Knights’ Geannelis schools Dawgs

NASHUA – The Wachusett Dirt Dawgs learned on Education Day at Holman Stadium just how valuable Mike Geannelis is to the Nashua Silver Knights.

Geannelis is one of the mainstays in the team’s starting rotation, but he also likes to hit and play other positions. On Tuesday he started at first base, had a homer and two RBIs, and made up for an earlier gaffe with a great defensive play to give the Silver Knights a 6-3 win, thrilling the area student-laced crowd of 2,239.

"He is a big asset," Silver Knights manager B. J. Neverett said. "He made a great play that was huge. We’ll probably play him at first base only a couple of times a week."

The Dirt Dawgs had rallied from a 3-0 deficit that was created in part due to Geannelis’ solo homer to right in the second. With three runs in in the seventh and the bases still loaded, Geannelis darted to his right on a grounder off the bat of T.J. Ward. Silver Knights reliever Cam LaFleur, who had walked in the tying run, got over to first in time to record the inning’s final out and preserve the tie.

"I just wanted to keep it in the infield," said Geannelis, who earlier in the game didn’t corral an infield pop near the mound. "We compete no matter what the score. It was a tough break, those three runs."

But Nashua, now 4-1 on the young FCBL season, rallied as they have throughout the last week. New arrival Yani Thanapolous slapped an RBI double that snapped the tie off Dawgs’ reliever Brock Riley. A wild pitch and then a Geannelis RBI single made it a 6-3 game and made a winner out of another newcomer, Hartford reliever Seth Pinkerton (1-0). Jake Nelson pitched a scoreless ninth for the save.

Lefty Jeremy Roberts started and was sailing for the most part, until the Dawgs (1-4) rallied in the seventh on RBI hits by former Knight Sean Webster and Ryan Ogren, the latter chasing Roberts. Nashua got its other runs on RBI singles by Ryan Sullivan in the first and Anthony Fava in the fourth.

But once again, a comeback.

"They’ve got a great attitude," Neverett said. "They keep fighting. And we’ve got these new guys coming in, so our lineup is going to be a little deeper."

Of course, it always helps to have a player who can multi-task.

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Nashua hits the road for four games beginning Wednesday at Wachusett (then at Bristol and two at North Shore) before returning for their first Sunday home game of the season.