Box Scores: Game 1 | Game 2
WESTFIELD, Massachusetts (July 18, 2023) – The Westfield Starfires split a doubleheader with the Nashua Silver Knights at the Richards Jewelers Diamond at Billy Bullens Field on Tuesday, July 18, falling 6-3 in the opener but rebounding for a 10-1 win in the finale.
Westfield is now 22-25 on the season.
The Starfires struck first in the first contest, as Jay Bant launched a fly ball to right field that cleared the fence for his first home run in Westfield. That lead lasted until the third, when former Starfire Luca Giallongo scored on an RBI single to center by Shane McNamara.
In the fifth, the Starfires retook the lead on another deep shot. This time it was Owen Arias lifting off, hitting his first FCBL home run to left field for a 2-1 edge. However, in the next half inning, Nashua sent 11 hitters to the plate, scoring five and going ahead 6-2. Bant hit another home run, hooking a shot around the foul pole in right for his second of the game and season, in the bottom of the sixth, but that was the last scoring the Starfires did in the contest.
Nashua kept it going early in the second game, scoring just two batters in on a Nater Wachter single. He went first-to-third on a sacrifice bunt by Giallongo, and when the throw got away, scampered home, giving the Silver Knights a 1-0 lead.
In the second, Westfield answered. J.D. Jones singled to right to start the inning and took second on a wild pitch. Dan Burnett then hit a ball up the middle, and Brady O’Brien made the decision to throw to first despite having no chance to get Burnett, allowing Jones to score.
The fourth inning broke the game open. Jones and Ben Robichaux hit back-to-back singles before Corey Zientek unleashed a towering home run to left field, knocking a branch off the pine tree behind the fence and giving Westfield a 4-1 edge.
That was the start of a parade of Starfires at the plate, and further runs came across on a Kiernan Caffrey bases-packed walk, a Luke Yuhasz groundout, a wild pitch, another Jones single, a Robichaux sacrifice fly, and then a triple off the center field fence by Zientek to cap a nine-run outburst.
From there, Joe Fischer and Jake Jachym held the fort down, combining for three shutout innings to back Chris Suter, who earned the win with four innings of work, allowing a run on six hits.
Westfield next heads to Worcester to face the Bravehearts on Wednesday, July 19 at 6:30 p.m.