By Matt Noonan
WORCESTER, MA – The Worcester Tornadoes concluded their three-game weekend series with the Newark Bears on Sunday with an 8-4 loss, which snapped a two-game winning streak.
On Monday, Worcester will return to their home diamond against the Grand Prairie AirHogs, (American Association of Independent Baseball) for a 7:05PM first pitch.
Here are three takeaways from this past weekend’s series against the Bears.
1.) Bicondoa’s Earns His First Win: Pitcher Ryan Bicondoa had pitched in five games prior to Friday’s contest, and hadn’t mustered one win. He had averaged 5.2 innings on the bump, allowed 21 earned runs, and tallied three consecutive losses, (which started on June 1 against the New Jersey Jackals).
Against the Bears at Hanover Insurance Park at Fitton Field on Friday, the right-hander controlled the contest by fanning 12 batters and allowing two runs on three hits in eight innings. Worcester’s offense complimented his performance with three runs, which helped Bicondoa earn his first win.
In his first two starts this season against Quebec and Rockland, he was off the hook for a win or loss. Although, he did manage to hold both clubs to six earned runs combined, as well as 10 hits, but his performance didn’t translate over to the offense, as Worcester lost both matches.
2.) Saturday’s Fireworks: It’s customary that after every Friday home game, Tornadoes fans are treated to the Awesome Atlas Fireworks show. And while there was an exciting show following Friday’s win, fans were able to enjoy an encore on Saturday, as both teams combined for 23 runs, 35 hits, 19 strikeouts, and five errors in 10 innings.
3.) Struggling Bullpen: One thing that manager Chip Plante will need to work on, especially if the Tornadoes want to clinch a spot in the CanAm League playoffs, is the Tornadoes bullpen.
Hands down, Nick Serino has been the most consistent reliever this season. He has the team’s lowest ERA, (2.57); recorded two saves, and retired 16 batters.
Yet, against the Bears, Serino mustered one save and one win, while Kyle Regnault and Matt McDonald struggled on Sunday. Regnault replaced Kevin Cooper in the eighth inning and surrendered four earned runs on six hits, while McDonald allowed one hit during 1.1 innings of relief.
‘Three Outs’ will be a frequent blog entry geared toward recapping and providing highlights from various summer baseball games in Massachusetts.