Sharks Circle Bravehearts

Oak Bluffs, MA - For the second time in less than one week, the Worcester Bravehearts traveled to Martha’s Vineyard to take on the FCBL leading Sharks. Once again, the Bravehearts got out to an early lead, but were unable to hold on, as the Sharks’ bats came to life and the Bravehearts’ defense faltered. With the 16-4 loss, the Bravehearts fall to 8-12 on the season.

Chapman College’s Mack Cheli got the scoring started in the top of the fourth inning with a two-run blast to left-center that also plated SUNY-Oswego’s Michael Dellicarri, who doubled in the previous at-bat. Worcester maintained its 2-0 lead after four innings, and would add to two runs in the top of the fifth on a Joe Pesce (NYIT) double that scored Derek Adamson (Assumption), who singled, and Jon Hansen (West Chester), who drew a walk. From there, however, it was all downhill for the Bravehearts.

In the bottom of the fifth inning, Sharks’ right fielder Luke Hartman drew a leadoff walk and scored on catcher Matt Oldham’s subsequent two-run home run, chasing Bravehearts’ starter. Polk State’s Jared Freilich from the game. Freilich went four-plus innings and surrendered two earned runs on two hits and three walks while picking up three strikeouts. Freilich was replaced by Vanderbilt’s Makenzie Stills, who struck out the first batter he faced before giving up three consecutive singles. Martha’s Vineyard’s Matt Chamberlain would score on a Jackson Raper single, and Tate Kolwyck would come in on a wild pitch to tie the game at four.

Stills would pitch the sixth inning as well, surrendering a grand slam to Raper after an error and two walks loaded the bases for Martha’s Vineyard. Stills’ final line read six runs (four earned) on four hits and three walks over two innings pitched. He did pick up three strikeouts in his effort.

While the Bravehearts remained in the game entering the bottom of the seventh inning, trailing 8-4, the seven runs that the Sharks would score in the inning gave Martha’s Vineyard an insurmountable lead. Bryant’s Matt Stansky started the inning by recording a strikeout, but would not record another out, as the next five batters he faced would reach base on two errors, a single, and two doubles. In a third of an inning of work, Stansky was charged with five runs, just one of which was earned. UMass- Dartmouth’s Logan Maitland would finish the seventh, giving up two earned runs and striking out two.

Babson’s Eddie Lehr would finish the game for the Bravehearts, tossing one inning while giving up a solo home run and collecting three strikeouts. Ultimately, poor defense was the Achilles heel for Worcester, as four errors led to six unearned runs.

The Bravehearts are back in action on Saturday, June 23 on the road against the Bristol Blues.