Surging Silver Knights win even when it rains

Staff photo by TOM KING Silver Knights starter Justin Cherry, who threw a gem this past Sunday, will start either Saturday, Sunday, or in the playoffs on Monday depending on whether the team needs to clinch an FCBL playoff spot over the weekend.

NASHUA – The Nashua Silver Knights didn’t play a game on Wednesday thanks to the storms that hit the area.

But they got a win anyway.

As was ruled earlier in the week, if the game that was ultimately suspended Saturday night in the fifth inning with Bristol could not be resumed Wednesday due to weather, Nashua, which was leading 2-1 after five innings, would be awarded the win.

The victory gives Nashua a 20-29 record and as of Wednesday afternoon put them a half-game, plus percentage points, ahead of Pittsfield (18-28) in fifth place, and possibly three games up on North Shore (18-33), which is now in seventh, on the outside looking in on the playoffs. North Shore was scheduled to host Pittsfield at Lynn’s Fraser Field on Wednesday night, so Nashua would ultimately gain ground on someone.

Now the Silver Knights have just two regular season home dates and five games left, three against the Suns. They will host second place Worcester on Thursday at 7:05 p.m., then visit Pittsfield again on Friday night. The Suns then come to Holman on Saturday for two games – the resumption of an earlier suspended game and the regularly scheduled game. The suspended game will be picked up beginning at 3:05 p.m. with Pittsfield up 1-0 after three innings.

According to Nakos, the suspended game will be a nine-inning affair, but the second game Saturday will be reduced to seven innings and start approximately at 6:05 p.m.

Nashua then closes out the regular season at North Shore on Sunday, hoping it is not a do-or-die situation. It’s likely if the Silver Knights can go 2-2 over the next three days it won’t be.

It still had to be a tough decision to wipe out that and the regularly scheduled game with Bristol at Holman Stadium, as there was also a Nashua Police-Fire Department softball game slated for 4:30 as part of the admission. There was also an appearance scheduled of Merrimack’s Tim Schaller, the former Boston Bruin forward who signed as a free agent last month with Vancouver. Schaller unfortuntely will not be able to appear, he said, at either remaining Silver Knight regular season home dates tonight and Saturday. The Police-Fire game will not be made up on those dates, either, Silver Knights team spokesman Pete Nakos said. “Wednesday was the only time we could do it,” he said.

Because of the playoff implications, Futures League Commissioner Chris Hall was in on the decision to wipe out Wednesday’s games before the bad weather even arrived, especially with Bristol having to travel.

“Ultimately it was Rick’s (Nashua general manager Muntean’s) decision,” he said. “It wasn’t an easy decision to make, because he had a lot going on there (at Holman on Wednesday).”

XXXXXXX

Silver Knights pitching coach Kyle Jackson has set the rotation for the next four games:

It will be lefty Justin Snyder (1-0, 2.11) tonight at Holman, then righty Luke Dawson (4-1, 4.10) at Pittsfield on Friday.

Reliever Mike White (0-3. 7.65) will begin the resumption of the suspended game with Pittsfield Saturday with fellow righty Justin Cherry (1-0, 1.28) starting the nightcap. But, Jackson added, if the team has clinched a playoff spot before Game 2 on Saturday, Cherry won’t be used, likely holding him back for a playoff start (Monday?).

“Sunday is tba (to be announced) depending on whether we have to clinch a spot,” Jackson said.

He also agreed with the premise that the team’s pitching of late has been superb.

“The pitching the past week has been incredible,” Jackson said. “Starters have set the tone which (Nashua’s) hitters feed off of, and getting ahead of the hitters has allowed them to go deep into games.”

XXXXXXXX

If you’re looking ahead, the one game playoffs between FCBL seeds Nos. 3 vs. 6, and Nos. 4 vs. 5 are set for Monday. The best-of-three semis will begin on Tuesday, and it will be higher seeds getting home field for Games 1 and 3. The FCBL best-of-three finals will go Friday through Sunday, Hall said.

There’s an interesting situation in Worcester, however. Holy Cross’s Hanover Insurance Park/Fitton Field is the site beginning Wednesday, August 8 of the New England Senior American Legion Regionals.

The Bravehearts wouldn’t be playing there Wednesday, but possibly beyond that beginning next Thursday, August 9.

“Worcester will figure it out,” Hall said. “Worst case, they would have to play their games (after Tuesday) on the road.”