LEOMINSTER, MA – For the second consecutive night the Bravehearts were tied after ten innings, and for the second consecutive night Ben Rice (Dartmouth) powered Worcester to a Homerun Derby win by hitting 12 homeruns in the first round to defeat the Nashua Silver Knights Sunday evening at Doyle Field.
Just one night prior, Worcester and New Britain needed a homerun Derby after a 3-3 tie score, and Rice delivered with nine homeruns to down the Bees. Tonight, Nick Shumski (one) and Troy Schreffler, Jr. (ten) put up a good showing for the Silver Knights, but Rice was again too much to handle. With the win, Worcester has won back-to-back games for the first time this season remains in third place in the FCBL standings.
For a while, it looked as if the Bravehearts would cruise to a win without the dramatics thanks to an early 8-1 lead. Worcester scored five runs in the third inning as Danny Torres (St. Leo) started the scoring with a RBI-double. EJ Exposito (NYIT) and Paul Coumoulos (St. Leo) drove in runs with fielder’s choice ground outs, and Joe Pesce (NYIT) and Aidan Wilde (Stonehill) added a RBI-single apiece for a 5-0 lead.
Worcester (4-3) added more in the fifth inning thanks to a Wilde two-run homerun and an Andrew Selima (Holy Cross) solo shot, his second of the season versus Nashua. The two dingers gave Worcester that 8-1 lead, but Nashua (4-5) rallied for nine runs in the seventh inning to take a 10-8 lead. Brady Day hit a pinch-hit three run homerun, Thomas Crowley produced a RBI-single, a dropped fly ball in center field by PJ Barry (St. Leo) brought in two more runs, Day singled home two more runs in his second at-bat of the inning, and a passed ball plated another run. The ‘Hearts needed Coleman Picard (Hartford), Will Hesslink (Boston College), and Brendan Desautels (Assumption) to get out of the inning.
Worcester clawed back in thanks to a run in the eighth and a Pesce two-out RBI-single to tie the game at ten. The Bravehearts did get a runner on third in the tenth, but Rice flew out to end the extra frame.
Shawn Babineau (Franklin Pierce) got the start for Worcester, allowing one run in four innings. He struck out three. After the Bravehearts tagged Nashua starter Jack Dicenso and then Shea Ryan for the eight early runs, a combination of Griffin Young, Jack Kramer, Steven Miller, Brand Dufault, Jack Pawloski, and Robert Cobb combined to allow just one earned run.
Mike Rounds, Max Viera, and Day recorded two hits for Nashua. Nick Martin (Westfield State), Selima, Wilde, and Pesce (three) recorded a multi-hit day for Worcester. Exposito extended his hitting streak to five games.
Worcester is back in action Tuesday night at Westfield after a scheduled off day Monday.