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2019 Futures League Championship Preview

WEYMOUTH, Mass. -- It has finally arrived. This is what every team has worked 2+ months for. This is the goal each team set for itself in the spring. This is where every player aspires to be at the end of the year. The championship.

 

The 2019 Futures League season has come down to just two teams. The Bristol Blues and the Worcester Bravehearts will battle it out in a three-game series to see who will be crowned the 2019 Futures League Champion. 

 

The Blues came into the playoffs as the #2 seed and had a bye in the first round. They finished the regular season with the league lead in runs with 345 runs scored in 54 games and tied for the league lead in hits with 501. In terms of pitching, the Blues staff finished the regular season tied for the league lead in wins with 31 and hits allowed with 419 in 54 games. The Blues’ Austin White led the league in runs and triple as he scored 56 runs and hit 6 triples. Outfielder Brandon Miller had a league lead in RBIs with 41 and ranked 2nd in the league in hits with 64. Bristol has also played outstanding defense as their third baseman, Buddy Dewaine picked up Defensive Player of the Year honors. To get to this point, the Blues had to beat an extremely tough North Shore Navigators team that took them to a Game 3 in the semifinals after the Blues lost Game 1 by a score of 3-1. They came out in Game 2 with a vengeance, defeating the Navigators 12-7 and then punching their ticket to the finals with an 8-5 victory in Game 3. It sure wasn’t easy but they left no doubt as to why they should be in the championship round. However, to win it, they will have their work cutout for them with the Worcester Bravehearts and will have to play great baseball to win their first ever Futures League title. 

 

The Bravehearts are currently a very hot team and that’s exactly what you want if you are a team wanting to make a championship run. Their pitching has been one of their strong suits as they led the league in the regular season in strikeouts with 535 in 56 games played. Their ace, Angelo Baez, also picked up the league’s Pitcher of the Year honors finishing the regular season 5-1 with a 1.63 ERA, 62 strikeouts, 31 hits allowed, and 2 saves in 44 innings pitched. The Bravehearts finished the regular season somewhat in the middle of the pack in the major offensive categories but their hard work and will to win in the postseason has given them a great opportunity to win a title. They lead all teams in this year’s playoffs in runs, hits, doubles, and RBIs. In three games this postseason, the Bravehearts put up 30 runs, 40 hits, 6 doubles, and 25 RBIs. They are rolling as infielder Chris Rinaldi leads the postseason in hits with 7 and Mack Cheli leads the league in postseason doubles with 3. Worcester also has the first and second ranked players in RBIs this postseason as Ben Rice leads the postseason with 7 and Rinaldi is second with 5. They are hoping to complete their mission and beat a very good Bristol Blues team to win their third Futures League title.

 

Here is the schedule for the championship series:


Saturday, August 10th, Game 1 

Bristol @ Worcester

Location: Hanover Insurance Park at Fitton Field, Worcester, Mass.

Time: 7 PM

Sunday, August 11th, Game 2 

Worcester @ Bristol 

Location: Muzzy Field, Bristol, Conn.

Time: 1 PM

Sunday, August 11th, Game 3 (If Necessary)

Worcester @ Bristol

Location: Muzzy Field, Bristol, Conn.

Time: 30 minutes after the conclusion of Game 2