LEOMINSTER, MA – Brockton and Worcester hit a combined four homeruns Monday night, but it was Mike Khoury’s tie-breaking homerun in the top of the eighth that proved to be the difference in a 5-4 Brockton victory at Doyle Field.
Chris Radovic (Clark) entered the game in relief hoping to keep the clamps on a 4-4 tie. Instead, Khoury delivered a leadoff homerun to left-center field to put Brockton on top. Lefty Joe Walsh retired the Bravehearts in order in the eighth and the ninth inning to slam the door shut. He also struck out the side in the seventh inning, earning the victory as a result of his scoreless three-inning effort.
Evan Sleight and Joe Bramanti also went yard for the Rox, both solo shots. Joel Lara and Cal Christofori drove in runs with RBI singles to round out the scoring for Brockton. Bravehearts’ catcher, Ben Rice (Dartmouth), hit an opposite field homerun in the sixth inning, which at the time tied the game at four runs apiece. Rice also had a RBI single earlier in the game as part of his three-hit performance.
Worcester (15-8) had trailed 4-1 entering the fifth inning. One-out singles by Rice and Ben McNeill (NYIT) chased Brockton starter, Gavin Reily, from the game after four 1/3 innings. Reliver Holden Ferrari proceeded to walk three batters and forced in two runs to make the score 4-3. Rice produced the tying homerun the following inning to complete Worcester’s comeback which ultimately ended in heartbreak.
Jack Steele (UMass Amherst) got the start for Worcester and allowed three runs in three-plus innings, just one start after he struck out 12 Rox hitters in seven scoreless innings on July 26. Steele left with the bases loaded with nobody out in the fourth, but Mitchell Pascarella (UConn) struck out two batters and cut down Buddy Dewaine at home trying to score on a passed ball to keep Worcester in the game. Reily allowed three earned runs and struck out four in his outing for Brockton.
The loss breaks Worcester’s two-game winning streak, which included a Homerun Derby win versus Brockton Friday night, but the Bravehearts maintain a two-game lead over Nashua for first place in the FCBL standings. Brockton (13-13) snaps its two-game losing streak, both of which were at the hands of the North Shore Navigators. This was Worcester’s first Monday game of the season.
After an off day tomorrow, Worcester returns to action Wednesday afternoon at three o’clock against Westfield. It is a makeup game caused by a rainout from July 23.