Poore likely starter for Game 1 of Silver Knights’ title defense
NASHUA – It’s the home stretch for the Nashua Silver Knights with the playoffs beginning Friday.
With that comes the anticipation of defending their Futures Collegiate League championship, as well as some key decisions – not the least of which is pitching.
Even with the semifinal opponent not yet known – Brockton is in the driver’s seat for the fourth and final spot – Nashua manager B.J. Neverett says it’s likely Salem native and Boston College lefty Nick Poore will start Game 1 on the road Friday night.
Poore is 6-1 with a 1.28 ERA, having won the last six games he’s started. He may get the nod for a couple of reasons, including timing.
“Pretty much because that would be his turn in the rotation,” Neverett said. “It also helps being a lefty that he can shut down the running game.”
The Rox entered Tuesday night’s FCBL slate with a one game lead over Pittsfield for fourth with two games left (the Suns have three). If Nashua were to face Brockton in the best-of-three semifinals, the Rox have two speedsters the Silver Knights would have to watch out for at the top of their lineup, Sean Ryan and Rhett Weisman. Ryan has 18 steals and Wiseman – like Nashua’s Chris Shaw, a high school product – has 13.
“Ryan and Wiseman can run,” Neverett said. “And Poore has pitched well on the road. Chris Good (the team’s other lefty, 5-2) has actually performed better at home.”
Resting up for playoffs
No starting pitchers – or starters, for that matter – are expected to see time in the next couple of games as the team winds down the regular season with three home games – a scheduled doubleheader (two seven inning games) with possible third-seeded Torrington, Conn., on Wednesday starting at 5:30 p.m. and Seacoast on Thursday.
A possible starting pitcher Thursday could be another Boston College pitcher the Silver Knights signed just before the deadline last week, lefty Andrew Chin of Newton, Mass. Chin, who redshirted as a freshman at BC this past spring, is on the mend from Tommy John surgery and was actually drafted in the fifth round by the Toronto Blue Jays. He played prep school ball at BB&N in Cambridge, Mass.
“He could help us,” Neverett said. “Guys who we think will be in our bullpen in Games 1 and 2 will be shut down.”
The Silver Knights are also battling the injury bug. Third baseman James Katsiroubas’ knee is still bothering him, but he should be a go in the playoffs. Outfielder Jon Minucci rolled his ankle the other night and shortstop Rays Roman got hit by a pitch on the tricep.
“We are dealing with some little things but nothing that will keep any of our starters out,” Neverett said.
Neverett said no matter how long the semis take, the FCBL finals, as he knows it, won’t start until next Tuesday. If the Silver Knights are in it they would again opt to open on the road.
Torrington may come into Wednesday’s twinbill already having clinched third place. The Titans would then square off against second-seeded North Shore in the other semifinal series.