Bravehearts june17 28

The First Five Years of the Worcester Bravehearts

  • A New Worcester Baseball Team is Born

    A New Worcester Baseball Team is Born
    The entire Creedon family in conjunction with officials from Holy Cross, the City of Worcester, and the Futures League are on hand at Fitton Field for an announcement that baseball will return to the city after a one year absence in June, 2014.
  • GM Hired

    GM Hired
    Dave Peterson, who previously had worked for the now-defunct Worcester Tornadoes from 2005 - 2010, is introduced as the team's first General Manager and becomes the first employee of the newly-formed baseball team. "Peterman" sets up shop at the end of a table in the Creedon and Co. conference room and work gets started right away on recruiting a staff and naming the team.
  • Get Out the Vote

    Get Out the Vote
    The first to-do item on the team's list is to find a name, and the community is engaged to help with that. For the month of October, the new team asks for online submissions of potential names for the new team and receives over 1,000 possibilities. The team then narrows down the options to five and launches a voting campaign leading up to Election Day to determine a winner. The five potential names are the Canal Diggers, True Blues, Bravehearts, Mighty Caseys, and Freight Trains.
  • Trezza Becomes Team's First Manager

    Trezza Becomes Team's First Manager
    Another familiar face joins the staff of the new baseball team as Brooklyn, NY native Alex Trezza is named the team's first Manager. The Sacred Heart Assistant Coach is known around Fitton Field for his time as a catcher for the Worcester Tornadoes baseball team from 2008 - 2012.
  • Birth of the Bravehearts

    Birth of the Bravehearts
    The Worcester Bravehearts become the city's new baseball team at the Annual Meeting of the Worcester Regional Chamber of Commerce. The unveiling of the team name coincides with the announcement that The Hanover Insurance Group has become the team's first corporate sponsor and that all home games will take place at Hanover Insurance Park at Fitton Field. Kevin Hunt, a Charlton resident, is awarded free season tickets for life thanks to his entry.
  • Hartigan and Edwards Join the Staff

    Hartigan and Edwards Join the Staff
    The coaching staff rounds out with West Boylston resident Kevin Hartigan and West Virginia native Justin Edwards selected to join Alex Trezza in the dugout. Hartigan would later become the longest-tenured Bravehearts employee (other than Peterson) while something bigger was in store for Edwards.
  • Free Parking For Here, For Life

    Free Parking For Here, For Life
    The Bravehearts make national news with the unveiling of a new parking sponsorship provided by Worcester County Memorial Park. The cemetery will provide free parking to all fans at Bravehearts' games with one simple message: "Please consider us for your final parking spot." The promotion quickly gains national attention after it is picked up by Ballpark Digest.
  • Meet the Bravehearts

    Meet the Bravehearts
    The team's first public appearance with players occurs at First Night Worcester. Assistant Coach Kevin Hartigan is joined by the newest local players signed to the 2014 roster (from L to R): Hopedale's Ian Strom, Worcester's Quinn Moynihan, Upton's Tom Paine, Worcester's Dave Montiverdi, and Douglas-native Nate Pajka.
  • A Lion Named Jake

    A Lion Named Jake
    The Bravehearts introduce their new mascot, Jake the Lion, at an event commemorating the expansion of the library at the Goddard School of Science and Technology. "Jake" is named after the term of endearment used by firefighters to refer to one another. Mayor Joe Petty is the first to introduce Jake publicly.
  • First Game = First Win

    First Game = First Win
    Alex Trezza's team travels south to Torrington, CT to take on the Titans in their first game in team history. Despite only two hits (by University of New Haven's Brendan O'Reilly), the Bravehearts defeat the Titans 3-1 with Northeastern's Aaron Civale getting the win and Marlborough's Charlie Butler (UMaine) picking up the save. This was just the first chapter in the lore of Civale and Butler in a Worcester uniform.
  • Beginners Luck

    Beginners Luck
    The Bravehearts win the first 6 games in their history and 14 of the first 18. The pitching staff, led by Aaron Civale (Northeastern), Charlie Butler (Maine), and Miles Sheehan (pictured, Clark University), carries the team to 7 one-run victories in the first three weeks.
  • Trezza Leaves, Edwards Takes Over

    Trezza Leaves, Edwards Takes Over
    On June 21st, Alex Trezza is hired as the new Head Coach of the LIU-Brooklyn baseball team, prompting him to leave the Bravehearts. Pitching Coach Justin Edwards is elevated to the Manager's role and local St. John's alum Casey Cummins is hired as the new Pitching Coach. The 'Hearts beat Old Orchard Beach in Trezza's final game by the score of 19-1 and pick up right where they left off the next day, winning against Torrington 17-3 in Edwards's first game as manager.
  • Dylan Harris on ESPN

    Dylan Harris on ESPN
    At the Futures League All Star Game in Brockton, Dylan Harris (pictured on left with Tyrone Miller) makes a spectacular diving catch at second base that ultimately ends up on ESPN SportsCenter's Top Ten plays. ( The night is also special for Bravehearts' infielder Mark DeYoung (Judson), who wins the Home Run Derby.
  • 17 Inning Marathon

