Nashua Silver




Knights Walk Off to End the Week

Photo: Kailey Lane/Nashua Silver Knights

In an afternoon already scheduled for the Nashua Silver Knights “Bark in the Park” day at the ballpark, Historic Holman Stadium was host for a multitude of extracurriculars for the Silver Knights weekend homestand finale against the Vermont Lake Monsters. In a roller coaster of an afternoon, the Silver Knights walked off an “edge of your seat” victory against Vermont 5-4.

After dropping back-to-back games, including a tough Saturday loss to these Lake Monsters, Nashua was in a position they know all so well: getting back on track. Falling to third place in the FCBL standings, the Knights now sought out a huge victory against first place Vermont.

With fans and their four-legged friends set to fill the seats at 3:00 PM, some brief heavy rain showers delayed the Knights and Monsters second game of the weekend. After a bit of field maintenance and sunshine, the two teams were now set to square off around 5:00 PM.

In their first couple innings, both offenses had trouble getting themselves out of the mud. Nashua fell into a familiar habit, leaving runners on base early on. On the bump for Knights, Northeastern’s Aiven Cabral didn’t let a little bit of rain phase him. In his sixth appearance of the season, Cabral shoved six shutout innings with six strikeouts.

In the fourth inning, the Knights would look to break the scoreless tie. Wake Forest’s Chris Katz doubled to lead off the inning, which would later set up UMass’s Will MacLean to single right down Broadway into centerfield for his twelfth RBI of the season. Nashua would add on another in a double steal to make it 2-0 after four.

Katz would once again contribute on the scoreboard, first starting with his leadoff walk in the sixth. Now with a man of first, two Vermont balks moved Katz all the way over to third. Maryland’s Zach Martin would capitalize on the Lake Monster blunders, singling to right to bring home Katz.

Now with a 3-0 lead and Cabral still slicing through the Vermont lineup, the game looked to be falling to Nashua’s grasp. But after six brilliant innings from the incoming Northeastern freshman, one Vermont swing flipped the ballgame upside down.

After a leadoff walk to Wake Forest’s Tommy Hawke, Trinity’s Brian Schuab ran into one with enough juice to clear the left field wall. With a sour ending to an otherwise great performance, Cabral’s day had come to an end.

Vermont now was back in striking distance, looking to take two straight from the Silver Knights. Nashua, with Vermont now on their tail, didn’t let up. After two free bases and a single by St Thomas Aquinas Andrew Jemison, the bases were loaded for the always dangerous Chris Katz. Katz, seeming to be a magnet to offensive production in this ballgame, worked a walk in a great at bat to bring the Nashua lead back to two.

After the Knights extended their lead in the bottom of the seventh, it was now Vermont’s turn to answer back. With Wake Forest’s Will Andrews taking over on the mound, the Lake Monsters would have to try and crack one of Nashua’s better relievers.

Andrews, who had not given up an earned run up to that point, struggled with Vermont’s hard-nosed lineup.  A couple walks would set up Schuab, who had already left his fingerprints all over this matchup, with a big RBI chance as runners stood on second and third. Schaub would deliver once again for Vermont, singling home a run to make it 4-3.

Following the RBI, a questionable balk call by the umpires ignited both benches into arguments. After a long tiring afternoon, it seemed the balk call on Andrews that awarded Vermont the tying run was the breaking point. Now with a 4-4 after eight innings of play, both teams looked to get the last laugh with emotions running wild.

In the ninth, Vermont would lead off with a huge double from Brown’s Charles Crawford. Crawford’s two-bagger would end Andrews' outing, bringing in Plymouth State’s LT Pare to help the Knights get to the bottom half. In a high leverage situation, Pare would get two outs on batted balls with a monumental strikeout ending the inning with the Monsters leaving a man on third.

With the crowd now fired up from Pare’s escape from the jam, the stage was set for Nashua to walk it off in style. Amherst’s Jack McDermott would start the inning off on the right paw, singling to lead off the inning. Following McDermott, Northeastern’s Greg Bozzo came into the game to lay down a beauty of a bunt to move McDermott into scoring position. After a tough second out following Bozzo, Holy Cross’s Jack Toomey now had the weight on his shoulders to be the hero.

Toomey, already with a walk off hit under his belt, showed that the clutch gene remained in his DNA. Toomey roped a single over the second baseman’s head, finding outfield grass with McDermott rounding third and coming home to walk off a wild day at the ballpark.

Following another crazy game for the Knights, Nashua will get a much-needed day off before heading to Westfield for a doubleheader against the Starfires. Game one will start at 5:00 PM on Tuesday at Bullens Field.