Suns Steal Doubleheader, Knights Remain Stuck in Third
A not so happy ending to an eventful weekend for the Silver Knights is now behind them, as Nashua embarks on the final week of the regular season. Going 6-4 in their last ten, the Knights have been moving back and forth from second to third place as the pesky Bees of New Britain are locked in on the battle for the second seed.
Nashua kicked off their week with a Tuesday doubleheader in Pittsfield, potentially being a pivotal matchup to grab two important wins against one of the lesser teams in the FCBL. But at the end of the night, it would be the Suns who would walk away with two massive wins. A 7-6 walk off win in the first matchup and a 2-1 victory in game two would give Pittsfield just what they needed to keep their playoff hopes alive.
After a disappointing 13-0 loss on Sunday, the Knights appeared to be in that same form early on. Pittsfield got to Nashua’s starter, URI’s Brandon Hsu early. Pittsfield scored three runs in Hsu’s two and ⅔ innings of action. After the first Nashua run came home in the fifth on an RBI single from Assumption’s Nico Galeazzi, a three-run bottom of the sixth from the Suns gave them a 6-1 lead as it looked like the Knights were finished in game one.
But refusing to wave the white flag, the Knights lineup kicked it into another gear. A five-run top of the seventh brought the game to a 6-6 deadlock. UMass’ Will MacLean and Colby’s Pat McConnell led off the inning with singles, as Maryland’s Zach Martin brought home MacLean on a double for the first run of the inning.
After two more runs came on a sacrifice fly and an error, Eastern Nazarene’s Shane McNamara had another signature moment with a two-RBI triple to tie the game at six. Nashua, down to their three final outs, turned what seemed to be a surefire loss to potentially their second extra inning win in the last week.
Needing to get past the bottom of the seventh and force extras, an unfortunate series of events unfolded for the Knights. SNHU’s George Welch took the bump as quickly started the inning with two strikeouts. Looking untouchable as usual, UMBC’s Derek Paris singled to right to get aboard.
Now with a man on first, a wild pitch allowed Paris to advance to second. On the very next pitch, another wild pitch allowed Paris to round third and come all the way home for the walk off victory. After a momentum shifting rally, the Knights went from riding high to stunned in just a matter of pitches.
Losing in brutal fashion in game one, Nashua sought out a split and tried to leave Pittsfield on a high note. Nashua’s lineup seemed to strike a match late in the first matchup, but would show it was just a flash in the pan in game two.
Nashua would only bring one run home in the second game, posting four hits with the singular run coming on an error. Pittsfield’s pitching was excellent, as UMass-Boston’s Aric Berg and RIT’s Christian Marchbanks both shined in their three frames. Both would give up no earned runs, with Marchbanks only allowing one hit.
Worcester State’s Cole Glassburn got the start for the Knights, giving up two earned runs on five hits in his three innings of work. Glassburn’s outing wasn’t bad, but it wouldn’t be enough to keep up with the Suns arms. Plymouth State’s LT Pare and New England’s Corey O’Day did their job out of the pen, giving up no runs. While the pitching staff contributed, the silent seven innings by the offense would spiral the Knights chances.
Not all was lost on offense, with a few small bright spots. Salve Regina’s Matt D’Amato had a two-hit night, making up half of the hits. A few good at bats to draw walks would set up Nashua with opportunities, allowing a run to come through on a Pittsfield error. But unfortunately, the cons outweigh the pros. Six of the nine Knight hitters went hitless, with no hits coming from outside of the first three hitters. While the Nashua offense has proved their explosiveness in the past, they also frequently show their inconsistency.
Pittsfield’s 2-1 win gave them the doubleheader sweep, giving the Knights three losses in a row. Now sitting at 31-27, Nashua is looking to hang on in the fight for second with New Britain. Looking to get back in the win column, the Knights will head back to Historic Holman Stadium to take on the Westfield Starfires for a 6:00 PM first pitch on Wednesday.