Thursday, May 26, 2022
Historic Holman Stadium was the venue for Nashua’s and Pittsfield’s 2022 season openers. The Suns look to continue their success after a championship appearance in 2021 while the Silver Knights start their quest for the postseason after a one-year hiatus.
Salve Regina’s Brayden Clark toed the rubber for Nashua and did not disappoint. In 4 innings of work, Clark tallied eight strikeouts with only one earned run via a solo blast in the 2nd. On the other side of the frame, UMass Boston’s Tim Cianciolo took the early spotlight for Pittsfield. Cianciolo dealt 4 innings of hitless ball as Nashua was looking for answers.
Cianciolo looked untouchable early, notching 6 strikeouts on the night. With a 2-0 lead, it was smooth sailing for the Suns until the 5th inning brought rocky waters. University of Massachusetts’s Will MacLean ended the no-no bid with a single and the offense got cooking. MacLean came around to score on a passed ball and an RBI single from Penn State’s Richie Paltridge gave Nashua the lead 2-1 in the 5th.
As the sun started to set on Holman, the offense was just getting started for both squads. Brennan Hyde from Nichols College reignited the Pittsfield scoring with a sacrifice fly, leading to a three-run 6th for the Suns. After Pittsfield regained the lead, Nashua responded with a harder punch. RBI singles by Noah Jankowski, Pat McConnell, and Platridge again helped the Knights put up a six spot and gave them a 8-4 lead after six frames.
With a 9-3 lead heading into the 8th, a Silver Knights victory was on the horizon, but the Suns weren’t going out quietly. Brennan Hyde continued his efficient night with a solo blast while Pittsfield added two more, making it a 9-7 ballgame.
After going blow for blow all game long, Nashua delivered the knockout blow with a 4-run 8th. Clark University’s Zach Gitschier, who came in for relief in the top of the frame, showed his two-way abilities with a two RBI double.
After Gitschier’s added insurance to make it 13-7, Plymouth State’s Noah Wachter came in to lock down the job for the Knights. Besides a Hyde single, Wachter’s three outs were all via the punchout and finished the job for Nashua.
While the kids ran the bases after the win, Anna Maria’s James Powers was named opening night Player of the Game. Powers’ 3 hits and 1 RBI helped start rallies for Nashua, being one of the many worthy performances for the Player of the Game honors.
“It was a good team win,” Powers said postgame, “I started a bit rattled but then I settled in.” Powers posted a .453 batting average in 28 games for Anna Maria in 2022, as he looks to continue his success this summer. “Awesome energy, good team chemistry and it was great to build off of,” he said.
After starting their year 1-0, Nashua will hit the road for the first time in 2022 as they will face the Worcester Bravehearts at 6:30 PM Friday.