Burnett, Frometa go deep to lead Starfires past Suns

Box Score

WESTFIELD, Massachusetts (May 29, 2023) – Wearing their 104th Fighter Wing uniforms in recognition of Memorial Day, Southwick native and Westfield State University’s Dan Burnett and Chicopee native and American International College’s Josh Frometa turned the Richards Jewelers Diamond at Billy Bullens Field into their own personal launchpad, hitting home runs to lead the Westfield Starfires to an 8-4 win over the Pittsfield Suns in Futures Collegiate Baseball League action.

Westfield improves to 4-2 on the season.

The first run of the game came in unusual fashion for the Starfires in the second. Aaron Cole singled and stole second, reaching third on an error at shortstop that put Kiernan Caffrey at first. Jack Kent then walked to load the bases. Frometa hit a shallow fly ball to center field that was caught mere feet from the infield dirt, but when Cole feinted toward home, Suns center fielder Austin Rachiele took the bait and fired a throw that was high, allowing Cole to get to the dish.

For all the commotion, that one run was all the Starfires scored in the second. The fourth was a different story.

Caffrey and Kent worked back-to-back walks to lead off the inning, and two batters later, Kameron Hartenstein won a 10-pitch battle with J.T. Gunzy, singling to left to score Caffrey. Jackson Haker singled on the next pitch to bring Kent home, and then Burnett came to the dish. On a 1-1 pitch, he slammed the baseball over the left field fence for a three-run shot, his first of the summer, giving Westfield a 6-0 lead.

In the seventh, the Suns finally found their offense. Delaney Powell and Jimmy King both singled, and Spencer Berson followed with a three-run shot of his own, hitting the scoreboard in left. However, in the home half, the AIC duo of Caffrey and Frometa had an answer. Caffrey led off with a single, and two batters later, Frometa drilled a 1-2 pitch high to left, clearing the fence and putting the game out of reach.

The Suns scored one in the ninth, but Westfield took the game.

Michael Aceto earned the win, allowing three runs on 10 hits with no walks and four strikeouts in 6.1 innings. Joe Espinola closed the game out, conceding a run on three hits with no walks and two strikeouts over the final two frames.

The Starfires kick off a stretch of six straight games on the road beginning Tuesday, May 30 at 6:00 p.m. against the Nashua Silver Knights at Holman Stadium in Nashua, New Hampshire. They are next at home on Tuesday, June 6 at 10:30 a.m. against the New Britain Bees.

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