Biddison says farewell to Silver Knights as playoff push continues

Staff photo by TOM KING Nashua Silver Knights' Nick Biddison watches his line drive land for a base hit during Thursday night's game vs. Worcester. Biddison had to cut his season short by a few games, leaving Friday to go home to Virginia.

NASHUA – Nick Biddison’s introduction into the world of collegiate baseball is complete.

Biddison said farewell to his teammates late Thursday night as the Richmond, Va.area native has to return home this weekend to prepare for his freshman year at Virginia Tech.

Biddison was one of the youngest players on the team, just turning 18 last week. But he managed to hold his own for the most part, hitting .246 with a five doubles, a homer and 12 RBIs in 41 games while playing multiple positions – including catcher.

“It was a lot of fun,” he said after Thursday night’s loss to Worcester. “It was definitely a learning experience, different pitching, being in the grind of college baseball, what it’s going to be, playing as many games in a short period of time.”

Biddison’s high school season, even in the warmer Virgina climate, only lasted some 27 games.

Does he feel the Silver Knights have what it takes to make the playoffs and make a run? Nashua was hoping to clinch a spot Friday night at Pittsfield, or at the very least do it today at Holman with the resumption of a suspended game vs. those same Suns at 3:05 p.m. or the 6:05 p.m. regularly scheduled game to follow.

“I think so,” he said. “The pitching is going to be the deciding factor, I think. They can zone in, and hopefully get it done.”

Silver Knights manager B.J. Neverett acknowledged that this is the point in the season when some players simply can’t stay for the playoffs.

“It’s part of the business,” he said. “We’ll miss Nick.”

What’s the biggest thing Biddison learned?

“Probably how to take care of my body,” he said. “How to stretch the body. Usually in high school, you don’t stretch so much. But here, because you’re playing so much, you kind of have to. You’ve got to make sure you take care of your body.”

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As Neverett hinted, Biddison isn’t the only Silver Knight to depart. Catcher Joe Caparis (Pepperdine) had a flight back to California on Friday, and University of Houston redshirt Tyler Littlefield, who mainly played second base, left earlier this past week for his mother’s home in Long Beach, Cal.

“He hadn’t been home all summer,” Neverett said, “and he hadn’t been playing a lot lately.”

Littlefield hit just .213 in 32 games, struggling defensively at shortstop before moving to second.

With Biddison and Caparis gone, and Dylan Jones done for the season, Teddy Beaudet will become the every day catcher.

“That’s OK, he’ll be happy with that,” Neverett said.

But, because of the three departures, the Silver Knights got a special ruling from the FCBL to bypass the roster freeze and bring in a second catcher. Slated to join the team on Friday prior to the scheduled trip to Pittsfield was recent Exeter High School graduate Sean Lavery, who will be an incoming freshman at Southern New Hampshire University. “He’ll basically be an emergency guy in case we run into a problem,” Neverett said. “That’s just the way it is at the end.”

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Nashua’s final regular season home date is today – weather permitting, of course. The team has had just 21 openings for a 56 game, potential 28 home game schedule, but has averaged 1,521 fans. The 21 openings is tied with Bristol for lowest in the league and the seven rainouts/suspended games is the most the franchise has ever had.

Some felt Wednesday’s games with Bristol didn’t need to be postponed, but at 2 p.m. when the decision was announced – and for a couple of hours thereafter – radar was showing Nashua would be doused from around 6:30 through 9 p.m. with heavy rain and storms. With Bristol facing a three hour bus ride, it made sense to not have them travel for nothing.

But the storms diverted north and after two late afternoon downpours, clearing began at around 7 p.m.

“You look like a jerk either way,” Silver Knights pitching coach Kyle Jackson said, noting a team could be traveling for nothing or a game could be prematurely postponed.

“Do you want them taking a three hour bus ride?” Neverett said. “I don’t know. We’ve done that before. We drove to Torrington once, got on the exit and they called and said the game was off and we had to turn around and go home. Seven hours on the bus for nothing.”

Holman is also tricky with downpours. Neverett noted that both dugouts often get flooded because of the drainage setup designed to keep that first row above the dugout from draining instead.

“Plus the pitch of the field brings it in there,” he said. “What can we do if we can’t use the dugouts? I feel bad Drew (owner Weber) loses an opening. It’s hard, and how do you predict when you see all those oranges and reds (on radar)?”

The weather for today’s regular season home finale? Why thunderstorms, of course.

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In today’s 3:05 p.m. affair, Nashua is up in the bottom of the third with a runner on first,trailing 1-0. That game will be played as a regular nine inning game. The 6:05 nightcap, however, will be just seven innings.

Nashua’s pitching plans for both were up in the air, depending on the playoff clinching scenario. Nashua could even finish as high as fifth, a half-game ahead of sixth-place Pittsfield going into Friday night’s scheduled game.