Westfield, MA— Worcester starter Jack Steele (UMass Amherst) pitched six innings of shutout baseball and Matt Shaw (Maryland) added three hits and an RBI to power the visiting Bravehearts to a 2-0 victory over the Starfires on Saturday night.
Shaw led off the game with a solo homer to put the Bravehearts up 1-0. Worcester would strike again in the third. Shaw singled to lead off the inning. He stole second and then advanced to third on a wild pitch. Nick Martin (Westfield State) hit a sacrifice fly to center to score Shaw and put the Bravehearts up 2-0. Shaw finished the day 3-5 at the plate with 2 runs scored and an RBI.
The Starfires threatened in the fourth. Drew DeMartino (Hartford) singled and advanced to second on a wild pitch. He would later advance to third on a fielder’s choice. With two outs and a runner on third, Steele struck out Andre Marrero (Quinnipiac) to end the inning.
Worcester had a chance to add to its lead in the seventh. Danny Torres (Saint Leo) led off the inning with a walk, Shaw singled, and Martin walked to load the bases with no outs. Ben Rice (Dartmouth) then grounded into a fielder’s choice. Martin was out at second and the umpires called runner’s interference on Martin’s slide into second. As a result, Rice was called out at first, and the runners were called back to second and third, taking a run off the board. Worcester manager Alex Dion was ejected for arguing the call at the beginning of the eighth inning.
Steele picked up the win for Worcester. He threw six scoreless innings, giving up just four hits and striking out seven. Jakob Barker (Valdosta) got the save. He pitched a scoreless ninth, walking one batter and striking out three. Justin Murray (Dartmouth) pitched a scoreless seventh and eighth for Worcester. Garrett Coe (UConn) picked up the loss for the Starfires. The Westfield starter pitched five innings, surrendering two earned runs off five hits and nine strikeouts.
With the win, Worcester improves to 22-13 on the season, while the Starfires fall to 16-20. The Bravehearts continue play tomorrow afternoon in New Britain against the Bees. First pitch is scheduled for 1:35 pm.