    17 Inning Marathon
    On Boy Scout Night at the park, the Bravehearts and Rox play 15 innings of the game tied at 2. Cale Giddings gives Brockton the lead with a home run in the 16th, but Andy Lack (Southeast Missouri St.) ties the game in the bottom of the inning with a single. The 'Hearts finally win in the 17th inning when Brendan O'Reilly (New Haven) drives home Dylan Harris (Saint Leo) with the winning run. The game ends at 12:06 AM, and scouts can finally set up their tents in the outfield and go to bed.
  • Worcester Hosts Team Taiwan

    Worcester Hosts Team Taiwan
    In a game labeled "Baseball Diplomacy," the Bravehearts host the Chinese Taipei National Team (otherwise known as Team Taiwan) in an exhibition game at Hanover Insurance Park. The day includes a youth clinic and economic development discussion at Worcester State University before the 7:00 game, which is won by Team Taiwan over the Bravehearts 4-0. Coaches Justin Edwards and Casey Cummins combine to toss 4 innings of 1-run baseball in the game.
  • Lack Wins The Series

    Lack Wins The Series
    After qualifying for the playoffs with the best overall record in the Futures League at 32-22, the Bravehearts draw the Pittsfield Suns in their first playoff series. Up one-game-to-none in the best-of-three series, Andy Lack delivers a game-winning hit in extra innings at Hanover Insurance Park to win the series and send the Bravehearts to the championship series against the Martha's Vineyard Sharks. (
  • Worcester Wins the Title

    Worcester Wins the Title
    After going 0-6 against Martha's Vineyard during the regular season, the Bravehearts sweep the finals 2-games-to-none as Josh Desai (Suffolk), Miles Sheehan (Clark), and Sean Gustin (Holy Cross) combine on a 1-0 shutout victory over the Sharks to cap off a championship season.
  • Strom's Game-Saving Catch Makes ESPN

    Strom's Game-Saving Catch Makes ESPN
    In the final game of the FCBL Championship Series against Martha's Vineyard, Ian Strom makes the catch of the year. His diving grab in center field in the top of the fifth inning prevents two runs from scoring and allows the Bravehearts to hold onto a 1-0 lead. The play would become the #1 play on ESPN SportsCenter's Top Ten Plays (
  • Bravehearts Receive Key to the City

    Bravehearts Receive Key to the City
    Mayor Joe Petty, City Manager Ed Augustus, and the Worcester City Council award a Key to the City of Worcester to the Bravehearts after their FCBL Championship. In a letter signed by Mayor Joseph M. Petty, the Bravehearts were commended for "work both on the field and off, which has helped make Worcester a more enjoyable place to work and live."
  • Organization of the Year

    Organization of the Year
    The Futures League honors the Bravehearts with the "Organization of the Year" award while Dave Peterson wins the Executive of the Year in the first season. In addition to winning the championship, the Bravehearts drew over 1,800 fans per game in 2014.
  • Junior Bravehearts Program Launches

    Junior Bravehearts Program Launches
    The Bravehearts - in conjunction with Northeast Promotions & Apparel in Leominster - launch the Junior Bravehearts Program that offers youth baseball and softball teams free uniforms if the teams agree to change their name to the "Bravehearts." Eighteen different leagues will take part in the program in its first year.
  • Heart Stove Energizes Fans

    Heart Stove Energizes Fans
    The first-ever Heart Stove Reception takes place at the Boys & Girls Club of Worcester. The event is a take-off on popular "hot stove" events that keep baseball fans engaged in the cold winter months in New England. The Bravehearts are joined by J.P. Ricciardi, Peter Gammons, Chris Colabello, and Tyler Beede for a fun evening to discuss the future of baseball. With 350 guests in attendance, the team also raises $2,500 for the Boys & Girls Club.
  • Fan Fest and Engine 1

    Fan Fest and Engine 1
    The Bravehearts Engine 1 - owned by fan Paul Shea - debuts at Fan Fest as individual game tickets go on sale at Hanover Insurance Park. The fire engine is a retired truck from Holden that sports Bravehearts signage.
  • Starting Where They Left Off

    Starting Where They Left Off
    Alex Sanchex (Galveston) delivers the game-winning hit as the Bravehearts win in Wachusett on opening day, 3-2. Outfielder Charlie Ameer (Cochise) makes a diving catch to preserve the win. Worcester's Luke Brennan (Franklin Pierce) comes out of the bullpen to get the save.
  • Local Kid Delivers

    Local Kid Delivers
    West Boylston's Dante Ricciardi (Georgetown) delivers a go-ahead run and Jonathan Mulford (Adelphi) is named "Pitcher of the Night" as the Bravehearts win their 2015 home opener 5-1 over Wachusett.
  • Three Bravehearts Drafted

    Three Bravehearts Drafted
    The first three Bravehearts drafted by Major League Baseball are Jacob Stevens (Boston College) by the Phillies, Stevie Mangrum (pictured, Virginia Tech) by the Red Sox, and Dante Ricciardi (Georgetown) by the Mariners in the 2015 MLB Amateur Draft. All three players decide not to sign and will attend college instead, meaning they can remain on the Bravehearts roster in 2015.
  • Long Losing Streak Finally Ends

