WESTFIELD, Massachusetts (May 25, 2023) – The Westfield Starfires picked up their first win of the 2023 Futures Collegiate Baseball League season on Thursday, May 25, defeating the Worcester Bravehearts 5-4 in a tightly contested matchup on the Richards Jewelers Diamond at Billy Bullens Field.
The Starfires are 1-1 on the young season.
Westfield wasted no time in taking the lead, scoring twice in the first. Jackson Haker singled through the right side, and Jay Bant followed with a flare to left that fell in when the outfielder for the Bravehearts lost it in the sun. Brendan Edvardsen then hit a ball deep in the hole at short and hustled up the line, forcing a bad throw; Haker had already scored, and Bant went from third to home once the ball sailed past first.
The Bravehearts added a run in the second on a Christian Limon sacrifice fly, and had first and third with two down, but could not tie the game. In the third, Westfield then added to its lead. Edvardsen was hit by a pitch, and Nick Serce followed with a base hit through the right side to put men on the corners. Luke Stephens knocked a grounder to short, which allowed Edvardsen to score from third. Serce ultimately came home two batters later on miscues, as the Bravehearts conceded a passed ball and wild pitch on back-to-back tosses for a 4-1 Starfires edge.
Dulin made up for his mistake in the fourth, leading off with a single and scoring to make it 4-2, but Westfield countered in the bottom half as Corey Zientek walked and advanced on a wild pitch before Bant drove him in with a hit to left.
In the fifth, Worcester pushed two across and threatened for more with the bases loaded and just one out, but Joe Fischer induced a double play to shut down the rally. He then handled business across the next three innings, holding the Bravehearts to just a solitary hit in his time on the hill.
Worcester had one more threat in the ninth thanks to a pair of walks, but Nate Kelleher-Mochak induced a flyout to earn the save and end the game.
The team will be on the road for the first time on Friday, May 26 against the Pittsfield Suns, ahead of Opening Night on Saturday, May 27 at 6:30 p.m. against the Brockton Rox. Tickets are still available by visiting www.westfieldstarfires.com/tickets.