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Westfield Rallies Late, Tops Bravehearts in Home Opener

’Hearts split season-opening home-and-home with Starfires

Behind seven unanswered runs across the game’s final three innings, the Westfield Starfires came from behind to beat the Worcester Bravehearts 11-6 Saturday. 


The Starfires trailed 6-4 after the 6th inning before Jackson Haker’s (AIC) solo home run and Will Sawyer's (Trinity) RBI single tied the game in the 7th. The following inning, against Worcester’s Aidan Greene (AIC), run-scoring hits by Gianno Merlonghi and Aidan Redahan (Central Connecticut) helped Westfield build a lead it would not relinquish.


Bravehearts starter Mavrick Rizy, a Fiskdale native committed to pitch at LSU, settled in after a 1st-inning error allowed two runs to score. The 6-foot-9 right-hander — the top-ranked high school prospect in New England, according to Perfect Game — retired 11 of the last 13 batters he faced. Rizy struck out nine hitters and did not surrender an earned run in four innings.


Worcester tied the game in the 4th inning when Owen Pincince (New Haven) doubled in a run and Holden’s Cody Smith (Assumption) singled home another, but Westfield re-opened a two-run advantage. In the bottom of the 6th, trailing 4-2, the Bravehearts launched a four-run rally highlighted by Smith’s second RBI single, a Tyler McCord (Amherst) two-run hit, and a run-scoring groundout by Worcester’s Max LeFrancois (Assumption).


The Bravehearts return to the diamond Sunday when they travel to Dodd Stadium for a 4 p.m. meeting with the defending Futures League champion Norwich Sea Unicorns. The next home game at Fitton Field is Tuesday, May 27 at 10:30 a.m. for Baseball in Education Day.


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