    Long Losing Streak Finally Ends
    After two quick wins to begin the season, the Bravehearts can't seem to find any luck as they lose an astounding ten games in-a-row and fall to last place in the league. At 2-10, the Bravehearts finally break out of their funk with a 4-0 win at Bristol behind strong pitching from Dylan Collett (pictured, Saint Leo).
  • Strom Back in the National Spotlight

    Outfielder Ian Strom (UMass Lowell) makes an unbelievable diving catch in center field in the sixth inning against the Bristol Blues at Hanover Insurance Park. With one runner on and no outs, Blues designated hitter Zach Scott hits a fly ball to center, and Strom sprints to his left and makes an incredible diving grab across his body. The play makes #2 on ESPN SportsCenter's Top Ten Plays (
  • Zack Tower Hits Three Home Runs in Game

    Zack Tower Hits Three Home Runs in Game
    Zack Tower (UMass-Lowell) becomes the first Bravehearts player to hit three home runs in a game as the team beats Wachusett at Doyle Field in Leominster 11-7.
  • Lou Brock Visits the H.I.P.

    Lou Brock Visits the H.I.P.
    Cardinals Hall-of-Famer Lou Brock visits Hanover Insurance Park at Fitton Field in a promotion to raise awareness of the American Diabetes Association. The 76-year-old Brock - a diabetic himself - signs autographs and greets fans for two solid hours while never sitting down.
  • The New Guy Wins It

    The New Guy Wins It
    One day after joining the Bravehearts, Evan Hirschbaum (Washington College) delivers a walk-off double scoring Zack Tower and the Bravehearts defeat the Pittsfield Suns 5-4.
  • Celebs Can't Save 'Hearts

    Celebs Can't Save 'Hearts
    Bernie Carbo, Gov. Charlie Baker, and Lt. Gov. Karyn Polito are on-hand for Worcester's Clean Living Night to address the opioid epidemic in the city, but even the big names and big crowd of 3,324 can't help the Bravehearts to victory. The team loses to Nashua 6-0 and falls two games out of the playoffs with only four to play.
  • Riccio Wins Keenan Award

    Riccio Wins Keenan Award
    Catcher T.J. Riccio (New Haven) wins the Futures League's most prestigious award - the Adam Keenan Sportsmanship and Scholarship Award. The award is named after Adam Keenan, who attended Franklin Pierce University as a freshman and was enrolled with the University of Massachusetts at Lowell, studying Criminal Justice. He passed away suddenly on June 6th, 2011 and the Futures League has instituted an annual sportsmanship and scholarship in his honor.
  • Magic Down the Stretch

    Magic Down the Stretch
    Just when it looked like they were done, the Bravehearts win 4 games in a row to close out the season and clinch the 6th spot in the playoffs. Their final record is 26-30. The streak includes a 10-3 win in their final home game against the Torrington Titans in front of a stadium-record crowd of 4,240.
  • The Greatest Bravehearts Game in History?

    The Greatest Bravehearts Game in History?
    After winning 3-0 on the road at Brockton to advance to the 2nd round, the Bravehearts are set up for a trip to the Vineyard in a one game semifinal. The game on the Vineyard becomes a classic, with the Sharks matching the 'Hearts run for run. Tied 4-4 in the 15th inning, Willie Allen (Lewis & Clark St.) doubles home two Bravehearts runs to take the lead. Logan Fullmer (Maine) shuts down the Sharks in the bottom of the 15th and the 'Hearts head to the finals with a 7-4 win.
  • A Captain Emerges

    A Captain Emerges
    In Game 1 of the Championship series against the Bristol Blues, the Bravehearts meet 9-year-old Krish Vyas of Shrewsbury. Krish, who has endured over 20 surgeries in his life, greets the team before the game and gives them a pep talk in the clubhouse. In just two days, Krish would find himself on the team bus before the final game of the championship series where he would famously grab the microphone and say "We need to stand together as one. Victory to the Bravehearts."
  • Bravehearts Repeat as Champions

    Bravehearts Repeat as Champions
    The Blues and Bravehearts split the first two games of the Futures League Championship Series, setting up a winner-take-all Game 3 at Muzzy Field. Zack Tower (UMass-Lowell) hits quite possibly the most famous Bravehearts hit of all-time when he launches a 10th inning triple to break a 4-4 tie and score two runs. Logan Fullmer (Maine) is able to retire the Blues in the Bottom of the 10th with Ian Strom (UMass-Lowell) catching the final out in center field and the celebration begins.
  • City Names "Bravehearts Day" in Worcester

    City Names "Bravehearts Day" in Worcester
    August 20th is named "Bravehearts Day" in the City of Worcester during a rally on Worcester Common. In a proclamation given to GM Dave Peterson, Mayor Joe Petty says, "We encourage members of our city to embrace the role of the underdog, always promote teamwork, keep focusing on how to make Worcester a better place to live, work and play, just as the Worcester Bravehearts have done this year." The Bravehearts win the championship despite having a losing record of 30-31 on the season.
  • Attendance Is Strong

