Rain shifts Game 1 from Brockton to Nashua

BROCKTON, Mass. – Game 1 of the Futures Collegiate Baseball League semifinals between Nashua and Brockton, scheduled for Friday night in The City of Champions, was postponed due to heavy rain and tornado warnings. Now the dynamics of the series have changed.

Game 1 will now be in Nashua on Saturday at 7 p.m., with Game 2 scheduled for Brockton’s Campanelli Stadium on Sunday at 5 p.m. Game 3, if necessary, will be played in the Gate City at Holman Stadium on Monday at 7 p.m.

Monday was originally an off day for the league’s postseason.

As for pitching, Nashua manager B.J. Neverett has decided to keep things intact. In other words, lefty Nick Poore will pitch Game 1 as scheduled and lefty Chris Good will be Nashua’s starter in Game 2, despite the fact that Good has pitched better at home than on the road this summer.

Things broke Brockton’s way

How did the Rox turn it around? A month ago they were 17-20, but won 13 of 17 to finish 30-23 and qualify for the FCBL playoffs as the fourth seed.

“We started getting a few breaks that we hadn’t been getting our way,” Rox manager Jud Thigpen told the Brockton Enterprise. “Guys really started to pick it up in RBI situations and coming through with big hits. To be honest, we started getting guys in the bullpen who were pitching lights out. Everything just came together at the right time.”

The “lights out” phrase has to apply to reliever John Sheehan, who received the FCBL Reliever of the Year based mainly on the fact he went into Friday’s game having retired 29 straight batters (20 by strikeout).

“I didn’t even know it was happening,” Sheehan told The Enterprise newspaper of Brockton, Mass. “I just go out and just try to focus on the batter that’s up. Things have been going really well lately and the coaches here have helped.”

Nashua fans pack Holman

The Silver Knights finished the season third in the FCBL in attendance, one of four teams to average four figures. After averaging close to 900 fans a year ago, Nashua finished the 2012 regular season with an average of 1,125. Brockton was first at 1,714, followed by surprising Pittsifield, Mass., at 1,344.

North Shore (Lynn, Mass.) just made it over the 1,000 mark after hovering near it all summer, finishing with an average of 1,009.

It was a league of haves and have-nots when it came to fans, because Torrington, Conn., led the five-team three figure group with an average of 583 fans per game. Nashua once again was the best of the original four.

Notes

The Silver Knights also ended up with the FCBL home run and RBI leaders. Jon Minucci (Southern New Hampshire University) finished with 13 homers, while Lexington High School (and Boston College-bound) first baseman Chris Shaw drove in a league-best 44 runs.

Nashua second baseman Logan Gillis finished fourth in hitting at .333. Reportedly Gillis, Minucci and Shaw are to play Monday in Boston Herald columnist Steve Buckley’s Oldtime Baseball Game in Cambridge, Mass., barring any more rainouts or a Brockton win in the semifinals.

Friday night’s Game 1 starter for the Rox, Mike Romano, went into the playoffs with pretty good success against Nashua. He had no decisions in two games, facing 20 hitters and allowing no runs on three hits with five strikeouts. The Silver Knights were hitting .158 against him.

The team autograph session slated for Thursday was wiped out by rain and will instead be held Saturday prior to the start of Game 1.