(Photo by Kelsey Sagvold)
WESTFIELD, Massachusetts (June 12, 2022) - The Westfield Starfires defeated the Pittsfield Suns for the second time this week, this time by a final score of 12-5 in a Futures Collegiate Baseball League matchup at Bullens Field on Sunday, June 12.
With the win, the Starfires move to 12-4 on the season, extending their home winning streak to ten games. The Starfires were a half game back of the Vermont Lake Monsters for first place in the league standings as of the end of the contest.
The Starfires once again struck first in the first inning. Ryan Lavelle was hit by a pitch from Suns starter Jacob Ribitzki before Brendan Jones doubled. Nathan Lincoln then hit a single to drive in Lavelle and Cavan Brady also hit a single to drive in Jones, putting the Starfires up 2-0.
In the Starfires half of the second, Jack Power hit a single, advanced to second on a Nicholas Alonso ground out, stole third base and came home on a Luca Giallongo ground out. After two, the Starfires led 3-0.
The Suns scored two runs in the top of the fourth, cutting the Starfires lead to one run. Taylor Gaspar and Marco Ali both hit infield singles and advanced to second and third on a wild pitch by Starfires starting pitcher Michael Aceto. Drew Metzdorf then grounded out to drive in Gaspar and Jack Ryan singled to drive in Ali.
The Starfires would earn one run back in the bottom of the fourth. Power singled and advanced to second on an Alonso ground out and third on a Giallongo single. Suns reliever Ross Dexter committed a throwing error to score Power, making the score 4-2 in favor of the Starfires at the end of the fourth.
The Suns tied the game in their half of the fifth inning when Brennan Hyde singled and came home on a Gaspar home run, only the Suns’ sixth of the season. The Starfires answered right back in the next half inning. Lincoln singled, stole second, and then came home on a Dan Hussey double. With two outs, Power ripped a single to drive in Hussey, making the score at the end of five innings 6-4 Starfires.
The Starfires added two more runs in the sixth when Giallongo led off the inning with a triple and came home on a Lavelle ground out. Lincoln singled and stole second again and was driven in by another Hussey double, his third of the night.
In the seventh inning, the Starfires would put the game away. Power drew a walk and Alonso singled before Giallongo bounced into a fielder’s choice to move Power to third. Power then scored on a wild pitch by Suns reliever Freddy Mosier. Lavelle then singled and stole second and Giallongo was driven in by a Jones single. Another error allowed Lavelle to score. Lincoln then ended the inning with a single to drive in Jones, putting the Starfires up 12-4.
In the top of the ninth inning, Bo Bramer and Gaspar singled, and Bramer came home on a single by Robbie Burnett, making the final score 12-5.
Starfires starting pitcher Michael Aceto earned the win, pitching five innings and allowing four runs on four hits with one strikeout. Edwin Almanzar pitched three innings, allowing one hit and two walks, striking out three. Tim Krol allowed one run on three hits in his one inning pitched.
Power, who not only contributed offensively, finishing the day with three hits and two walks, also caught a great game behind the plate. After the game, Power talked about working with a variety of guys on the staff, saying, “you really develop a connection with everybody on the staff when you catch and [I’m] looking to keep that going moving forward.”
The Starfires are back in action on the road Tuesday in Norwich. First pitch is scheduled for 6:35 p.m.
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.