Worcester, MA - After a loss on Friday night, Worcester got back on track Saturday with a double-header sweep against the Westfield Starfires.
For the first game, it was Westfield who got off to a hot start in the second inning. Matt Costanza walked and was hit in on an Andrew Ciaciarelli double to give the Starfires the early lead. Jack Gardner hit a solo home run in the bottom of the inning to tie the game for Worcester.
Costanza came up big in the third, this time with an RBI single scoring Christian Walsh who reached on a single, but Worcester struck back in the fourth inning. Tyler Becker hit a sac-fly scoring Chris Rinadli to once again tie the game up.
In the bottom of the seventh, with the game tied 2-2, Nick Martin was hit by a pitch to lead off the inning and John Thrasher walked. A fielder’s choice off the bat of Chris Rinaldi forced Martin out at third. Ben Rice then grounded to the second basemen Costanza who flipped to the shortstop Devin Kellogg for the force out. Kellogg then threw to first to try and double off Rice. The throw pulled the first basemen Ciaciarelli off the bag allowing Rice to be safe at first. During the play, Thrasher rounded third and scored to give the Bravehearts a walk-off win in game one, 3-2.
For the second game, it was Worcester who scored early. Nick Martin doubled and stole third to lead off the game. Chris Rinaldi hit him in with a sacrifice fly for the first run of the game.
Worcester struck again in the third. Joe Pesce reached on an error, followed by a Thrasher double. Rinaldi hit his second sac-fly of the night, increasing the lead to 2-0. Mack Cheli singled in Thrasher for another Worcester run.
Dolan Ocasal led off the fourth inning with a single and stole second base. Ciaciarelli singled in Ocasal for the first run of the game for the Starfires.
Westfield struck again in the fifth. Reliever Chris Keenan came in for Worcester and allowed three straight walks. A sacrifice fly by Christian Walsh allowed Mike Chaves to score and cut the Worcester lead to one.
The Bravehearts got the runs right back and more in the fifth inning. Nick Martin walked, and Thrasher launched a two-run home run over the left field wall. Chris Rinaldi continued the inning with a walk and Mack Cheli was hit by a pitch. Tyler Becker continued with a three run blast over the right field wall for the second home run of the inning and an 8-2 lead.
Three more runs were added in the sixth inning. PJ Barry led off the inning with a double and Martin reached on an error. Both players scored on a single by Thrasher as Martin was able to cross the plate on an error. Thrasher then scored on a wild pitch to increase the lead to 11-2. Westfield added a run in the ninth, but could not put anything else across.
With the win, the Bravehearts will clinch either the three or four seed depending on the outcome of games tomorrow. They will host a home play-off game Monday night against either the Pittsfield Suns or Nashua Silver Knights.