#6 Silver Knights will be heading down to Lynn to take on the #3 Navigators this evening in one of the two FCBL Wildcard games tonight. The second Wildcard game will be taking place in Worcester, as the #4 Bravehearts play host to the #5 Pittsfield Suns.
The Silver Knights enter this wildcard game at an even .500 winning percentage, and the lowest seed in the playoffs. However, the Knights enter in the midst of their longest winning streak of the season (4) since their 7-game streak in the second week of the season.
Pitching: Expect to see Bentley starter Evan Christopulos on the bump for Nashua this evening. Through 50 innings this summer, he is 2-2 with a 3.42 era, and also leads the Silver Knights in strikeouts (54). Some key players to look for out of the pen will be Kyle Skidmore (Hofstra), Joe Quintal (Fordham), and Jack Pawloski (UMass), pitching coach Kyle Jackson has been using these three in the late innings to close out ball games.
Hitting: The Silver Knights have had a few key hitters all year long, Kyle Sandstrom (Charleston Southern) leads the team in average at .320. Dylan Jones (Franklin Pierce) leads the team in RBIs at 38, and Jared Dupere (Northeastern) leads the team in homeruns at 8. However, some players to watch in this potential playoff push have been tearing the cover off the ball as of late. Phoenix Hernandez (SNHU) has been crucial to the Knights success since joining the team late this season. In the last week he has hit .412 and knocked in 5 runs. Ben Irvine (Maryland) is also someone who has come on strong in the last few weeks for Nashua. He is hitting .364 in the last 7 days and .287 on the season.
The Navigators enter this wildcard game after falling out of the spot for the bye after losing three straight to end the regular season. The Navs spent most of the season atop the FCBL standings and look to prove they are still a cut above the rest of the league.
Pitching: The Navs have two of the league's top arms in 2019, one being All Star Game MVP, Cam Seguin (UMass Lowell). Seguin has put up a 2.78 ERA and struck out 41 batters in 32.1 innings. North Shore also has what is arguably the best closer in the league in Beau Dana (Dickinson). Dana has appeared in 18 games, registered 13 saves, and posted a 1.39 ERA. He has also struck out 31 batters in 19.1 innings of work, while walking just 6 batters.
Hitting: The Navs feature one of the most potent offenses in the league, there have been some key losses in the lineup throughout the course of the season. Most notably Tyler MacGregor (Columbia). However, the Navigators will roll out the likely-MVP in Sean Lawlor (Flagler) who has hit a whopping .351 this season, accompanied by 8 dingers, 40 RBIs, and 44 runs scored. Kade Kretzschmar (Dartmouth) and Ben Malgeri (Holy Cross) are two more bats hitting well over .300 who will be bolstering the North Shore lineup.
First Pitch is at 7:00pm tonight (8/5) at Fraser Field in Lynn