Finishing last week with a four-game winning streak, the start of a five game homestand was now in front of the Silver Knights. Looking to move their streak to five, Nashua was slated to face off against the 13-10 Westfield Starfires. Northeastern’s Aiven Cabral got his first start of the season for the Knights while New England College’s Tim Krol took the ball for Westfield. In a roller coaster of a game, Nashua sneaked out a huge victory in walk off fashion 8-7.
Through the first two innings, both pitchers got through each frame seamlessly. But in the top of the third, Westfield jumped in front with a three-run inning. New England College’s Luca Giallongo put up the first run of the game, beating out a hard-hit ground ball for an infield RBI single. After a Nashua error brought around a second run, Hartford’s Daniel Burnett singled to right field to make it 3-0 Westfield.
With the Nashua offense still dormant, Skidmore’s Jackson Hornung delivered per usual for the Starfires. Hornung, who leads the FCBL in HRs and RBIs, snuck a ball over the left center field wall. With a runner aboard ahead of him, Hornung’s sixth homer of the year made it 5-0 Westfield in the top of the fifth. In the bottom of the same frame, Wake Forest’s Chris Katz quickly responded to Hornung’s blast with a two-run shot to left. While the Silver Knights scored on Katz’s blast, so did a lucky fan in attendance. Chosen as the Walter Bat Company Hitter of the Game, Katz’s home run earned one random fan a free hat. Free merchandise aside, the Knights were still looking to climb out of the three-run hole.
In the bottom of the sixth, the Knights would get active on the base paths due to walks and wild pitches. With Colby’s Pat McConnell on third after a walk and two passed balls, St. Thomas Aquinas Andrew Jemison found a hole in the infield to bring Pat home for an RBI single. Chipping away one at a time, Nashua was now down 5-3.
As the Knights started to climb back into it, Westfield refused to let their guard down. Daniel Burnett added his second RBI of the ballgame on a sacrifice fly, while Nashua’s second error of the night brought home another run to extend the Starfire lead. After seven, Westfield commanded the scoreboard 7-3 with the Knights running out of time.
In the bottom of the eighth, back-to-back walks set up a big spot for Northeastern’s Carmelo Musacchia. On the third pitch of the at bat, Melo smoked his second double of the night to bring home a run. After walking his way aboard ahead of Melo, Niagara's Brady Desjardins now stood at third thanks to the Melo double. Another wild pitch by Westfield ended up sending Brady home to score the second run of the inning. After the passed balls, Melo now stood on third with only one out. Salve Regina’s Matt D’Amato made use of the situation, bringing Musacchia home on a groundout to make it 7-6. Now only down one, the Holman faithful now started to get into it.
Getting out of the top of the ninth unscathed, the Knights now looked to tie this ballgame up and cap off the remarkable comeback. After a quick first out, Pat McConnell worked a huge five pitch walk to get the potential tying run aboard. In a huge spot, the Knights gave Penn State’s Jake Cooper the nod to pinch hit. In a nerve wracking at bat with all of Holman on their feet, Cooper laced a double just past the reach of the center fielder. Turning on the burners, McConnell came around to score on a close throw with Cooper moving up to third.
After knotting the game up, all eyes shifted to taking the W. Desjardins worked a walk with Westfield clearly a bit shaky after the big Cooper double. Musacchia, who had been killing Westfield all day, was intentionally walked to load the bases for Matt D’Amato. D’Amato attempted to be the hero but popped up in foul ground for the second out of the inning. Subbing in for Chris Katz, Northeastern’s Greg Bozzo attempted to produce some two-out magic. Sitting at a 1-1 count, Bozzo took one to the back to seal the walk off victory for the Knights on a hit by pitch.
While it may have not ended in the most “fairy tale” of ways, Nashua rattled off five unanswered runs to beat one of the better teams in the FCBL. Jake Cooper takes home the Player of the Game honors, tying the game up on his massive triple as a pinch hitter. For kicking off a long homestand, the Knights surely did do it with a bang.
Looking to take their sixth in a row, Nashua will be back at it tomorrow night at Historic Holman Stadium as they take on the Norwich Sea Unicorns at 6:00 PM. Westfield will return home and take on the Worcester Bravehearts with a 6:30 PM first pitch.