Nashua Silver




Late Offensive Push Saves Doubleheader Split Against Westfield

Photo: Kailey Lane/Nashua Silver Knights

Coming off a whirlwind of a game on Sunday in Nashua, the Silver Knights were now headed down to Westfield, Massachusetts following their off day on Monday. On their second Tuesday Westfield trip in a row, the Knights were slated to play two against the Starfires to make up for a rainout at Bullens Field exactly a week ago. In a two-game evening, the Knights left western Massachusetts with a split with a 3-0 game one loss and a game two victory.

In game one, the Silver Knights had a tough time revving up their offensive. An offense that had hit a bump in the road in their 1-2 weekend homestand carried their struggles into the brand-new week in their no run performance. Westfield’s Shayne Audet was the star in the Starfires and Knights first matchup, going a full seven innings with only one hit allowed and six strikeouts added to his name.

Nashua’s Gabe Van Emon opposed Audet on the bump for the Knights. Endicott’s lefty arm pitched well but couldn’t match Audet’s gem. Van Emon gave up two earned runs in five innings of work, with three runs coming across in Van Emon’s fourth outing of the season.

Westfield’s first run of the evening came on an RBI single from St. John Fisher’s Noah Campanelli in the third. Skidmore’s Jackson Hornung, the FCBL’s MVP front runner, did what he does best with an RBI single in the third as well to make it 2-0. Hornung posted his 41st RBI of the season, leading the league in RBIs and HRs. Westfield’s greatest resource delivered for the Starfires once again, putting Nashua in a hole.

For Nashua, tumbleweeds rolled across the base paths with nothing getting going on offense. Eastern Nazarene’s Shane McNamara posted the only hit for the Knights, with six of the nine Nashua hitters posting strikeouts. Westfield would add another run on the way to a 3-0 victory. Luckily for the Knights, another chance to get the sour taste out of their mouth was coming right away.

Game Two

For Game Two, the second game of the day for Nashua now turned into a redemption shot. Looking to avoid a doubleheader sweep after a poor showing in game one, game two was exactly the medicine the Knights offense needed.

Both teams were firing back and forth to start off. Westfield struck first once again on a Hornung home run in the first but unlike the first game, Nashua responded. Niagara's Brady Desjardins got the scoring start for the Knights, slapping a RBI double to tie up the game in the second. In the fourth, Pace’s Mitch McCabe got aboard on a single and worked his way around the bags. Stealing second and moving his way to third, McCabe came home on a passed ball to give Nashua their first lead of the day at 2-1.

Hungry for a sweep, Westfield responded immediately. Back-to-back doubles in the bottom of the fourth with Campanelli’s double giving him RBIs in both games of the doubleheader as the Starfires knotted it up 2-2.

Westfield turned into Wimbledon, with both teams hitting back and forth like a tennis match. Nashua responded with a harder punch, posting two runs in the fifth. Boston College’s Kyle Wolff opened the inning with a double as Holy Cross’ Jack Toomey followed with a walk. Austin Peay’s Kyle Lavigne delivered in his plate appearance, singling to bring home two runs for a 4-2 Nashua lead after five.

Both starters got knocked around for each squad, with the game now relying on which bullpen could step up to the call. For Nashua: they delivered. For Westfield: the flood gates opened.

While Clark’s Zach Gitschier posted his second five strikeout or more outing of the season in his two and ⅔ scoreless innings, the Silver Knights turned Bullens Field into their personal batting cage. An eight run seventh put the game on ice for the Knights, with 11 Nashua batters reaching base in the inning. Nichol’s Johnny Knox’s knocked a single for his first RBI as Silver Knight, starting the scoring in the inning. After Knox’s RBI, walks and singles littered the box score for the Knights with Lavigne capping off the inning with a two RBI single to make it 12-2. Lavigne ended the night with four RBIs, making it his best game of the season.

Nashua’s 12-2 victory split the doubleheader for the Knights, moving their record to 25-21. Nashua now sits in third place in the FCBL, only a half-game behind second place New Britain. After a quick trip down to MA, the Silver Knights will head back up to Historic Holman Stadium for a two-game midweek home stretch.

 Their first home game of the week will be against the Worcester Bravehearts on Wednesday night. First pitch is slated for 6:00 PM at Holman.