    Attendance Is Strong
    Final numbers and a report by Ballpark Digest shows that the Worcester Bravehearts led the Futures League and all New England summer collegiate teams in attendance with an average of 2,107 per game - up from 1,749 in their first season.
  • All Star Game Announced

    All Star Game Announced
    At the annual league meetings, the Futures League awards the 2016 All Star Game to Worcester, MA at Hanover Insurance Park at Fitton Field
  • Core Group Returns to Worcester

    Core Group Returns to Worcester
    Just in time for Christmas, the Bravehearts announce that all three coaches and ten players have signed on to return to Worcester in 2016 for a chance to win a third-consecutive championship. The list includes Zack Tower (UMass-Lowell), Mike Coggeshall (Assumption), Dante Ricciardi (Georgetown), pitcher Mike Bruemmel (Wheaton) and pitcher Frankie Moscatiello (St. Thomas Aquinas).
  • Bravehearts Derby App Launches

    Bravehearts Derby App Launches
    The Bravehearts release a new app for iPhone & Android devices named “Bravehearts Derby,” and the game allows users to face Jake the Lion as a batter trying to hit one of his 80 tricky pitches. The launch of the new app is the culmination of a 10-month collaboration between the Bravehearts and the Massachusetts Digital Games Institute— or Mass DiGI— located at Becker College in Worcester.
  • Edwards Resigns

    Edwards Resigns
    Less than eight weeks before opening day, Manager Justin Edwards (pictured with infielder Zack Tower) resigns to take a job in baseball scouting. The West Virginia resident had delivered two consecutive championships in the team's first two seasons.
  • J.P. Pyne Hired

    J.P. Pyne Hired
    The Bravehearts look locally to Clark University Head Coach J.P. Pyne to become the third Manager in the team's history. Pyne is a veteran of the Futures League, having previously coached in Nashua. He comes to Worcester with an impressive resume of fifteen years of collegiate baseball coaching experience and an outstanding track record of creating winning programs at the University of Maine, Daniel Webster College, and Saint Anselm College.
  • Pyne Debuts with Win

    Pyne Debuts with Win
    For the third consecutive year, the Bravehearts win on opening day - this time 8-7 in Seacoast. Chad Miller (pictured, Saint Leo) hits two home runs in the win and Joe Caico (New Haven) adds one as well.
  • Tower Delights Fans in Home Opener

    Tower Delights Fans in Home Opener
    Zack Tower (UMass-Lowell) picks up where he left off in 2015 with a 2-run home run to help the Bravehearts win their 2016 home opener, 3-0 over Wachusett. Over 2,700 fans attend the game.
  • Cape Cod Comes to Worcester

    Cape Cod Comes to Worcester
    The Bravehearts make history by becoming the first Futures League team to host a Cape Cod League team when the Wareham Gatemen come to town for an exhibition. The fanfare is excellent, but the game doesn't go so well for the Bravehearts in a 12-1 loss.
  • Three Bravehearts Drafted (Again)

    Three Bravehearts Drafted (Again)
    For the second consecutive year, three Worcester Bravehearts players are drafted in the MLB Amateur Draft. Pitcher Jonathan Mulford (Adelphi) is taken in the 34th round by the Cardinals, pitcher Aaron Civale (Northeastern) is taken in the 3rd round by the Indians, and local star Ian Strom of Hopedale and UMass-Lowell (pictured with FCBL Commissioner Chris Hall and UMass-Lowell coach Ken Harring) is taken by the Mets in the 22nd round. All three players sign contracts with their teams.
  • The First Bravehearts Tattoo

    The First Bravehearts Tattoo
    Season ticket holder Theo Van Lingen of Uxbridge becomes the first fan to take part in the Bravehearts Tattoo Promotion that awards season tickets for life to anyone who tattoos a Bravehearts logo somewhere on their body. Theo picks his left calf as the perfect spot.
  • Winning Streak Hits 7

    Winning Streak Hits 7
    An 11-0 win at Martha's Vineyard extends the Bravehearts' winning streak to 7 games - the longest in franchise history. John Friday (pictured, Franklin Pierce) and Matt Diesel (Felician) are the offensive superstars with home runs on the island and the Bravehearts are flying high to start the season at 11-3.
  • Moscatiello Continues to Impress

    Moscatiello Continues to Impress
    Righty Frankie Moscatiello extends his scoreless streak to 18 2/3 innings - a team record - with another 5 scoreless innings against Bristol. The junior from St. Thomas Aquinas is quickly becoming the leader of the Bravehearts pitching staff
  • Coggeshall Breaks League Hitting Mark

    Coggeshall Breaks League Hitting Mark
    Mike Coggeshall (Assumption) breaks the FCBL's hitting streak record with a hit in his 20th consecutive game in an 11-10 win over Martha's Vineyard. The junior infielder is now leading the league with a .422 average.
  • All Star Game is a Smashing Success

