Nashua Silver




Unicorns Rally Past Knights

Saturday, July 8, 2023

By: Dan Allison | Silver Knights media relations

In a ballgame that was in Nashua’s hands for almost a full nine innings, the Knights still left eastern Connecticut with a loss as the Sea Unicorns mounted a ninth-inning rally followed by a tenth-inning walk-off to escape with a 2-1 victory.

A Nashua team that has had trouble keeping Norwich at bay so far this summer had shown some promise to locking down the Unicorns on Saturday. Stonehill’s Braydon Gray got the start and tossed an excellent outing, throwing five and ⅓ scoreless innings on four hits.

Out of the bullpen, Gray’s fellow Massachusetts native Ryan Griffin picked up right where he left off. Griffin delivered two and ⅔ shutout frames on just one hit. A Sea Unicorns team that put up 10 runs on the Knights on their last trip to Norwich was being shut out through eight innings.

At the dish, it was all about New England College’s Luca Giallongo. Giallongo posted three hits and walk out of the leadoff spot, despite the down night from his top-of-the-order peers.

Nashua’s heart of the order, who came up big in the win against Vermont, went cold on Saturday night. Besides the big game from Giallongo, the two through five hitters all went hitless in a combined 0-16 night.

In fact, it was the bottom of the lineup that came through at the dish for Nashua. Four of the seven hits came from the six through nine spots, with two hits from Bucknell’s Matt Alexander and a fourth-inning RBI single from Clark’s Ryan Caulfield.

Caulfield’s RBI would be the difference in this one for almost the whole duration, with Wake Forest’s Will Ray coming on in the ninth to try and earn his second save in as many days.

After closing things out against Vermont on Friday, things wouldn’t follow the same script for Ray this time out. Despite two quick outs to start the bottom of the ninth, a hit-by-pitch followed immediately by a double from Fairfield’s Matthew Bucciero tied the ballgame up as Dodd Stadium erupted into a frenzy. 

Stunned with what just transpired, the Knights were able to escape the ninth without any further damage and head to extras. In the top of the frame, Giallongo would stay hot with a leadoff single as Nashua had just the guy they wanted on the base paths to try and pull away. 

Alas, the leadoff base knock would be squandered after two groundouts that included Giallongo getting caught taking third which resulted in a double play. Heading to the bottom of the tenth, Endicott’s Kyan Bagshaw was handed the ball, trying to force Nashua’s third Home Run Derby tiebreaker of the season. 

Holy Cross’s CJ Egrie would lead the inning off with a walk, eventually stealing second and taking third after a strikeout. With the winning run just 90 feet away with only one out, Eastern Connecticut State’s Ray Leonzi knocked one to center to bring Egrie home as Norwich snatched the victory from Nashua’s possession.

Following one of the more deflating losses of the summer, the Silver Knights will try and get back in the win column with an afternoon matchup with Pittsfield. Nashua and the Suns are set for a 4:05 PM first pitch on Sunday.