Silver Knights blank Martha’s Vineyard, 2-0
By TOM KING
NASHUA – Don’t look now, but the Nashua Silver Knights pitching staff is enjoying a reversal of fortune.
Struggling the last couple of weeks, the staff is now enjoying a stretch in which it hasn’t allowed an earned run in its last 24 innings. Not coincidentally, the Knights have won three straight, including Saturday night’s clutch 2-0 win over Martha’s Vineyard before a lively Holman Stadium crowd of 1,350.
"We haven’t hit the last two games and we’ve won them both," Nashua manager B.J. Neverett said, his team now 23-13. "I can’t put my finger on it, but it all begins with our starter. We need that every night."
"That" is the effort by Sean Mooney (2-0), who tossed seven frames of six-hit shutout ball, striking out five, but here’s the key: no walks. Nashua entered the game trailing only Brockton in that dubious base on balls category.
"The good thing he did was get ahead," Neverett said.
But Mooney, for as well as he pitched, wasn’t the only factor. Enter reliever Seth Pinkerton, who saw an error, single and walk load the bases with no one out to start the eighth with Nashua nursing that 2-0 lead.
The streak has to end, right? Not so fast. Or maybe that fast, because Pinkerton blazed his fastball to fan three straight Sharks, the last being an irritated Kevin Jordan, to the roar of the crowd. And to the delight of Pinkerton, who had his own roar after receiving some good advice from pitching coach Kyle Jackson and being hyped by Jordan’s delaying getting into the batter’s box. There was a lot of jawing on the field after the strikeout.
"Don’t poke the bear; get back in the box, showtime," Pinkerton said, adding that Jackson told him to "focus, breathe, and trust my stuff."
Neverett is also trusting Cam Cook at third. Cook made a diving stab to his right off the bat of Jacob Rhinesmith to save two runs in the sixth.
"That looked like a double down the line," Neverett said. "He saved the game for us."
Earlier in the game, Yanni Thanopoulos had a diving catch in left field to prevent a double. As for the offense, Nashua got to Vineyard starter Andrew Misiaszek (2-1) for single runs in the first two innings. They loaded the bases with one out on singles by Harry Roberson, Mickey Gasper and a walk to Ryan Sullivan, with Roberson scoring on a fielder’s choice off the bat of Thanopoulos.
Nashua made it 2-0 in the second when Cook, who doubled, scored on Cam DiSarcina’s RBI single.
Jake Nelson followed Pinkerton’s effort with a scoreless ninth, throwing gas for his seventh save.
"It’s here it is, hit it," Neverett said. "For Seth and the rest of the guys on our team, it’s good to get some confidence, and know they can do it."