    All Star Game is a Smashing Success
    Worcester rolls out the red carpet for local MLB players Tim Collins and Ryan O'Rourke as well as Boston Bruins legend Rene Rancourt (pictured) and a new stadium-record 4,319 fans fill the seats for the FCBL All Star Game. The event features a Fitton Ave Fan Fest, trampoline performers, and a spectacular post-game fireworks show while 9 Bravehearts appear in the game, including Lunenburg's Peter Bovenzi (Richmond) who strikes out the side in the 9th inning in a 4-3 win for the West.
  • MLB Alumni Clinic

    MLB Alumni Clinic
    In a week's worth of celebrity guests, former MLB players Bucky Dent, Dave Fleming, Chris Chambliss, Lenny DiNardo, and of course the one-and-only Luis Tiant (pictured) put on a free youth clinic at Fitton Field all thanks to the generosity of Hanover Insurance.
  • Finishing Strong

    Finishing Strong
    The Bravehearts wrap up the regular season with a 7-4 win over Martha's Vineyard to clinch the #1 seed in the playoffs. Their 37-18 regular season record in J.P. Pyne's first season is the best in franchise history.
  • Off to the Finals Again

    Off to the Finals Again
    Worcester faces an unfamiliar opponent in the first round of the 2016 playoffs - the North Shore Navigators. After a 5-1 victory in Game 1 behind the strong pitching of Frankie Moscatiello, it is Nick Rybarczyk (pictured, Marist), Rafael Bournigal (Belmont) and Ryan Ward (Bryant) who provide the offense and the Bravehearts hold on to beat the Navs 5-4. The win clinches a third straight trip to the championship series.
  • Nashua Beats the Bravehearts in the Championship

    Nashua Beats the Bravehearts in the Championship
    Attempting to win their third consecutive championship, the Bravehearts build a 7-3 lead at the Nashua Silver Knights in Game 1 of the series. However, Ryan Sullivan hits two home runs for Nashua - including a tying homer in the 9th inning - to bring the Silver Knights all the way back. The Bravehearts lose 9-8 in extra innings. Game 2 in Worcester sees the Bravehearts crawl back from an early deficit only to lose 8-5, giving Nashua its third championship in 5 seasons.
  • FCBL Organization of the Year

    FCBL Organization of the Year
    After a successful All Star Game, a trip to the championship, and attendance growth that shows the team now averaging 2,230 fans per game (which is 9th in the country), the Bravehearts win the Futures League Organization of the year award for the second time in three seasons.
  • Bravehearts Sign Captain

    Bravehearts Sign Captain
    In the midst of announcing the 11 returnees to the 2017 roster just before Christmas, there is a new and exciting development: the Bravehearts will have their first honorary captain in 2017. Krish Vyas of Shrewsbury, now 11 years old, is named Honorary Captain and signs his contract at a ceremony in the Bravehearts corporate offices during a snowstorm. Among the items listed in his contract is 40 free tickets for his 5th grade classroom to attend a field trip to Fitton Field in 2017.
  • Home Run Derby Rule Enacted

    Home Run Derby Rule Enacted
    The Futures League unveils a new rule for 2017: all games tied after 10 innings will be determined by a home run derby. The news is mocked by baseball purists but hailed as "inventive" and "exciting" by college coaches and fans. College coaches find it to be an effective way to limit the stress on pitchers throwing too many innings over the course of the summer while fans respond with optimism about the excitement it will bring to the ballpark. The story makes the USA Today and
  • Bob Lobel and WTAG - A Perfect Match

    Bob Lobel and WTAG - A Perfect Match
    The Bravehearts ink a radio deal with WTAG and Bob Lobel, the former sportscaster on WBZ 4. Lobel returns for his second year with the Bravehearts after broadcasting a handful of games on WCRN the year before.
  • Trot Nixon Headlines Fan Fest

    Trot Nixon Headlines Fan Fest
    The Bravehearts host their annual Fan Fest at Hanover Insurance Park at Fitton Field, only this year there is a special guest: former Red Sox player Trot Nixon. He leads the first-annual Worcester Youth Baseball & Softball parade down Fitton Ave with all ten of the city's Little Leagues. The youngsters march onto the field for opening ceremonies. The event is sponsored by Agera Energy, Rotman's, Holy Cross, and the WRTA - which provides free bus rides for Little Leaguers and their families.
  • Team USA To Visit Worcester

    Team USA To Visit Worcester
    The Bravehearts announce that the U.S. Amateur National Team - the top college players in the country - will play a series of exhibition games this summer in New England against Team Japan. Both teams will stay at Worcester State University for their series, and the Futures League prospect team will have an opportunity to compete against Team USA at Hanover Insurance Park in July just two days before Team USA and Team Japan square off there.
  • Hart Impresses on Opening Night

    Hart Impresses on Opening Night
    On opening night at Hanover Insurance Park, 4,035 fans pack the stands to watch the Bravehearts host the Wachusett Dirt Dawgs. And how fitting is it that a player named "Hart" is the hero? Bryan Hart (Bryant) hits a solo home run to left field that gives the Bravehearts a 4-3 win.
  • Offense Explodes For Home Run Record

