WORCESTER, Mass. - The Bristol Blues clinched an FCBL playoff spot with their 4-3 victory on the road over the Worcester Bravehearts in a makeup game to open a doubleheader on Saturday evening.
The Blues won the game in dramatic fashion, scoring three runs in the top of the seventh of the seven-inning game.
After a strikeout and infield fly out to start the inning, Bristol was behind 3-1 in the game and down to its final out. Then Max Goione kept it alive with a double and Logan Green drove him in with an RBI single to cut the gap to 3-2. Pinch runner Nick Roy advanced to second on a throwing error by the Worcester pitcher, then Chris Davis made the Bravehearts pay for their mistake with a game-tying RBI triple. Ben Maycock followed with an RBI single to plate the go-ahead run.
Kyle Hodgson pitched six strong innings for the victory, allowing three earned runs on seven hits, with a walk and four strikeouts.
Bristol native Tommy Curtin pitched the seventh inning and managed to get out of a tough jam, only partly of his own making.
An infield error allowed Worcester’s leadoff batter to reach second base to start the inning and after a single by Bryan Hart, runners ended up at second and third with no outs.
But with the potential tying and winning runs in scoring position, Curtin got a line drive out to first for the first out before intentionally walking Greg Kocinski to load the bases. Curtin then struck out Dante Ricciardi for the second out and got Brian Goulard to ground out to second to end the contest.
The game was tied 1-1 before the Bravehearts rallied for a pair of runs in the bottom of the sixth.
With one out, Kocinski walked and scored as Brett Coffel followed with an RBI double. Coffel moved to third on a passed ball before Pat Demarco drove him in with a two-out RBI single.
Worcester had taken an early lead on a double by Trevor Johnson and a two-out RBI triple by John Friday in the first inning.
The Blues tied it up in the third inning. Goione doubled to lead off the frame and a walk to Green put runners on first and second. Goione advanced to third on a double play grounder, then was able to score on a two-out grounder by Mitch Guilmette thanks to an error by the Bravehearts’ third baseman.
Bristol will wither be the No. 3 seed in the playoffs and host a first round, single-elimination game at Muzzy Field on Monday night; or if the Blues beat the Wachusett Dirt Dawgs today at Muzzy Field, Bristol would claim the West Division title and advance straight into a best-of-3 semifinal round series starting Tuesday.