Starfires Complete Weekend Sweep, Trounce Road Warriors

Box Score

WESTFIELD, Massachusetts (June 2, 2024) – The Westfield Starfires finished a perfect weekend in style with an 8-1 victory over the Futures League Road Warriors in Futures Collegiate Baseball League action at the Richards Jewelers Diamond at Billy Bullens Field on Sunday, June 2.

The Starfires are now 4-1 on the season.

Though the Road Warriors scored one in the first thanks to a pair of errors, Westfield led after the opening inning thanks to excellent at-bats in the home half. Fairfield University’s Matt Lussier led off with a six-pitch walk, and Central Connecticut State University’s Gianno Merlonghi walked two batters later to put two on. Merlonghi’s college teammate, Aidan Redahan, smashed the first pitch he saw to center, one-hopping the wall for a double to tie the game. The very next pitch put the Starfires in the lead, as Washington State University’s Trey Cruz hit a grounder to second to score Merlonghi in his inaugural Starfires at-bat.

Redahan and Cruz both singled in the third as well, and after both advanced on a wild pitch, Redahan scored as Cameron Papetti of Bryant University reached on a bouncer to short. The team then tacked on another in the fourth with Lussier walking, Merlonghi singling, and Redahan driving a ball to center to plate Lussier.

The Starfires had thrown jabs in the early frames, but the fifth was the knockout blow. It started with a walk by Trinity College and Easthampton native Will Sawyer, and Longmeadow native Colin Hoffman of Franklin Pierce University singled to score him after a wild pitch. Southampton native and College of the Holy Cross rookie Van Liott singled as well, and Lussier walked again to pack the bags.

American International College’s Jackson Haker hit the ball to short, and not only did Hoffman come home, but so did Liott thanks to a bad throw. To close the scoring, Merlonghi roped a 1-0 pitch to center for two bases, driving in Lussier and giving Westfield an 8-1 lead.

From there, the bullpen was lights out; Sam Formus of Cedarville University threw two frames, while Trinity’s Brendan Grady and Boston College’s Cesar Gonzalez each tossed one, all scoreless, combining for six strikeouts.

That was on the heels of Chris Suter’s excellent start. The Union College senior and second-year Starfire was excellent in scattering six hits and a walk against five strikeouts, allowing just the unearned run.

Lussier had perhaps the game’s most intriguing statline; he reached in all five plate appearances despite not recording an at-bat, thanks to four walks and a hit-by-pitch, and scored three runs.

Westfield will be off for a day before continuing its five-game homestand on Tuesday, June 4 against the New Britain Bees. First pitch is slated for 6:30 p.m., with gates opening half an hour prior.

 Tickets for the game, and all home games, are available at

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