    Offense Explodes For Home Run Record
    The Bravehearts hit a team-record 5 home runs in a game against the Seacoast Mavericks in Portsmouth, NH. Trevor Jensen (Tulane) hits two while Greg Kocinski (Marist), Trevor Johnson (Dartmouth), and local star Joe Caico (New Haven) each hit one in a 12-2 victory. The Bravehearts are off on the right foot witha 5-2 record in the first week.
  • MLB Draft Includes Two Bravehearts Pitchers

    MLB Draft Includes Two Bravehearts Pitchers
    Josh Walker (pictured, New Haven) and Jacob Stevens (Boston College) are drafted in the MLB Amateur draft - Walker in the 37th round by the Mets and Stevens in the 33rd round by the Yankees. Walker signs while Stevens decides to continue his career at Boston College for another year.
  • First Home Run Derby is Forgettable

    First Home Run Derby is Forgettable
    Mired in a June slump of win-one-lose-one baseball, the Bravehearts play their first-ever home run derby in North Shore and it's certainly not one to remember. The team is only able to hit one home run in 3 minutes (compared to 5 for North Shore ) and loses the game to the Navs 5-4. The Bravehearts fall to 11-14.
  • Team USA Takes the Field

    Team USA Takes the Field
    The U.S. Amateur National Team takes on the Futures League Prospect Team in a grand event at Hanover Insurance Park at Fitton Field. Even though Team USA is made up of the top 25 players in the country and 164 former USA Team members were on MLB rosters on opening day, the Futures League Team hangs with them for the entire game before falling 6-4. Bravehearts infielder Joe Caico (New Haven) is a star for the Futures League Prospect Team with a 2-run double to the gap in right-center field.
  • USA vs Japan in Worcester

    USA vs Japan in Worcester
    Team USA and Team Japan take the field for an exhibition game in Worcester as part of their 5-game U.S. tour that will also take them to Hartford, Brockton, Lowell and Nashua. The game is a thriller and goes to extra innings with the U.S. winning 3-2. The U.S. would go on to win the five game series 3-2 as well.
  • Eight Bravehearts Are All Stars

    Eight Bravehearts Are All Stars
    The Bravehearts send almost an entire lineup of players to the All Star Game in Bristol as 8 players make the team. Trevor Johnson (Dartmouth), Greg Kocinski (Marist), Kevin Doody (Maine), Brian Auerbach (Rollins), Frankie Moscatiello (St. Thomas Aquinas), Billy DeVito (Hartford), Joe Caico (New Haven), and Cody Laweryson (Maine) are all selected for the game.
  • Home Run Derby Sinks Bravehearts Again

    Home Run Derby Sinks Bravehearts Again
    Old friend Zack Tower (Franklin Pierce) comes back to Worcester in a Wachusett Dirt Dawgs uniform and sinks the Bravehearts with 9 home runs in the 2nd tiebreaking Home Run Derby the Bravehearts will play. Two of his home runs end up on I-290.
  • Walk-Off Magic

    Walk-Off Magic
    For the second time in three nights, the Bravehearts walk off with a win in the 9th inning. Down 3-1 in the 9th, Brett Coffel (Saint Leo), Dante Ricciardi (Bryant), John Mazza (pictured, Northeastern) and Pat Demarco (Vanderbilt) all come through in the clutch to pull out a 4-3 win over the Pittsfield Suns.
  • Sneaking Into the Playoffs

    Sneaking Into the Playoffs
    On the final day of the regular season with a record of 24-29, the Bravehearts need a win to qualify for the playoffs in Pittsfield. The team hands the ball to Sebastian Gruszecki (Florida Gulf Coast) of Dudley, who keeps his team in the game while Rafael Bournigal (Florida St.) drives the offense in a 3-1 win. With the win, Worcester ties Martha's Vineyard in the 6th & final playoff spot. The Bravehearts claim the tiebreaker though, which is winning percentage against the other 5 playoff teams.
  • Backs to the Wall, Bravehearts Beat Wachusett to Advance

    Backs to the Wall, Bravehearts Beat Wachusett to Advance
    In a sudden death playoff game in Leominster, the Bravehearts come out swinging and beat the Wachusett Dirt Dawgs 9-2 to advance to the semifinals. Catcher Brett Coffel (pictured, Saint Leo) hits two home runs in the win and Dante Ricciardi (Bryant) adds one as well. Starter Billy Devito (Hartford) shines with six innings of work and only one run allowed. The first-place Brockton Rox are next.
  • Come-From-Behind Thriller in Brockton

    Come-From-Behind Thriller in Brockton
    Needing a win to advance to the Championship Series, the team finds themselves down 7-4 in the 6th inning at Campanelli Stadium. However, Rafael Bournigal (Florida St) and Dante Ricciardi (Bryant) come up with big hits to tie the game. Then in the 7th, Nick Santucci (pictured, Rollins) bats with two runners on and delivers his first home run of the year to right field, putting the 'Hearts up 10-7. The Bravehearts go on to win 13-8 to clinch another spot in the finals.
  • Nashua Repeats as Champs

