Silver Knights, Rox weathering storm as Game 1 returns to Brockton
NASHUA – The rain this weekend certainly created havoc with the best laid plans of both the Nashua Silver Knights and Brockton Rox in the Futures Collegiate Baseball League semifinals.
After two rainouts, the series is scheduled to finally start on Sunday at 5 p.m. in Brockton, Mass.
After Friday’s rainout, the series opener had to be moved from Brockton to Nashua because of a UFC/martial arts show at Campanelli Stadium on Saturday.
But after the Holman Stadium grounds crew worked on the field following Saturday’s late afternoon rain, it was deemed the area around first and third, including the base lines, were too slippery and the players would be at risk of injury. Thus, a 90-minute rain delay turned into a second straight postponement. Games 2 and 3 (the latter if necessary) will be Monday and Tuesday at 7 p.m. at Holman.
“We did the right thing,” said Nashua manager B.J. Neverett, who will keep his pitching plans intact with lefty Nick Poore starting Game 1. “As I told the players, they belong to somebody (college programs). We couldn’t take the chance of sending them back damaged. Both teams agreed, it was the right thing to do.”
For a while Saturday it looked as if there would be baseball, as the teams were warming up on the field. But when Neverett gathered his players in the foul territory just outside of first, it was clear what the message would be. An announcement was made to the 300 fans or so who were waiting things out.
Poore (6-1, 1.28) will be opposed Sunday by Brockton righty Mike Romano (3-2, 3.15). The changes may work out for Nashua, as Poore says he likes the mound and atmosphere in Brockton, and scheduled Game 2 starter, Chris Good (5-2, 1.58) has pitched better at Holman than on the road this summer.
Poore was throwing on the flat ground of the outfield after the announcement.
“(The wait) has been difficult, but what can you do,” he said. “I’m just trying to throw a little bit and get ready for (Sunday) and do the best I can to get us a win. My arm feels really strong; if it feels this way (Sunday) I’ll be in good shape.”
Brockton’s Big Unit set
to pitch Monday night
For Monday’s Game 2, Brockton is slated to start 6-foot-7 righty Patrick Delano (1-0, 6.00), a recent Braintree (Mass.) High School graduate who, like Rox center fielder and leadoff hitter Rhett Wiseman, is headed to Vanderbilt University in a few weeks.
“He’s got a good fastball, good changeup, and he seemed pretty comfortable pitching at this level,” Rox manager Jud Thigpen said. “I think he’s got pretty solid stuff.”
Washed out lineups
Here were the starting lineups for Saturday’s Game 1 that never got played: First, for Brockton – Wiseman, cf; Tanner Reibenspsies, ss; Sean Ryan, rf; Greg Baggett, c; Luis Gonzalez, 1b; Mike Lupia, 3b; Rob McCunney, 2b; Joe Gallub, rf; Nick Colucci, DH; and Michael Romano on the mound.
For Nashua: Rays Roman, ss; Logan Gillis, 2b; James Katsiroubas, DH; Chris Shaw.1b; Jon Minucci, rf; Connor Lyons, cf; Pat Devlin, lf; John Puttress, c; Stephen Rogers, 3b, and Nick Poore on the mound.
Before the game, both managers took all the delays in stride.
“You’ve got to be able to play whatever hand your dealt,” Thigpen said. “This is a fun thing to play in, and that’s what it’s about.”
During the rain delay, while the field was being worked on, Silver Knights players walked through the stands to collect donations for the Adam Keenan Sportsmanship Scholarship Award. Keenan was the player for Seacoast who died suddenly prior to the start of last season due to a heart ailment.
Neverett said he has not decided on a possible deciding Game 3 starter, but says it will be between Nashua native Alek Morency (4-1, 1.69) or Lamarre Rey (4-1, 1.60).