Silver Knights bats salvage split with Sharks

Staff photo by TOM KING Martha's Vineyard shortstop Kellen Hathaway gets ready to complete a double play despite the slide of Nashua's Jeff Costello during the Silver Knights' 3-2 loss to the Sharks in Game 1 of a doubleheader on Thursday.

NASHUA – Nashua Silver Knights manager B.J. Neverett could clearly see the difference between his last place team and the first place Martha’s Vineyard Sharks after Game 1 of Thursday’s doubleheader split at Holman Stadium.

“Their record (23-10) is what it is because of what they do,” Neverett said after the Knights dropped a 3-2, eight inning decision in the opener as the crowd of 1,711 was just rolling in. “They scored all three runs when we had two outs and a chance to get out of every inning.

“They string two hits together and win 3-2. We don’t do that. We get guys on base, we had some great opportunities and hit into three double plays.”

The Silver Knights worked to change that in the nightcap, rallying from an early 2-0 deficit to win 7-2 with nine hits. But the chance for a sweep was there for Nashua, now 13-22 and tied with North Shore (7-3 loss to Worcester) for the final FCBL playoff spot.

Luke Dawson (4-0) tossed six innings of four-hit ball to get the win in the second game.

However, the Sharks won the first game in the blink of an eye in the top of the extra frame with back-to-back two-out doubles by Luke Hartman and Tate Kolwyck off reliever Joey Grassett to snap a 2-2 tie.

Nashua led the game 2-0 with the runs in the second inning on the strength of Teddy Beaudet’s first homer of the season just inside the foul pole in left an and an errant throw by starter James Sashin.

But the Vineyard got a walk and then balls hit in the left field corner (by Matt Chamberlain) and right field corner (by Matt Oldham) for the tying runs off Knights starter Mike White in the third.

It stayed that way until the top of the eighth, with the dreaded home run derby looming.

“It’s just like watching the same movie over and over again,” Neverett said after the first game. “We can’t put the three phases of the game together at the same time.

“We played good defense, we pitched well, and we decided not to hit. The same thing happened (Wednesday, a 3-0 loss to Brockton). We just didn’t hit.”

They did in the nightcap, as, after tying the game in the second on Cody Morissette’s RBI infield hit and a wild pitch, the Knights erupted for four in the fifth to lead 6-2. The go-ahead run off Vineyard starter Matt Mikulski came on yet another wild pitch, but Ryan Berardino (RBI single), Beaudet (RBI double) and Tyler Littlefield (RBI groundout) did the job with key at-bats.

Morissette added another RBI hit in the sixth.

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The teams will be announced for Tuesday’s FCBL All-Star Game/80th Birthday Celebration of Holman today at noon on the FCBL’s live stream and presumably on Nashua E-TV (it’s being done in their studios). The teams are “Nashua” and “Dodgers”, home and away of the 1946 Dodgers. With a lack of divisions, FCBL commissioner Chris Hall said the players were divided to keep the teams as evenly matched as possible, but FCBL teammates may go against each other. For example, Knights position players are on one team and pitchers on another.

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The one bright spot from the first game was the return of reliever Cam Cruz, who was rehabbing after ankle surgery. He tossed two scoreless innings, needing just 18 pitches. “It felt good,” Cruz said on returning…

While Cruz is back on the mound, it doesn’t appear as if righty starter Spencer Bergeron will be. Bergeron’s been diagnosed with a shoulder strain, which was impacting his elbow. Is he shut down? “Pretty much,” he said, referring to doctor’s orders. “But we’ll see.”

The team is awaiting word on the status of center fielder Luke Tyree, who had an MRI on his sore knee. The results are due today. “We’ll find out one way or another whether he’ll be back. It would be a tough loss.”

Mason Pelio was originally slated to start Wednesday but was at Boston College orientation the first part of the week. He will make first home start of the season tonight vs. Worcester at 6:45.