'Hearts Announce First Wave of Signings



Worcester, MA - The Worcester Bravehearts announced their first nine player signings on Monday, highlighted by six returners. All nine players have local ties to Central Massachusetts, either attending school or growing up in the area.


The Bravehearts welcome back three Assumption University Pitchers in Austin Stone, Griffin O’Connor and Evan McCarthy. Boylston-Native and Tahanto High School Graduate Stone will return to the Bravehearts bullpen after his 2022 season was cut short due to a shoulder injury. The ‘Hearts will get a key piece of their 2021 bullpen back in O’Connor, who had the lowest ERA in the Bravehearts pen among qualified pitchers (20+ innings minimum) at 0.76. The team will also return Leominster Legion standout McCarthy. A late-signing in 2022, McCarthy helped to strengthen a depleted Bravehearts bullpen towards the end of the season. McCarthy notably hurled a perfect game for Leominster with 15 strikeouts against North County in 2021. 


Worcester will continue its connection with Anna Maria with two more returning players. 2022 Starting Shortstop Kosta Drosidis will be making his return to Fitton Field. Drosidis is the all-time Home Run leader at Anna Maria, and was the GNAC Player of the Year as a Junior. The Holden-native was also a two-time Division 1 Champion in High School with Saint Peter Marian. Joining Drosidis is his Anna Maria teammate Nick Choate. The 6’ 5” righty was signed mid-season in 2022 and provided depth in the Bravehearts pitching staff. Choate held a 3.29 ERA at Anna Maria last season with 64 strikeouts in 41 innings pitched. Choate’s brother Jack, played with the Bravehearts in 2021 and was drafted in 2022 by the San Francisco Giants. 


The final returning local Braveheart is Axel Johnson. The lefty out of Stevens Institute of Technology held a 3.57 ERA for the Bravehearts in 2022. Johnson is also a Saint John’s High School Graduate and Grafton, MA- native.


There will be three players on the 2023 roster who will be new faces to the Bravehearts, but not to Central Massachusetts. 


Vinnie Purpura, a 6’ 7” freshman left-handed pitcher for Bryant University will be an exciting arm in the Bravehearts bullpen. The Hopkinton-native was sidelined during his senior high school season with a leg-injury. Now healthy, he is looking to a put together a strong summer with the ‘Hearts.


The Bravehearts will have a towering set of arms out of the pen in 2023 as 6’ 5” Tade Riordan will join the staff. The Northbridge-native will come to the Bravehearts after finishing his senior season at Blackstone Valley Tech. A Division-I commit for New Jersey Institute of Technology, Riordan will be one of the youngest players on the Bravehearts, but has the talent to make an immediate impact.


Rounding off the list of local player announcements is Southborough’s James Clark. A Freshman at Babson College, Clark will join the Bravehearts’ revamped starting rotation. Clark graduated from Algonquin High School in 2022 where he shined for the Titans.


The Worcester Bravehearts will start the season on May 24th with an “Opening Morning” Baseball in Education Day. The team’s Home Opening Night will be on Friday, May 26th. To purchase tickets, visit www.WorcesterBravehearts.com or call the office at 508-438-3773.