Bedford’s Lucas Olen lifts Nashua Silver Knights over Wachusett
NASHUA – Keep your eyes on Bedford’s Lucas Olen during a Nashua Silver Knights game.
You never know when he’s going to show up, or for how long. Basically a setup man who could also start, the Southern New Hampshire University righty did a superb job in long relief on Tuesday while the Knights rallied for their fourth straight win, 5-3, over Wachusett.
Nashua, which played in front of a kid-filled Education Day crowd of 2, 211 at Holman Stadium, is now 4-1 on the season.
Olen entered the game in the third inning in relief of former Alvirne standout Tyler Brown, who struggled in his first mound appearance since the fall, and with the Knights trailing 3-1.
“I told him when he came in I needed five shutout innings,” Nashua manager Ted Currle said. “He gave us what, six-and-a-third? (actually 52?3). He was phenomenal. He could start someday, but we like him in the sixth, seventh innings. … What he did today was huge.”
In the shutout relief effort, Olen (1-1) allowed just three hits walked one batter and fanned one.
“Whatever they need me to do, I’ll do,” Olen said. “I’ll do whatever I have to help the team win. But my defense helped me out a lot today. It’s all about getting in a rhythm, once you can do that, you can keep going.”
Ryan Campbell (Pittsburgh) came in and got the final two outs for his second save. Brown, who was red-shirted as a freshman at Northeastern, was hurt in the first inning by a two-run double by Wachusett’s Justin Silvestro.
Trailing 3-0, the Silver Knights got a run on three hits and an error in the first, but struck for three runs in the fifth off Wachusett reliever A.J. Celentano thanks in part to Matt Foley’s (4 for 4) two-run double that made it 3-3. Ryan Sullivan plated Foley with a sac fly to put the Knights ahead for good, 4-3, and he hit an RBI groundout to score Foley again in the seventh with an insurance run.
When Foley came up in the fifth, the Knights had runners on first and second when none out, a possible bunt situation. But Currle said no way.
“I needed this game,”Foley said, the Rhode Island College catcher who came in hitting .167. “I was in a little bit of a slump. I wanted to execute in that situation. This was a good team win.”
And this may be a good team.
“So far so good,” Currle said. “I like what I see. I like the fact that offensively, we’re aggressive at the plate.”
Currle downplayed the tough outing by Brown, who allowed three runs in 21?3.
“He hasn’t pitched in a while,” he said. “A lot of guys are still shaking the rust off, we’re not giving up on anybody.”
Nashua has Wednesday off, another scheduling rarity. Lefty Kevin Magee (0-0, 3.60), gets his second start of the season at Pittsfield.
Ryan Moloney (1-0, 0.00) goes Friday and Clay Conway (1-0, 5.40) will pitch the next home game on Saturday night.
Currle’s high school season is over. His Norton (Mass.) team was eliminated in the Eastern Mass. tourney by Fairhaven on Monday, 3-2.