WESTFIELD, Massachusetts The Westfield Starfires needed two wins, and found them each in emphatic, if varying, fashion, winning a pitchers duel 1-0 before taking a walk-off, comeback 8-7 contest to sweep the Brockton Rox in a Futures Collegiate Baseball League doubleheader on Thursday, August 6 at Bullens Field.
FINAL SCORES: Westfield 1, Brockton 0; Westfield 8, Brockton 7
RECORDS: The Starfires now stand at 12-15; the Rox fall to 13-15.
Box Score 1 | Box Score 2
Win: Jeff Taylor (3-0)
Loss: Tim Noone (0-1)
Win: Andrew Roman (1-2)
Loss: Nate Tellier (0-1)
Andre Marrero: 1-for-3, home run
Jeff Taylor: Win, shutout, 7.0 innings, two hits, one walk, 10 strikeouts
Drew DeMartino: 2-for-3, two runs, one RBI, one walk
Ramon Jimenez: 2-for-4
Andre Marrero: 2-for-4, home run, two runs, four RBI, walk-off hit in 7th
Michael DeMartino: 1-for-3, home run, two RBI
Danny Crossen: 2-for-3, two stolen bases
Andrew Roman: Win, 1.2 innings, one run (no earned runs), no hits, one walk, two strikeouts
Offense was at a premium in the opener, as Jeff Taylor (Pequea, PA / Millersville) went toe-to-toe with Tim Noone (Needham, MA / Babson) in a pitchers duel that saw a combined five hits in the entire game.
Both teams had their first runner reach via an error in the first frame, but neither team was able to capitalize.
In the second, Buddy Dewaine (Uncasville, CT / Central Connecticut State) hit a ball down the right field line, but a strong throw by Danny Crossen (Cotuit, MA / Northeastern) to the second base bag put Dewaine back on the bench after he overslid the bag stretching his hit into a double.
Taylor allowed a leadoff double in the fourth, but came back to get the next three outs to end the threat before striking out the side in the fifth.
In the home half of the fifth frame, Andre Marrero (West Springfield, MA / Quinnipiac) broke the deadlock, hammering a 1-1 pitch over the right field fence to give the Starfires a 1-0 lead.
Taylor slammed the door from there, striking out three more batters and picking off the only runner he allowed to reach via a walk in the game en route to the shutout win.
Brockton did not intend to go quietly again and jumped out to a 2-0 lead in the first frame, with a walk, double, and single with two outs to drive home two runs. The Rox repeated the scoring in the second, garnering a pair more on four singles and two fielders choices to make it a 4-0 contest.
In the third, a walk, balk, and single pushed Brocktons lead to 5-0, but the Starfires started their comeback efforts in the home half of the frame, with Crossen and Braydon Seaburg (Stratford, CT / Quinnipiac) each singling to start the inning off. Crossen ultimately scored on a sacrifice fly by Eric Callahan (Columbus, OH / Millersville), and Drew DeMartino (Pittsfield, MA / Hartford) singled in Seaburg.
Two more runs came across in the fourth for the Starfires, and they came in quick fashion, as Marrero reached on an error to start the frame, and two batters later Michael DeMartino (New Haven, CT / Southern Connecticut State) launched a two-run shot over the right-field fence to cut the deficit to 5-4.
Brockton stopped the bleeding momentarily in the fifth with three hits to bring in a run, but the Rox lead did not have much longer to survive; Drew DeMartino and Ramon Jimenez (Chicopee, MA / Boston College) both singled in the bottom of the frame, setting the stage for Marrero to clobber a home run to left field over the scoreboard, giving the hosts a 7-6 edge.
The Rox found a way to tie the game late, with a leadoff walk, stolen base, and an error bringing in the equalizing run.
The Starfires dashed Brocktons hope for a split quickly in the last half-inning of play; Drew DeMartino walked to lead off the frame, and was moved over by Jimenez on a groundout before Marrero hit a 3-1 offering into the gap in right-center field, bringing DeMartino home and giving the Starfires the walk-off win.
HOW SWEEP IT IS:
Apart from the series sweep, Westfield swept the leagues nightly awards.
Marrero was named the On Deck Sports Player of the Night for his 3-for-6 effort overall that included five RBI and three runs scored.
Taylor was the Change Up Baseball Pitcher of the Night after tossing a complete-game shutout with 10 strikeouts; his ERA on the season is now 0.90, as he has allowed just two earned runs in 20 innings of work.
Westfield begins a stretch of four games out of five with the Worcester Bravehearts; the Starfires visit Doyle Field on Friday, August 7 for a 6 p.m. start.
The Bravehearts are also the next visitors to Bullens Field, as they will head to Westfield for a pair on Tuesday, August 11, with the first pitch of the first game slated for 4 p.m.