For the seventh time in franchise history, the Nashua Silver Knights are headed to the FCBL Championship. A 3-0 shutout victory over the New Britain Bees in game two of the semifinals punched their ticket to the ‘ship, sweeping the Bees 2-0 in their best of three.
Coming off a dominating 11-3 victory the night prior, Nashua once again outmuscled the Bees. While game one was headlined by the offense, game two’s spotlight was taken by the Knights who toed the rubber in a one hit shutout.
Eastern Connecticut’s Nolan Lincoln got the start for Nashua, bringing his best to the bump when it mattered most. Lincoln filtered with a perfect game until the fifth inning, finishing his day with only one hit in six no score frames.
Lincoln brought his best, but New Britain’s arms didn’t mess around. URI’s Bryan Kraus started off hot for the Bees, with both teams eager to break the scoreless tie. It was a full-on pitcher’s duel until Nashua was due up in the fifth, with WPI’s Kyle DeRoma leading off.
Coming in as a late season addition to the roster, DeRoma already locked down his signature Silver Knight moment with a leadoff solo shot that snuck over the left center wall. Holman’s faithful held onto their breaths initially, with New Britain’s Joel Lara almost robbing DeRoma and keeping the ballgame at zero. But when Lara landed and showed nothing but an empty glove, the fans went into a frenzy.
With a lead in hand, the Knights now handed the pitching duties over to Wake Forest’s Will Andrews. Andrews, being one of the most reliable arms in Nashua’s regular season, once again delivered in relief. Andrews posted two scoreless innings, striking out the side in the seventh.
Heading into the eighth, the Knights finally added to their lead by capitalizing on New Britain’s errors. Nichol’s Johnny Knox singled to right to set up runners on the corners, as a throw away and a wild pitch by the Bees allowed two Nashua runs to score. What was once a slim 1-0 lead in a tense game turned into a comfortable three run lead for the Knights. Heading into the ninth, the Knights were three outs away from heading back to a place they know all so well.
Andrews, coming off two commanding innings, was left in to bring Nashua to the finish line. Continuing his tear, Andrews got New Britain in the ninth as he struck out two of the three outs. As the dugout cleared into a mosh pit on the field, the Knights were officially back in the title game.
Nashua will face off against the Vermont Lake Monsters in a best of three series of the championship. Game one of the series is set for 6:35 p.m. tomorrow, August 10, in Vermont. Click here to purchase tickets to Game 2 of the championship in Nashua on Thursday at 6:00 p.m.