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Bravehearts Reveal Five Central MA Players on 2018 Roster

Thursday, November 23, 2017


Danny Barlok (Holy Cross / Shrewsbury, MA) on the left and Matt Stansky (Bryant / Douglas, MA) on the right in their Bravehearts' jerseys backstage at the Heart Stove Reception.

The Worcester Bravehearts announced the signing of five Central Massachusetts players who will be part of their 2018 roster.

The announcements were made at St. John’s High School during the team’s Heart Stove Reception.

The Bravehearts will begin revealing the rest of the roster in December.

The Roster

Two St. John’s alumni will return to the Bravehearts’ pitching staff when the team opens its 2018 season. Shrewsbury-resident Kendall Pomeroy looks to build on his 2017 season while Holy Cross junior Danny Barlok returns to the team after spending last summer with the Keene Swampbats of the NECBL.

Pomeroy is a 6’4” junior right-hander at UMass-Lowell who has pitched in 34 games — all except one out of the bullpen — with the River Hawks while putting together a 5-0 record in his first two seasons. He was third on the Bravehearts with 16 appearances in 2017 and finished the season 1-1 with one save and a 5.33 ERA in 25 1/3 innings pitched. At St. John’s he pitched all four seasons and was an honor roll student in the class of 2014 before spending a year at the Loomis Chaffee School.

Barlok is ready to play another summer on the same field where he pitches in his junior season at Holy Cross. In 2016, Danny Barlok was a leader out of the bullpen for the Bravehearts and posted an impressive-2.40 ERA with three saves for a team that fell just two wins short of a championship. At Holy Cross, he pitched in 16 games out of the bullpen as a sophomore, was a member of the Patriot League championship team, and experienced the NCAA Regionals by pitching 2/3 scoreless innings against Yale on June 4th. Barlok graduated from St. John’s in 2015.

Two members of the 2017 Saint John’s baseball team that won the Super 8 Championship are going to be battery mates with the Bravehearts during the summer. Matt Stansky and Jack Gardner will reunite after spending 4 seasons together at St. John’s and additional time as teammates with the Shrewsbury Quaranta Post 397 American Legion baseball team that captured the Northeast Regional Championship at Hanover Insurance Park this past August. Stansky is now a freshman pitcher at Bryant University while Gardner is a catcher at Cypress College in CA.  Gardner was the catcher for Stansky’s 125-pitch 10-inning masterpiece in a 3-2 victory over Michigan in Game 1 of the American Legion World Series in Shelby, NC this past August.

The Bravehearts have also re-signed infielder Mariano Ricciardi of Florida Atlantic University. He debuted with the Bravehearts in 2017, hitting .248 in 33 games with 7 RBIs and 4 stolen bases while joining his brother, Dante, on the team. The freshman is a 5’7” left-handed hitting second-baseman who competed in the 2016 WWBA World Championship, where he was named to the All Tournament Team.

Mariano’s father, J.P. Ricciardi, was also a member of the Heart Stove Panel on November 16 at St. John’s High School and is a current member of the Worcester Bravehearts Advisory Board.


Related Slideshow: The History of Baseball in Central Massachusetts

Baseball and Central Mass. go way back - to the 1860s. The local historical landmarks range from  Mudville to Hotel Vernon to Fitton Field. A version of these highlights is posted on the site of the new, yet-to-be-formally-named Worcester Baseballteam of the three-year-old Futures Collegiate Baseball League.

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Casey At The Bat

Casey at the Bat was written on August 14, 1863 on Chatham Street in Worcester by Ernest Thayer under the penname “Phineas.” The 150th anniversary of the poem is being celebrated in 2013.

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First Perfect Game

The first perfect game in the history of Major League Baseball was pitched in Worcester, on June 12, 1880, by J. Lee Richmond for the Worcester Worcesters – also known at various times as the Brown Stockings and the Ruby Legs - versus the Cleveland Blues at the Worcester Driving Park Grounds, located in the Worcester Agricultural Fairgrounds near Elm Park. Worcester joined the National League in 1880, replacing the failed Syracuse Stars.

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Industrial League

In Greater Worcester, there was a deep history of participation in Industrial League Baseball. Locally, teams included Norton Co., Town Talk Baking Co. and Whitin Machine Works (shown here).

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Honorary NL Membership

Worcester’s National League team was suspended in 1882 and replaced by the Philadelphia Quakers, who later became the Philadelphia Phillies. Worcester maintains an honorary lifetime NL membership.

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NE Collegiate Baseball

A New England Collegiate Baseball League team played in Leominster from 1995 to 1999. Called the Central Mass. Collegians, they won the NECBL Championship in both 1995 and 1996, and During the 1995 season, they played a game against the Cuban National Youth Team in Worcester.

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Worcester Tornadoes

The now-defunct Worcester Tornadoes of the Can-Am League played for eight seasons, from 2005 through 2012. Former Tornadoes emcee Dave Peterson is general manager of Worcester’s new team in the Futures Collegiate Baseball League.

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Wachusett Dirt Dawgs

The Wachusett Dirt Dawgs, who play at historic, and newly renovated, Doyle Field in Leominster, are a 2012 expansion franchise in the now-three-year-old Futures Collegiate Baseball League.The Dirt Dawgs’ 2013 season swung into action on June 5 with big expectations, but ended on August 8 with those hopes being dashed. They finished in the basement, with a record of 20-31 - 14 games behind first-place the Martha’s Vineyard Sharks (38-18). The team is owned by prominent Leominster businessman John Morrison, who also founded, owns and operates Fosta-Tek Optics in Leominster.

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Worcester Baseball

Last month, the Futures Collegiate Baseball League announced the formation of the Worcester Baseball franchise, which will play its first season next summer. The team is owned by the family that owns and operates Creedon and Co. The prominent Worcester catering service will be the food-and-beverage vendor at home games at Fitton Field, at the College of the Holy Cross. Through Octobert 25, Worcester Baseball is conducting a name-the-team competition.


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