BURLINGTON, Vermont (May 27, 2022) – The Westfield Starfires took to the road for the first time during the 2022 Futures Collegiate Baseball League season, and brought Bullens Magic north with them, overcoming a four-run deficit for the second straight game against the Vermont Lake Monsters to win 10-7 in 10 innings on Friday, May 27.
The Starfires rise to 2-0 with the victory.
The Lake Monsters scored the game’s first run in the third, as Jimmy Evans walked, stole second, took third on a wild pitch, and came home on a groundout. Brendan Jones and Jackson Hornung countered that immediately in the fourth, smacking a single and double, respectively, and Hornung ultimately came home on an error at third.
Westfield’s lead was equally short-lived. The home side strung together five straight hits, including George Cooper and Donovan Montgomery doubles, and when the dust had settled, the Lake Monsters were up 6-2.
That score stood until the eighth, when Jones and Hornung both walked. Patrick D’Amico hit a ball at third that was misplayed, and Jones scored. Two batters later, Cooper Johnson was hit by a pitch, loading the bases. Cavan Brady and Luca Giallongo followed with back-to-back two-run singles, and the Starfires took a 7-6 lead.
Vermont did not quit, and a one-out Ryan Marra single turned into the tying run after a walk and a Cooper single with two outs. Jackson Kline had a chance to win the game, but Kevin Zarnoch Jr. was able to strike him out to force extras.
The 10th was all Westfield. Johnson led off with a single, and after advancing on a wild pitch, swiped third as Brady walked. Giallongo then hit a ball up the third base line that ended up being thrown away, allowing both runners to score. Giallongo himself advanced to third on the play, and Ryan Molinari drove him home with a fly ball to center. Zarnoch slammed the door in the bottom half of the inning, only surrendering a single walk to earn the win in the 10-7 final.
Tim Kroll had a brilliant relief appearance for Westfield in his Starfires debut. The New England College product twirled 3.2 innings of scoreless relief, allowing just one hit and one walk while fanning five. Zarnoch went 3.0 innings, allowing the one run on three hits with two walks and five strikeouts.
The Starfires return home for Opening Night against their Western Massachusetts rival, the Pittsfield Suns, on Saturday, May 28 at 6:30 p.m.