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FCBL Around The Diamond: August 15, 2021

By: Benjamin Upson

 

Last Night’s Playoff Games:

Saturday, August 14 

 

Brockton Rox 6, Pittsfield Suns 2

The playoffs began on Saturday night with the Brockton Rox facing off against the #2 seed Pittsfield Suns at Wahconah Park. Brockton finished the 2021 season with a 38-26 record, Pittsfield ended up at 38-25, just a 0.5 game better. Both teams are evenly matched and we expect this to be an entertaining series.

 

Game 1 did not disappoint. It all began in the 2nd inning as the Rox put the opening runs on the board to take a 2-0 lead. Andrew Possi (UMass Dartmouth) hit an RBI single into left field to start things off, followed up by an RBI groundout by first baseman Erick Ramirez (UMass Dartmouth). 

 

Fast forward to the bottom of the 4th inning when Pittsfield answered. First baseman Jack Thorbahn drilled a 2-run home run to the deepest part of the park in center field to tie the game up at 2-2, shifting the pressure back on Brockton. We now had a tight ball game. 

 

The Rox ultimately pulled away in this game in the later innings, with 1 run in the 7th off an RBI groundout on a double play, followed by a bases loaded hit by pitch in the 8th inning. It all came to a mount in the 9th inning when second baseman Tommy Lapham (Babson College) got a bases-clearing 2 run double into center field, increasing the Rox lead to 6-2, ultimately securing them the victory by that score. We also have to mention the success of Juaron-Watts Brown (Long Beach State University) on the mound, as he went 6 innings, allowing just 2 runs, 5 hits and 4 walks with 7 strikeouts. 

 

In the end, it was a quality road victory for the Brockton Rox as they now take a 1-0 lead in the best-of-3 series. They head home for a day game at Campanelli Stadium in Brockton for Game 2 today at 3:00PM. They have their own opportunity to advance to the FCBL championship series with a win.  

 

Vermont Lake Monsters 15, Worcester Bravehearts 2

The Vermont Lake Monsters, the top seed in these FCBL Playoffs hosted the #4 seed Worcester Bravehearts for Game 1 on Saturday night from Centennial Field. Vermont finished up at 42-24 for the regular season, ending with a 30-6 run after starting off with a 12-18 record. Worcester just beat out Westfield by 1 game for 4th, finishing with a 32-33 record.

 

It was an offensive explosion for the Lake Monsters as they posted not 1 but 2 innings with 6 run spots. Overall, they put up 15 runs total on 13 hits to take a commanding Game 1 victory over the Bravehearts. Right fielder Jimmy Evans (Tufts University) was the clear player of the game with a 3-6 night along with 5 RBIs. Designated hitter Colby Brouillette (Clarkson University) also went 2-4 with 3 RBIs, backing up Evans nicely on the offense. 

 

On the mound, Billy Oldham (Eastern Connecticut State University) was locked in and confident, going 5 innings, allowing 1 run on 4 hits with a walk and 5 strikeouts. Oldham had a successful 2021 campaign in the Futures League, going 3-0 with a 1.40 ERA in 10 starts and held a sub-1 ERA during the majority of July. In total, Worcester was only able to produce 2 runs on 5 hits, while also committing 3 errors in the field.  

 

The Vermont Lake Monsters just proved to the rest of the playoff competition why they were the #1 seed this season, as they have an explosive offense and reliable pitching. They will head to Worcester for Game 2 at 5:00PM today, where they will also have a chance to sweep and advance to the championship series. 

 

2021 FCBL Playoffs

#4 Worcester Bravehearts at #1 Vermont Lake Monsters

Game 1: @ Vermont Saturday 6:05pm (Vermont 15, Worcester 2)

Game 2: @ Worcester Sunday 5:00pm

*Game 3: @ Vermont Monday TBD (If Necessary)* 

 

#3 Brockton Rox at #2 Pittsfield Suns

Game 1: @ Pittsfield Saturday 6:05pm (Brockton 6, Pittsfield 2)

Game 2: @ Brockton Sunday 3:00pm

*Game 3: @ Pittsfield Monday TBD (If Necessary)*

 

FCBL Nightly Awards:

Player Of The Night: RF #5 Jimmy Evans, Vermont (3-6, 2B, 3 R, 5 RBI) (Tufts University)

Pitcher Of The Night: #29 Billy Oldham, Vermont (WIN, 5 IP, 1 R, 4 H, 1 BB, 5 K) (Eastern Connecticut State University)