    Nashua Repeats as Champs
    Facing off against the Silver Knights in the finals for the second consecutive year, the Bravehearts are only able to score one run in the series - losing the championship 2 games to none to Nashua. Game 1 in Worcester features Nashua's Ryan Sullivan hitting another back-breaking home run (similar to his 2016 9th inning shot) to give Nashua a 4-1 win. In Game 2, the Bravehearts offense is shut down by starter Anthony Lupi and the Silver Knights win 2-0 for their league-record fourth title.
  • Bravehearts Move Up Attendance Rankings

    Bravehearts Move Up Attendance Rankings
    Ballpark Digest ranks the Worcester Bravehearts 7th in the nation among 153 summer collegiate teams with an average attendance of 2,356 at Hanover Insurance Park. The achievement is a 6% growth over 2016 and places the Bravehearts #1 in New England among all summer collegiate teams in both total and average attendance.
  • Hartigan Retires from Coaching

    Hartigan Retires from Coaching
    Coach Kevin Hartigan, who was the second employee of the Bravehearts hired in November of 2013, retires from coaching in order to become the Director of Baseball Operations for the team. In his new role, Hartigan will continue to construct the roster and recruit host families but will not be in the dugout for the summer.
  • Bravehearts Win Organization of the Year

    Bravehearts Win Organization of the Year
    For the third time in 4 years, the Futures League awards the Organization of the Year distinction to the Bravehearts due to their strong attendance, competitive play, and outstanding community work.
  • Heart Stove Welcomes Buster Olney

    Heart Stove Welcomes Buster Olney
    The Bravehearts team up with St. John's High School to present the Heart Stove Reception featuring Buster Olney of ESPN. Buster is joined by J.P. Ricciardi (NY Mets) and both Ryan O'Rourke and John Andreoli - locals who attended St. John's and now play in the Baltimore Orioles system. The panel moderated by Tom Caron discusses the future of baseball and the impact certain rules would have on speeding up the game.
  • Alex Dion Hired as Assistant Coach

    Alex Dion Hired as Assistant Coach
    Westborough-resident Alex Dion is hired as an Assistant Coach to replace Kevin Hartigan in the 2018 season. Dion is also currently the Head Coach of the Milford High School Baseball Team and will primarily work with the hitters during the season.
  • Bronson Arroyo Appears at Fan Fest

    Bronson Arroyo Appears at Fan Fest
    Former Red Sox pitcher Bronson Arroyo flies in to be on-hand for the 2nd Annual Worcester Youth Baseball & Softball Spree Day at the Bravehearts Fan Fest. Arroyo speaks to the 9 Worcester Little Leagues and signs autographs for players and coaches, staying a half hour late just so that he can meet everyone. He also throws out the first pitch of the new season.
  • Bravehearts to Change Name

    Bravehearts to Change Name
    For one night only, the Bravehearts announce that they will change their name to either the Coney Island Hot Dogs or the Table Talk Pies to celebrate one of the iconic Worcester brands. Fans will have the opportunity to vote online and determine which uniform will be worn on June 19th during a home game with the Bristol Blues. All jerseys will be auctioned off for charity.
  • Opening Night Party

    Opening Night Party
    Opening night is another smashing success for the Bravehearts, who beat the defending champs (Nashua) 13-2. Every member of the Bravehearts lineup scores at least one run and Patriots kicker Stephen Gostkowski is the special guest, tossing out the first pitch and throwing t-shirts into the crowd. The Bravehearts have now won on opening night in each of their first five seasons.
  • Jacob Stevens Drafted & Signed

    Jacob Stevens Drafted & Signed
    2015 Bravehearts star Jacob Stevens (Boston College) is drafted for the third time, this time by the Arizona Diamondbacks in the 21st round. Unlike the firs two times, this time he signs and reports to Missoula of the
  • Welcome the Coney Island Hot Dogs!

    Welcome the Coney Island Hot Dogs!
    The Bravehearts rebrand for one night to the Coney Island Hot Dogs thanks to a fan vote that chose them by a 58 to 42 margin over the Table Talk Pies. The Bravehearts are forced to change their uniforms in the dugout to preserve the surprise until minutes before the first pitch. Kathy Tsandikos of Coney Island Hot Dogs and Harry Kokkinis of Table Talk Pies toss out the ceremonial first pitches together, and the uniforms are auctioned off for charity.
  • Slumping Bravehearts

    Slumping Bravehearts
    An ugly 16-4 loss at Martha's Vineyard is the 4th in a row for the Bravehearts and drops the team to 8-12 on the season. The 2018 season is beginning in the same way as the 2017 season, and the Bravehearts struggle to gain their footing while waiting for the team to jell. New players are arriving each day after finishing their college or high school seasons, and it is a delicate balancing act to manage the roster.
  • The 'Hearts Get Hot

    The 'Hearts Get Hot
    Two rainouts in Bristol on June 23-24 are just what the doctor ordered for the Bravehearts. It gives them a chance to push the reset button and the team comes back from the mini-break to win 15 out of 17 games before the All Star Break. Led by Michael Dellicarri (SUNY-Oswego) and Mack Cheli (Chapman), the Bravehearts are hitting over .300 as a team with 20 home runs at the All Star Break. They finish off the first half with an 11-7 victory over North Shore to improve to 23-14.
  • Record 11 Bravehearts Make All Star Team

