Bant's Blast Helps Starfires Split In Worcester

Box Score: Game 1 | Game 2

WORCESTER, Massachusetts (July 22, 2023) – On a day where most of the offense came on the longball, Futures League All-Star Jay Bant’s three-run shot proved the biggest as the Westfield Starfires split a two-game set at the Worcester Bravehearts, 4-2 and 5-1, on Saturday, July 22.

Westfield is now 25-26 on the season.

The Bravehearts opened the scoring in the bottom of the first with a Jack Thorbahn single that drove in Matty Warren. Warren also scored in the third, singling to lead off the inning and ultimately coming in on a balk.

However, in the fourth, the Starfires needed just seven pitches to flip the script. Luke Yuhasz and Nick Serce started with back-to-back singles, and Bant barreled up a 1-0 pitch that flew over the right-field wall for his fourth of the year.

The team was not done scoring, either. Dan Burnett and Luke Masiuk each walked and then moved up on a wild pitch before Willie Landman’s groundout to short pushed Burnett home.

That was the sum of the scoring; Ryan Bailey finished out a winning start, ultimately pitching five frames and allowing two runs on five hits with two walks and three strikeouts, and Brian Dowling closed with just one hit in two innings, striking out three for the save.

In game two, the Starfires led just three pitches in, as Yuhasz launched a ball into the Fitton Field scoreboard for his fourth of the season. However, that was all the offense for Westfield, and a three-run double by Greg Gorman in the fifth put the Bravehearts ahead as the teams split.

Shayne Audet was the Starfires starter in game two, and though the Springfield native did not factor in the decision, he struck out eight across four innings of work, allowing one run on three hits and pitching out of a bases-loaded, no-out jam allowing just the one run. He now has 121 career strikeouts with the Starfires and 179 in the FCBL, records for the franchise and league respectively.

Westfield’s last game before the All-Star Break will be at home, as the Starfires host the Brockton Rox on Sunday, July 23 at 5:00 p.m.

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