Nashua, NH— In the first road game of the season for Worcester, the Bravehearts escaped with a 5-4 win against Nashua. In the ninth inning in the 5-4 game Trey Ciulla-Hill (Stonehill) hit a ball deep to centerfield. After an original ruling of a home run to tie the game, it was decided after an umpire discussion the ball bounced off of the wall in fair play, ultimately ruling a double. The Bravehearts managed to throw Ciulla-Hill out at home later in the inning to hold on for the win.
It was Nashua who struck first in the first inning after Ciulla-Hill homered, bringing in Kevin Skagerlind (UMASS Amherst) along with him for a 2-0 lead.
Worcester tied the game up in the fourth scoring two runs of their own. Dakota Harris (Polk State) led off the inning with a walk and took second on a passed ball. Alex Neff (Dayton) hit him home with an RBI single to cut the lead in half. After a Sebastian Salado (Palm Beach Atlantic) double, Jonathan Santucci (Duke) hit a sacrifice fly to score Neff and tie up the game.
Max LeBlanc (Umass Amherst) made his debut for Worcester in a big way. The righty starter struck out 10 batters through four innings, giving up two hits and two runs.
Starting for Nashua was Nick Guarino (Clark) , who is a familiar face to both Nashua and Worcester as the last time he took the mound for the Knights he defeated the Braveheats in game 2 of the 2020 FCBL Championship series. The lefty went 4.1 innings giving up two runs and four hits while striking out six.
More damage was done in the sixth as Worcester took the lead for the first time in the game. Salado led off the inning with a walk, followed by back-to-back hit-by-pitches of Santucci and Andrew Selima (Holy Cross). Michael Chaves (Worcester State) continued with a walk to score Salado, and Buddy Mrowka (Northeastern) grounded into a double play to score Santucci.
Nashua quickly answered in the seventh. Skagerlind reached on an error by Salado followed by a Tyler Gonzalez (Stetson) single. Skagerlind eventually scored a wild pitch cutting the lead to 4-3. With runners on the corners and one out, Braveheart pitcher LJ Keevan (UMass Lowell) got back-to-back strikeouts to maintain the lead. Keevan was also credited with the win.
The Bravehearts added insurance in the 8th. Three straight walks to from Salado, Santucci and Selima loaded the bases. A sacrifice fly for Chaves scored Salado to increase the lead to 5-3.
Nashua added a run in the eighth, but could not tie the ballgame. Griffin O’Connor (Assumption) recorded a six-out save.
The Bravehearts will return home tomorrow to face the Norwich Sea Unicorns for the first time in Franchise history. They will also be debuting their new Friday Night Bright Uniforms to support Be The Match.