Silver Knights can’t make hits count vs. Pittsfield

Staff photo by TOM KING Nashua Silver Knights infielder Cody Morissette easily tags out Pittsfield's Vicente Mendoza trying to steal second on a throw by catcher Nick Biddison during Thursday night's FCBL game at Holman Stadium.

NASHUA – The one that got away.

That’s what the Nashua Silver Knights have to be thinking Thursday night after the Pittsfield Suns rallied for single runs in the seventh and eighth to take a 4-3 victory back with them on the Mass Pike.

One player they have to thank is their left fielder Vicente Mendoza, whose over the shoulder catch by the brick wall in left on a ball hit by Nashua’s Jeff Costello may have possibly saved a game tying home run – or at least an extra base hit.

“I put my foot on the dirt and I felt like the wall was there and I jumped,” Mendoza said. “And it fell into my hand. It would’ve hit the top of the wall.”

It was just one of a few frustrating moments for Nashua (6-12) before a Holman Stadium crowd of 1,321. Later in that inning Suns reliever Jonathan Marchia (1-0) fanned Bryce Reagan swinging on a 3-2 pitch up and away with runners at second and third and two out.

“You get 10 hits, but not at an opportune time,” Silver Knights manager B.J. Neverett said. “The thing that bothered me the most was we had some really bad at-bats, some really bad strikeouts.”

Pittsfield (9-11) scored the game winner in the eighth when, with the infield in, Suns leadoff hitter Chad Shade scored from third standing up, beating a Reagan throw home.

“That kid’s really fast,” Neverett said. “He probably would’ve scored anything right side. He was going on contact. The coach over there (Matt Gedman) does that all the time.”

Nashua grabbed 1-0 lead in the third on a Jake Lebel RBI groundout. After Pittsfield touched up starter Luke Dawson for a pair in the fifth (the big hit Drew DeMartino RBI single), Nashua bounced back in the bottom of the inning with three doubles by Tom Blandini, Cody Morissette and Lebel to grab a 3-2 lead.

However, the Suns loaded the bases after two were out against reliever Joey Grassett (2-1) in the seventh and the tying run came home on a passed ball.

“How many games have we lost on passed balls this year?” Neverett said. “Probably about three that I can think of. One’s too many.”

Costello came up in the ninth with runners on second and third and two out against Suns reliever Mike Nocchi, and a game winning hit would have been poetic justice. But he tapped a 2-0 pitch back to the mound and that was that.

“As I’ve said, the lineup is going to start to be pretty consistent,” Neverett said. “There are going to be guys who had there opportunities. That’s just the way it goes. Spring training’s over.”

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Neverett was beaming after Wednesday’s game. Why? He’s signed former North Shore slugger Alex Brickman, who hit .295 with seven homers and 41 RBIs last season with the Navs. He was released by Orleans in the Cape Cod League and should arrive here Saturday and provide a huge bat, along with Lebel’s, in the lineup.

He wasn’t property of North Shore as they had never re-signed him.

“I checked the transactions and saw he got his release, called his school and got in touch with him,” Neverett said.

With new players coming in, after the game the team deactivated Andrew Gorham – he can stay and work out and remain their property – and outright released temp player J.D. Funk…

Knights owner Drew Weber was in the house. He was honored the other night by his former team, the Lowell Spinners, who renamed a street by LeLacheur Park “Weber Way.”

Tonight Nashua native Spencer Bergeron (1-0, 1.13) takes the mound at North Shore’s Fraser Field.