Roberson emerging as player to watch for Silver Knights

NASHUA – The Nashua Silver Knights and their fans could be wild about Harry this summer.

As in shortstop Harry Roberson.

"I saw him play in the NESCAC tournament (at Holman Stadium) as a freshman," Silver Knights manager and player personnel VP B.J. Neverett said of the Amherst College standout. "He played in the New York League last summer. But I immediately said, ‘We’ve got to get that kid.’

"I like his athleticism, but I really like his toughness. He’s a tough Irish kid from the city. He’s really smart, good baseball IQ."

Roberson is from Arlington, Mass., and seems to be in the middle of a lot of good things for the Knights the first four games of the season. He’s hitting .294 and has a team-high four RBIs.

Small sample, certainly. But he was that way at Amherst, hitting .358 this past season as a sophomore, with an on-base percentage of .429, and he led the team in runs scored with 45.

"He’s a solid, good hitter. Usually his at-bats are solid at-bats, he grinds it out," Neverett said.

Roberson feels he’s a hard-nosed type player.

"I like to think so," he said. "I like to think I play the game hard and play the game the right way."

Both Roberson’s sisters, Emma and Kelsey, played college basketball at Bentley and Tufts.

"I like to think I get a little bit (of his athletic spunk) from them," Roberson said with a grin. "And my parents, definitely my dad, who instilled in me at a young age to play the game the right way."

Although he played in New York last summer, he’s happy where he is now.

"It’s a great experience," he said. "Growing up around New England, you hear about the Futures League. I’m real excited for this summer. I’ve got buddies growing up who have played in this league, and being a D-III guy playing against Division I competition, it’s a great opportunity."

He knows he comes from a great program at Amherst that prepares players well. Growing up he played all over the infield, but Roberson has gotten comfortable playing shortstop at Amherst. And, with Manny Cruz likely not playing for Nashua this year (unless he doesn’t get drafted), Roberson may be the main guy.

"Anywhere to get in the lineup is fine with me," he said. "Definitely the mental side of hitting, being able to show up every day, whether you’re 0 for 4 or 4 for 4, just being the same guy, same approach, being consistent, that’s the biggest part."

Neverett had an advantage in seeing Roberson, as the New England Small College Athletic Conference (NESCAC) tournament has been at Holman the last couple of years. Thus Roberson is no stranger to Holman.

"It’s a tremendous facility," he said. "I wish the results were a little different, but it’s obviously a first-rate ballpark. There aren’t a lot like it."

Roberson’s Amherst teams made it to the NESCAC finals but lost his freshman year. Then in last month’s tourney they went two-and-out, losing to Tufts and Trinity.

But he expects to have a lot of wins with the Silver Knights. On Opening Night fans got to know who the shortstop was.

"He made a great (leaping) play on a line drive, it was a phenominal play to see from field level," Neverett said.

And it wasn’t just the luck of the Irish.

Rain, rain go away

The Silver Knights were rained out on Sunday for their scheduled game at Holman against the Bristol (Conn.) Blues. With downpours forecasted for the evening (the game was slated to start at 5 p.m.), the club didn’t want to have the Blues make a long bus trip for nothing.

The game will be made up as part of a doubleheader on Friday, Aug. 5, during the Knights’ final homestand, which is Bristol’s only other scheduled regular season visit.

Nashua, which lost a tough 9-8 road decision at the hands of the Pittsfield Suns on Saturday night, has Monday off but will be back at it at 11 a.m. Tuesday against Wachusett for the annual Education Day game at Holman.