Friday, July 30, 2021
Phenomenal pitching carried the Nashua Silver Knights to a 2-1 win over the Westfield Starfires on Friday night, as Jack Beauchesne pitched five innings and gave up one run before the bullpen locked it down.
While Beauchesne gave up one run in the top of the first, the Silver Knights came right back with a run of their own in the bottom half of the inning. They scored it without a hit, instead using an error and three straight walks to tie the game.
Again in the second inning, situational hitting and patience at the plate helped Nashua score the game-winning run with only one hit. Nate Goranson led off the inning with a double, before Kevin Skagerlind moved him over with a groundout and Connor Hujsak scored him with a grounder to shortstop.
While it was all the Silver Knights would score, it was the third straight game in which Nashua has scored two or more runs in the first two innings. They’ve scored at least one run in the first two innings in eight of the last 10 games.
“We got that extra run [in the second] with situational hitting, which we haven’t done in awhile,” manager Kyle Jackson said. “We’ve been doing a lot better now. It was good to get that winning run on situational stuff.”
The Silver Knights had other opportunities to score. They left the bases loaded in the first and failed to score in the sixth, when John Mead and Will Maclean hit back-to-back doubles but Mead was thrown out at home.
Still, when Beauchesne left the game after five innings, the bullpen combined to pitch four no-hit innings. The night before, Nashua’s bullpen also shut down the opposition, pitching three perfect innings.
Noah Wachter was especially effective on Friday, pitching three innings and only allowing one baserunner — a leadoff walk in the eighth inning that he subsequently stranded.
“Noah did an amazing job, coming in and giving us three solid [frames],” Jackson said. “[Beauchesne] pitched a hell of a game. I don’t think he had his best stuff, but he worked through it.”
After giving up one run in the first, Beauchesne only faced three batters over the minimum through his next four innings. He said he was throwing mostly fastballs in the first inning before adjusting and mixing in more of his pitches.
“They battled. A lot of long [at-bats], but I just had to grind through and get good results,” Beauchesne said.
The strong performance was special to Beauchesne for two reasons — the first being the fact that Westfield has the best offense in the league, leading in runs scored and average. The second was that it was Nor’Easters Night at the ballpark, a program that Beauchesne is an alumni of.
“I wanted to show up for the AU program I played for growing up,” Beauchesne said.
The Silver Knights will look to continue their pitching success on Saturday in a 6 PM game in Norwich against the Sea Unicorns. The team will return to Holman Stadium for a doubleheader against Westfield on Sunday.