PITTSFIELD -- With five days remaining until the Futures League’s playoffs, Pittsfield Suns coach Tom Conley said his team is already in playoff mode.
However, on Sunday, the Suns failed to pick up a game on the Western-Division leading Worcester Bravehearts (29-21), losing 8-3 at Wahconah Park.
"We’ve had a sense of urgency for a week, and we haven’t been able to find a way to win," Conley said. "We’ve lost in every way you can. [We’ve lost] tight, we’ve lost big and we’ve been in games where we’ve lost them at the end."
Sunday’s loss was the Suns’ (24-24) sixth in a row. The top two teams in each division earn playoff spots, followed by the next four teams, regardless of division.
As of Sunday, Pittsfield has the final playoff spot, with Wachusett and Seacoast 1 1/2 games behind.
"It’s crunch-time now and we’re running out of games to catch back up," outfielder Gary Tesch said. "We’re in a little slump right now. ... Losing has frustrated us and we’re ready to come back and win."
The Bravehearts came out the gates swinging, scoring two runs in the first inning off starter Mitch Holtz.
Worcester hit three straight singles to open the game with Dylan Harris’ single up the middle plating Brendan O’Reilly. Darian Ramage scored from first after center fielder Tyler Bell committed a fielding error.
The Bravehearts struck again in the third inning, again capitalizing on a Suns’ fielding miscue.
The Suns battled back in fourth inning, cutting the Bravehearts’ lead to 3-2. Tesch scored on a sacrifice fly from Dan Palazzo. Steve Dill’s RBI single scored Donahue.
In the fifth inning, FCBL Home Run Derby champion Mark DeYoung connected on a long two-run home run into right field. Palazzo bombed a home run of his own into left field an inning later, cutting the team’s deficit to 5-3.
Worcester added three more runs in the ninth, on a two-RBI single from DeYoung, and a sacrifice fly from T.J. Riccio. DeYoung went 3 for 5 with four RBI. Ramage went 3 for 5 with three runs scored.
Palazzo led Pittsfield with two hits, two RBI and a run scored.
Holtz took the loss, allowing five runs on 10 hits in six innings.
The team looks to snap its six-game losing streak Tuesday at Martha’s Vineyard at 7 p.m.
Worcester 201 020 003
8 16 1
Pittsfield 000 201 000
3 7 3
Kyle Slinger (6), Charlie Butler (2), Sean Gustin (1) and T.J. Riccio. Mitch Holtz (6), Nate Spielvogel (2), Alex Lagos (2) and Dan Palazzo. 2B
Worcester 1 (Mark DeYoung); Pittsfield 1 (Palazzo). HR
Worcester 1 (DeYoung); Pittsfield 1 (Palazzo).