Silver Knights headed to FCBL finals after holding off Rox

NASHUA – It’s August, the weather is nice, and its a perfect time to take a trip to the North Shore.

The Nashua Silver Knights will do just that, but it will be all business. Their 3-2 nail biter of a win over Brockton at Holman Stadium gave defending-champions a 2-0 semifinal series sweep over the Rox and a ticket to the Futures Collegiate League finals vs. the North Shore Navigators.

“I’m excited,” said Silver Knight DH James Katsiroubas, whose two-run double to left off Brockton starter Pat Delano in the second gave Nashua a 3-0 lead. “They (the Navigators) were the second best team in the league, and we can’t wait to play them. These games are real tough.”

Game 1 is set for Tuesday at 7 p.m. at Fraser Field in Lynn, Mass., with Nashua sending righty Alek Morency (4-1, 1.69) to the hill, vs. the Navs. Game 2, and if necessary, Game 3 will be Wednesday and Thursday at Holman, where 1,224 turned out Monday.

They saw a good one, as the Knights have beaten the Rox eight times this year by a total of nine runs.

“They’ve got great pitching, hats off to Nashua,” Rox manager Jud Thigpen said. “Maybe if we had more timely hitting, we might have taken the lead. But that’s baseball.”

In addition to Katsiroubas’ big hit, the Knights got an RBI single in the first from Jon Minucci. Lefty starter Chris Good tossed six innings of four-hit ball, allowing one run to get the win with bullpen help from Matt Houston (one unearned run over two innings) and surprise closer Cole Warren. Warren fanned Brockton’s Rhett Wiseman with the tying run at second to end it.

“I felt with all their lefty hitters it was best to go with the right-hander,” Nashua manager B.J. Neverett said of his choice of Warren over regular lefty closer Cody Rocha. “The bullpen really came through tonight.”

Once again, the Silver Knights’ defense was shaky. Brockton’s first run came in on a Luis Gonzalez double off the glove of right fielder Minucci in the sixth. Then in the eighth, the Rox got an unearned run on two errors, a bobble on a sure double play ball at second by Logan Gillis and a throwing error by catcher Dan Gusovksy.

But all’s well that ends well – almost. Nashua has to sweat out any possible suspension to likely Game 2 starter Lamarre Rey, who was ejected in the eighth when he took a broom by a fan and swept off home plate.

“I don’t think he knew he was doing anything wrong,” Neverett said. “Hopefully the Commissioner (Chris Hall) will see it as something stupid. It’s the two best teams in the league. They’re going to be battles.”

As these two games were.