Silver Knights get an education in 10-4 loss to Sharks
NASHUA – It’s pretty clear that the first couple of weeks of the Nashua Silver Knights is going to be, well, an education for players, manager and fans alike.
The Knights’ 10-4 loss Tuesday at the hands of the Martha’s Vineyard Sharks before an announced Education Day crowd of 2,135 certainly was proof of that.
But Knights manager B.J. Neverett showed that he wants his 1-4 team to be fast learners as he wasted no time meeting with them on the field after the game.
“I told them we’re a very young team and we’ve got to clean up a lot of stuff,” Neverett said. “You can’t make five errors and beat anybody in this league.”
Neverett admitted afterward that the fact the FCBL season is being played to basically eliminate just one of seven teams from the post season gives him some leeway for more patience.
But he couldn’t have been happy seeing the Sharks, who left the Vineyard at 7 a.m., being the team that looked more wide awake Tuesday as they jumped out to a 3-0 first inning lead and were in control 6-0 after four. Or seeing his starter, Tufts University junior Spencer Langdon (0-1) balk in two runs.
“He balks, he told us he balks, but never gets it called,” Neverett said. “But we told him before the game, they’re going to call it today, and they sure enough did. That’s stuff that’s going to get cleaned up.”
The Sharks had six runs on just two hits, one a first-inning RBI double by Brian Ronai. Two of those came on the balks, RBI groundouts, and errors. With one out in the first Bryce Reagan mistimed his short jump on a liner by Tate Kolwyck for an error and that opened the door for three runs.
“The first inning at home, it’s going to be the starter every day,” Neverett said. “If the starter doesn’t put up a zero, and we make an error. … that stuff has to get cleaned up. I’m less worried about our offense than I am about our pitching and defense.”
But the Knights offense (eight hits) didn’t help out when needed either.
Nick Biddison homered with one out in the sixth off Sharks starter Shawn Babineau (1-0) and Ryan Berardino’s pinch-hit single drove in another. But next inning, with a run in (6-3) and the bases still loaded off the Sharks bullpen with one out, the second reliever of the inning, Tate Hagen, fanned Luke Tyree and got Teddy Beaudet to fly to center to end the threat.
The Sharks then got four in the eighth to break things open, 10-3.
Now Nashua will head down to North Shore for another morning school field trip-type game Wednesday at 10:30.
“They’re very young and I’m seeing stuff I haven’t seen,” Neverett said. “But I’ve got to let them play. … I think I have more patience knowing we can come out of the five-hole and win a championship (as they did last year). I’m not panicking, just spending time figuring it out.”
Ironically, a player the Knights weren’t counting on being on their roster but was their property just in case, Colorado Rockies draft pick Grant Lavigne, will be at Holman Stadium on Wednesday. But he will be in a Bedford High School uniform as the top-seeded Bulldogs take on Concord at 7 p.m. in the Division I semis. Lavigne was chosen 42nd overall, the highest New Hampshire draft pick since Raymond’s Chris Carpenter was tabbed 15th overall by the Blue Jays in 1993. “I’m very happy for him,” Neverett said. “A million dollars happy. It’s awesome for the kid, and great for baseball.” Lavigne’s draft value (in signing bonus) according to MLB.com is $1.7 million.
Neverett will miss the morning game at Lynn because of his teaching job. Pitching coach Kyle Jackson will try to stay unbeaten (4-0 so far) as acting manager…
Knights probables are, for today, Northeastern righty Brandon Dufault, while Pat Mayback gets his second start Thursday at Bristol. He tossed five innings of four-hit shutout ball last week vs. Brockton…
The Knights return home Sunday at 5:05 p.m. vs. North Shore.