BURLINGTON, Vermont (July 26, 2023) – In a game defined by pitching, Westfield Starfires first baseman Nick Serce’s two-run single in the third inning provided the winning margin as Team Mountain defeated Team Lake 3-1 in the 2023 Futures Collegiate Baseball League All-Star Game at Centennial Field in Burlington, Vermont on Tuesday, July 25.
After two scoreless innings, Team Mountain loaded the bases in the third. Freddy Forgione walked, followed by a first-pitch single to right by Westfield’s Kiernan Caffrey. Ryan Gerety then was hit by a pitch. Two batters later, Shane McNamara overcame an 0-2 count to walk, pushing Forgione home and sending Serce to the dish.
Serce wasted no time, driving the first pitch he saw from Brad Lewis through the right side. His Starfires and American International College teammate Caffrey scored easily, and Gerety came in from second, sliding in just ahead of the throw, for a 3-0 lead.
Team Lake did strike back quickly, knocking in one run off of Westfield’s Joe Espinola in the bottom of the third, but they were stifled from there and held hitless until the eighth inning when Brennan Hyde fouled off four straight two-strike pitches before singling to left.
There was drama in the ninth, as Team Lake loaded the bases with one out on a hit and two walks, but Brian Hart generated a pop out against Kobe Stenson and then fanned Tommy Martin to end the game.
Serce was named All-Star Player of the Game for his winning hit, becoming the first Starfire to win the award.
Westfield State University’s Espinola allowed one run on two hits in one inning, while Worcester State University’s Kevin Zarnoch Jr. struck out one in two thirds of a frame. Bridgewater State University and Monson native Trey Yesu allowed a hit but generated two outs in the eighth before being relieved by teammate and FCBL strikeouts leader Ryan Bailey, who fanned the lone batter he faced.
The Starfires team returns to action Thursday, July 27 at 7:00 p.m. at Dodd Stadium in Norwich, Connecticut to face the Norwich Sea Unicorns. The game will be broadcast on NESN.