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Friday, June 20, 2014

Nashua Silver Knights fall to Worcester Bravehearts

By TOM KING

NASHUA – A pitcher’s great performance often doesn’t carry over from one start to the next.

The Nashua Silver Knights found that out Thursday night, and it helped make the difference in a 7-6 loss at the hands of the Worcester Bravehearts. ...

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NASHUA – A pitcher’s great performance often doesn’t carry over from one start to the next.

The Nashua Silver Knights found that out Thursday night, and it helped make the difference in a 7-6 loss at the hands of the Worcester Bravehearts.

The Knights (5-7) dropped their third straight, but trailing 6-1 early didn’t roll over as they rallied to close to within 6-4 and also rallied in the ninth with Matt Sanchez’ two-run homer to at least give what was left of the Holman Stadium announced crowd of 1,021 something to cheer about. Nashua actually out-homered the Bravehearts, 3-2, for what that’s worth.

The loss drops Nashua (5-7) five games behind the FCBL West Division leading Bravehearts (11-3) and once again the Silver Knights were outhit (but only 11-10) and played poorly in the field (three errors).

Starting righty Mike Geannelis, who tossed seven innings of no-hit ball in his previous outing, wasn’t close to that this time as he gave up six runs (five earned) on seven hits over three innings.

“It was definitely a rough outing,” Geannelis said. “My ball was a little bit flat.”

He was touched up for two runs in the first (one unearned) on Nick Nunziato’s RBI single. But the killer was the third, as he gave up four runs on two round-trippers. The first was a solo shot off the left-field scoreboard by Nunziato and then Shane Sandoval smacked a three-run bomb to left field off a 2-1 Geannelis offering.

“I left the ball up, and they took advantage of it,” the Knights righty said. “You learn from these outings.”

In between those two big frames, Nashua’s Jimmy Ricoy hit his first of the homer of the year (solo shot) off Worcester starter Andrew Bergmann. Trailing 6-1, the Knights got back into it on Joe Napolitano’s three run homer off Bergmann in the fifth.

Worcester, though, increased the lead to 7-4 in the ninth on Darrian Ramage’s run-scoring single, aided by Sanchez’s second error of the night on the play. It proved to be crucial.

“It’s really difficult to spot anybody in this league, anyone in baseball a five-run lead,” Knights manager Ted Currle. “We weren’t ready to go, and I blame myself on that.”

“We just have to put it all together,” Ricoy said. “We have glimpses of good, and glimpses of ugly. We’re not going to win with the ugly; we know we can play well.”

Ready for duty

Outfielder Carson Helms (Southern New Hampshire University) was available for the first time in over a week on Thursday night to pinch hit, his injured groin improving.

“It’s definitely been a learning experience,” said Helms, out for almost two weeks. “I think I’ll be in the lineup (on Friday).

“It’s been tough watching. I want to help the team win. I’m doing what I can on the bench.”

Helms said prior to Thursday’s game that he’s running at “about 80 percent.” Speed is one of the virtues of his game, according to Currle.

“He adds power from the right side,” the manager said. “And obviously he can steal a bag anytime he’s on.

And he has a tremendous arm in right field, too – or center. Wherever he’s at. He’s a key ingredient.”

Notes

SILVER LINING: Currle obviously wasn’t happy with much during Wednesday’s 11-1 loss at the hands of Martha’s Vineyard, but was pleased with the relief performances of Jack Mahan (two strikeouts) and Matt Tulley. Tulley allowed a run, but both pitchers attacked the hitters.

“He gave up a run, but he threw the ball better,” Currle said.

STILL CAUTIOUS: Currle said the team is still waiting for catcher Brandon Walsh (eye/orbital bone injury) to get medical clearance before allowing him back on the field.

Infielder/reliever R.J. Warnock (shoulder) was available to pitch, but not hit.

PROBABLES: Nashua native Jake Mellin (0-1, 6.23) gets the start for the Silver Knights on Friday night at Torrington. Righty Sam Nepiarsky (1-0, 3.48) gets the nod Saturday night at Wachusett (Leominster, Mass.) at 7.

When the team returns home for Sunday’s 2:05 p.m. game with North Shore, it’ll be Derry lefty Tim Viehoff (1-0, 3.27) on the mound.