    Record 11 Bravehearts Make All Star Team
    Nashua hosts the 8th FCBL All Star Game by honoring the Dodgers MiLB team that once played there. Eleven Bravehearts make the team: (l to r) Brett Coffel (Saint Leo), Henry Ennen (Northeastern), Dustin Harris (St. Petersburg), Makenzie Stills (Vanderbilt), Chris Rinaldi (Holy Cross), Jared Freilich (Scout Team, Penn St.), Tyler Patane (St. Thomas Aquinas), Mack Cheli (Chapman), Mike Dellicarri (SUNY-Oswego), Eddie Haus (St. Mary's), Dakota McFadden (Keystone), and Kendall Pomeroy (UMass-Lowell).
  • Dustin Harris Wins Adam Keenan Award

    Dustin Harris Wins Adam Keenan Award
    Dustin Harris (St. Petersburg) becomes the second Bravehearts player to win the Adam Keenan Sportsmanship Award from the Futures League, joining T.J. Riccio (New Haven) in 2015. Harris, whose brother Dylan also played for the Bravehearts, is described by his host mom Luann Gallagher as "the first one to volunteer for community service, outreach, and public appearances. The quiet subtle way about him makes any coach or parent happy to have him in their presence and a wonderful role model."
  • Regular Season Concludes on a Hot Streak

    Regular Season Concludes on a Hot Streak
    The Bravehearts are the hottest team entering the playoffs in 2018, finishing their July & August schedule with a stunning 22-6 record. They cap off the season with an 8-5 victory over the Martha's Vineyard Sharks at home and finish the season with a 33-19 record. Although he is injured, Chris Rinaldi ends up winning the Futures League batting title with a .379 average. The 'Hearts have a bye as the #2 seed and await their first-round playoff opponent.
  • J.P. Pyne Wins Manager of the Year

    J.P. Pyne Wins Manager of the Year
    Manager J.P. Pyne is selected by his peers as the Futures League Manager of the Year after turning around the Bravehearts from a sluggish start to a 33-19 record and playoff berth. Pyne has demonstrated success on the college diamond as well, turning around programs at both Daniel Webster College in NH and at his current position at Clark University in Worcester. It is the first time he has won the Manager of the Year Award in the Futures League.
  • Bravehearts Beat Blues, Clinch Spot in Finals

    Bravehearts Beat Blues, Clinch Spot in Finals
    In a rematch of the 2015 Championship Series, the Bristol Blues take on the Bravehearts in the semifinals. Game 1 features an offensive outburst by Kirk Sidwell (pictured, Stetson), in an 8-6 win. In Bristol the next night, the Bravehearts fall in an early hole, but Jared Freilich (Penn St.) comes out of the bullpen in the third inning and bails them out. With the bases loaded an nobody out, he strikes out the side to get out of the jam. The team comes back from a 4-3 deficit to win 11-5.
  • Sharks vs. Bravehearts For All the Marbles

    Sharks vs. Bravehearts For All the Marbles
    For the third time in five years, the Bravehearts and Sharks square off in the playoffs. This time, it's back to the Vineyard for the championship series. The teams split the first two games as the 'Hearts win 10-6 on the Vineyard in Game 1 thanks to a three-run home run by Kirk Sidwell (pictured, Stetson) while the Sharks win Game 2 in Worcester 4-2 behind strong pitching from Devon Dimascio (5 IP / 1 run). It sets up a winner-take-all Game 3 on Monday night at Martha's Vineyard.
  • Mother Nature Crowns Co-Champions

    Mother Nature Crowns Co-Champions
    There are ties in baseball after all. Because of a previous rainout on Saturday night in Worcester, Game 3 is pushed to a Monday night on the Vineyard. In the Bottom of the 1st with the score tied 1-1, the skies open up and play is postponed. The resulting puddles cause the umpires to deem the field unplayable. With players on both sides due to fly back to their respective homes the next day, the series is called and the Sharks and Bravehearts are crowned co-champions of the Futures League.
  • Pyne Steps Down as Manager

    Pyne Steps Down as Manager
    J.P. Pyne (pictured, handing trophy to Brett Coffel) announces that he won't return as Manager of the Bravehearts in 2019. He has accepted a job as the Head Coach at Amherst College and will move to Western Massachusetts later in the year. Pyne finished his career at Clark University with a 70-47 record and his career with the Bravehearts at 95-66 (103 total wins when you include playoffs). He is currently the winningest Bravehearts Manager in their short history.
  • Alex Dion Named Manager

    Alex Dion Named Manager
    The Bravehearts will usher in a new era of baseball in 2019 when Alex Dion takes over as Manager. Dion - who was an Assistant Coach in 2018 - is also the Head Coach at Milford High School. The Western New England alum will also have to hire a new coaching staff because Pitching Coach Casey Cummins announces his intention to step down in 2019 to spend more time with his family.