Fireworks emerged from yesterday’s matchup between Nashua and New Britain with the Bees sneaking out with the win. Looking to avenge their home loss, the Knights headed down to New Britain to now face the Bees on their turf. Both teams picked up right where they left off with offensive displays as New Britain once again took the win by one, 8-7.
Salem State’s Brock Pare got the start for the Knights while Central CT State’s T.J. Wainwright was on the bump for the Bees. These two teams, who already have met two times before this week, are scheduled to face off three times this week with game one already in the books. 0-3 against the Bees this season, Pare and the Knights looked to take game two.
In the top of the first, the Nashua offense kept the ball rolling from their ninth inning production last game by loading the bases with two hits and a walk. Coming off a solid game the night before, Vanderbilt’s Ray Velazquez added to the box score early with an RBI sacrifice fly. After taking a brief 1-0 lead, the Bees answered quickly due to a Nashua error that brought around another run on the base paths. After one, the game was all tied up at one a piece.
In the second, the Silver Knights offense really cranked up the heat. With two runners getting aboard ahead of him, Northeastern’s Greg Bozzo singled to left field to bring home one run. Bozzo’s teammate from Northeastern, Carmelo Musacchia, followed suit with an RBI single of his own. It was quickly 3-1 Knights with the new Silver Knight Chris Katz coming up to the plate.
Nashua’s newest addition from Wake Forest, who homered in his first game the night prior, Chris Katz, stepped into the batter's box with runners on first and second. Katz showed off his blast from last game was no fluke, smoking a three-run homer to make it 6-1 Knights through two.
With the roles seeming to be reversed from last game, the Bees were now the ones facing a large deficit. After a scoreless third, New Britain began to chip away with Central CT State’s Elliot Good hitting a solo homer to cut the lead down to 6-2.
After the Bees added one in the fourth, Pitt’s Matt Travisano got the Knights lead back to five with an RBI single. But in the bottom half of the inning, Bowdoin College’s CJ Brito-Trinidad found some outfield grass for an RBI double to make it a 7-3 ballgame and cut the lead back to four. Both teams kept answering each other's punches early on.
More and more zeroes were being posted on the board with the Knights looking to be clearly in the driver's seat. This was the case until the eighth inning, where things started to crack for Nashua.
Nashua’s bullpen had been doing a stellar job holding the lead for the entire night. With Pare only pitching four full innings, the Knights did a great job with no earned runs given up until the ninth. While Nashua’s pitching held up their end of the bargain, the defense let them down.
New Britain came storming back with a four run eighth inning with EVERY run coming unearned. Nashua had two fielding errors, one passed ball, and even a balk in a Knight-mare of an inning. After it looked like the Knights were going to cruise to a much-needed win, the ballgame was now all knotted up at seven.
Nashua went 1-2-3 in the top of the ninth, giving the stage to the Bees to potentially walk-off a huge comeback victory. Elliot Good, who homered earlier in the game, singled with one out in the inning. UConn’s Gavin Greger singled to center to move Good into scoring position. After two straight New Britain batters got aboard, North Alabama’s Luke Lappe worked a seven pitch walk to load the bases with only one out.
In a brutal situation, the Knights would need some balls to bounce their way to get out of this jam while UMass Boston’s Craig Corliss looked to end the game for the Bees. Corliss, on the third pitch of the at bat, grounded a ball to shortstop. With a perfect ball for an inning ending double play, the Knights still had a glimmer of hope.
Niagara's Brady Desjardins flipped the ball to Vandy’s Ray Velazquez who fired it to first. Six, four, but not three. Corliss beat the throw to first base for a fielder's choice, allowing the run to come across and score for the Bees to escape once again with a walk off victory against Nashua 8-7.
After back-to-back heart wrenchers, Nashua will return home and get the New Britain taste out of their mouth with a 6:00 PM Thursday first pitch against the Brockton Rox. New Britain will head to Pittsfield before meeting up with the Knights again on Friday, facing off against the Suns at 6:35 PM.