Futures League: Suns beat Worcester, close in on playoff berth
PITTSFIELD -- The Pittsfield Suns' walk-off win Wednesday not only broke a seven-game losing streak, but it created momentum. The Suns rode that momentum to a 9-7 victory over the Worcester Bravehearts at Wahconah Park on Thursday night.
As a result, the Suns need one win today in a doubleheader against North Shore to clinch a playoff berth. The first game starts at 5 p.m. at Wahconah Park.
Pittsfield (26-25) showed the resilience of a team fighting to remain in the playoff hunt Thursday, using a five-run sixth inning to take control of the game.
Steve Dill started the inning by drawing a walk. After Derek Gardella singled, Dan Donahue dropped a perfectly-placed bunt along the third-base line for a single to load the bases. Michael Valentin Jr. followed with an RBI single to tie the score at 5. Gary Tesch then busted the game open with a two-RBI single into center field. The Suns added two more runs on a two-run single from Dan Palazzo.
"The way we won [Wednesday] with the walk-off really helped," Suns manager Tom Conley said. "It got guys back on the winning train, and tonight we came out hitting the ball, which we've been struggling to do. It's nice to see us pound out some hits."
"The last time that we played [Worcester] they beat us pretty well and we still had that feeling in our stomach," Valentin Jr. said. "We wanted to come out and really play well tonight."
Reliever Tyler Lamonda pitched two strong innings in relief of starter Justin Finan, before Worcester tagged him for two runs in the eighth, cutting Pittsfield's lead to 9-7. Lamonda was credited with the win.
Nate Spielvogel struck out the side in the ninth to record the save.
Dan Palazzo led the Suns with two hits and three RBI. The Suns had five other players record multiple hits.
Worcester 101 021 020 -- 7 12 0
Pittsfield 301 005 00x -- 9 13 1
Joe Saia (5), D. Montiverde (1), L. Fullmer (1), A. Perry and T. Paine. Justin Finan (5), Tyler Lamonda (3), Nate Spielvogel (1).
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