Silver Knights show their youth in 5-2 loss to Rox

Staff photo by TOM KING Nashua's Dylan Jones slides safely to first as Brockton's Vinnie Pallisco watches a throw go off line during Sunday's FCBL game at Holman Stadium.

NASHUA – Ah, the perils of youth.

Normally a 5-2 loss like the one the Nashua Silver Knights suffered at the hands of the Brockton Rox on Sunday before a chilled Holman Stadium announced crowd of 1,009 would annoy the heck out of Nashua manager B.J. Neverett.

But, as his team has started out 1-3, he’s preaching patience.

“We have a young, inexperienced group at this level,” Neverett said. “I have no problem with a lot of that game. There were some really good things. We played well defensively.

“They’re all going to get better. But that Brockton team, those are all juniors. They’re all old and experienced, and they’re good hitters. Every time we needed a ground ball, they hit one, but it was where we couldn’t get it. Give them credit.”

Two of the Knights’ losses are to the Rox. Nashua wasted a pretty good five innings from righty Casey Candiotti, son of former Major League knuckleballer Tom Candiotti, who allowed two runs on six hits while striking out four and issuing only one walk.

But he gave up a game-tying RBI single to Brockton’s Kalen Puckett in the third and go-ahead sac fly to Hunter Tralli in the fifth.

But things unraveled for the Knights in the sixth, after Candiotti was done. That’s because Mike White came on and walked all three batters he faced. Nashua native Spencer Bergeron was next, but after getting a big strikeout he gave up RBI hits to Puckett and Rox Joe Lomuscio and it was a 5-1 game.

“Take away that inning, we might still be out there,” Neverett said.

Nashua’s two runs came in the first (Ryan Berardino RBI single) and eighth (two walks and an error). The Knights left 11 men on.

“Today we were just not very aggressive at the plate and it caused us to fall behind a lot,” Neverett said. “We couldn’t get a two-out hit. All the things that lead you to not score.”

And not win. But that’s what young teams – Nashua on Sunday started two high school grads, two redshirt freshmen and three sophomores – do.

“That’s the lineup,” Neverett said. “It takes time. They’re all going to start playing better. It’ll be a process here in June to get them rolling.”