. A line shot right back to Ryan Donahue turned into a double play, but the Lake Monsters were still able to capitalize, sending two runs home on a single by Cam Conley.
In the second inning, the Starfires tacked on two runs of their own, courtesy of Jack Wentworth and recent returner Alex Sorrenti-Burns. Chad Lavelle reached on an error by Lake Monsters starting pitcher Nick Berger before stealing his second base in as many days and coming home to score on a Wentworth double. One batter later, Wentworth touched home as well, scoring on a Sorrenti-Burns single.
The Lake Monsters quickly retook the lead in the third, as Harrison Didawick bounced into a fielder’s choice to score Gio Cueto from third, later scoring on a Charles Crawford double.
The Starfires not only tied the game back up, but grabbed the lead in their half of the third inning. Noah Campanelli walked and stole second before two straight walks by Brian Norsen and Lavelle loaded the bases with no outs. Wentworth then recorded his second and third RBI of the night, tying the game with a single to left field. Sorrenti-Burns did the same, scoring the two go-ahead runs on a single to center field, putting the Starfires up 6-4 through three innings of play.
Bullens Magic would continue in the sixth inning as the Starfires tacked on two more runs thanks to three stolen bases and multiple miscues by the Lake Monsters. Sorrenti-Burns reached after getting hit by the pitch, then stealing second and advancing to third on a wild pitch. Cooper Johnson walked and stole second, making way for Daniel Burnett who singled to drive in Sorrenti-Burns. Burnett also stole second but an arid throw by catcher Gio Cueto allowed Johnson to score from third, making the score 8-4 Starfires.
The Lake Monsters looked for momentum in the seventh, adding two runs on singles by Martin and Favretto. However, Wentworth once again went to work for the Starfires, dropping a single into center field that got under Martin’s glove, allowing Norsen, who reached on a single, to score from second, giving the Starfires a 9-6 lead through seven innings.
Wentworth also made some key defensive plays for the Starfires, keeping Vermont’s momentum at bay down the stretch of the game. “Seeing it well at the plate kind of helped me in the outfield as well. It gave me some confidence, just letting it loose and playing hard,” Wentworth said following the game.
Ryan Donahue started for the Starfires, going the first four innings, and allowing four runs on five hits. Alex Rosario earned the win, pitching two innings and only allowing one hit. Kevin Zarnoch Jr. pitched a three inning save, scattering four hits and only allowing two runs. The three pitchers combined for seven strikeouts.
Wentworth praised his pitching staff not only in today’s game, but in the previous win as well. “It was a huge win for us. That’s probably the biggest series of the year and it makes our playoff push even more in sight,” Wentworth noted. The goal going forward? “Keep the momentum going, our pitching staff keep shoving, defense keep doing their thing, and keep swinging it,” Wentworth said.
The Starfires will finish the week at Bullens Field with a 3 p.m. matchup against the second-place Nashua Silver Knights on Sunday.
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.