Wednesday Morning Baseball Rhode Trip to See Westfield Starfires vs Norwich Sea Unicorns

by Nick Lemley

On the morning of July 20th, I visited Billy Bullens Field in Westfield to see the Westfield Starfires take on the Norwich Sea Unicorns. Similar to last week when I visited Dodd Stadium, this game was held earlier for the day camps in the area to attend. Both teams are a part of the Futures Collegiate Baseball League, the Westfield Starfires joined in 2019 replacing the Martha’s Vineyard Sharks who now play in the New England Collegiate Baseball League.

The drive up to Billy Bullens Field was an easy hour and a half drive up Route 91. Billy Bullens Field is used by the baseball and football teams of Westfield High School and Westfield Technical Academy as well as summer baseball teams like the Starfires. In recent years Bullens Field has also been used by the Babe Ruth 14 year old World Series in 2016 and again in 2019 for the 13 year old Babe Ruth World Series. 

The environment of the game was great with all the kids around and it only helped that the Starfires were putting on a great show vs the Sea Unicorns. Throughout the game kids would swarm the Starfires dugout asking for balls and autographs. To these kids the players were stars. I saw a little girl carrying a wood bat around with her for the whole game and every time I noticed her the bat accumulated more signatures. The size of the field and grandstand made it easy to hear what the players were saying and it made for some funny moments throughout the game. 

The game ended 4-0 Starfires. Pitcher Alex Perez held the Sea Unicorns to 2 hits in 6 innings and had 9 strikeouts. Kevin Zarnoch Jr. came in to finish the game giving up another 2 hits and recording 3 strikeouts. The Starfires gained an early lead scoring 3 in the first inning after Gunnar Johnson hit a single to the pitcher which turned into a bases clearing triple after the pitcher and first basemen both made errors trying to stop the runners from advancing.

The Sea Unicorns didn’t have a great game being held to only 4 hits and leaving a total of 6 players on base. Rhode Island native Zac Zyons went 0-2 on offense and was walked once, on defense he had a nice double play in the 5th inning, but in all it was a slow day for the Sea Unicorns. 

Next week on Tuesday, July 26th it is the Futures Collegiate Baseball League All Star Game which is being held at New Britain Stadium. The doors will open 4 pm before the Home Run Derby which starts at 5 pm and first pitch for the All Star game is at 7 pm. 

And this weekend on Sunday, July 24th on Martha’s Vineyard the NECBL All Star game is also happening and 5 Rhode Island players will be showcased  – Randy Reyes, Addison Kopack, Nick Conte, Cristian Mercedes, and Jake Studley. I will also be attending and I am very excited to get to see the best players of NECBL play in a great place.

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