Knights can't cash in during 12-4 loss
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By TOM KING
NASHUA - Cash came flying out of a helicopter onto the Holman Stadium turf on Saturday night, the Nashua Silver Knights holding a $1,000 "Money Drop" for some of the crowd of 1,680 to scramble for.
Too bad the Silver Knights couldn't cash in on their opportunities before the chopper arrived. Eleven of the 13 runners they left on base were in scoring position, paving the way for a 12-4 loss at the hands of the North Shore Navigators in 11 innings.
"We had two big opportunities tonight in the ninth and 10th to get a game winning hit," Silver Knights manager Ted Currle said, his team dropping to 10-10. "We didn't make it happen. Hey, we had our chances."
North Shore raised its record to 8-15 with an eight-run 11th, sending 14 to the plate making the most of six hits, two walks, and two hit batsmen. The Navs outhit Nashua 16-12
"We had three of our top guys in the bullpen unable to pitch due to the pitching rules," Currle said. "But hey, other guys have to step up."
Unfortunately, it didn't happen. With the score tied 4-4, the Navs loaded the bases off reliever Brandon Walsh and things went downhill from there. Walsh (1-1) hit Justin Peluso, walked in a run, and Stanley Susana drove in a run with a base hit to open things up to 7-4. The Navigators went on to plate five more in the frame as the Silver Knights' wheels came totally off.
Trailing 4-3 in the bottom of the ninth, the Silver Knights tied it on Mike Pierson's RBI single. He was one of four Knights to reach base in the inning, but Griffin Garabedian's base running blunder one batter earlier in between second and third helped cost the chance of more than just the tying run crossing the plate. Designated hitter Mike Geannelis grounded out with runners at second and third to end the ninth.
"We had a base running blunder that might have given us another batter," Currle said.
Garabedian later fanned with the potential game-winning run at second in the bottom of the 10th. Navs lefty Cole Chandler picked up the win with 1.1 innings of scoreless relief.
The Navigators took that 4-3 lead with an unearned run without the benefit of a base hit in the top of the ninth off reliever Matt Tulley, whose throwing error and eventual wild pitch plated North Shore's Sheldon Brogden (two RBIs) with the go-ahead run.
The Silver Knights grabbed a 3-2 lead in the sixth with two runs off North Shore reliever Shawn Carlson after two were out. Matt MacDowell's single and a walk to Harry Oringer were followed by a two-run triple to right by Garabedian, for a one-run advantage.
However, the Navigators tied it in the eighth on a solo homer by James Plaisted on a 2-1 offering from reliever Cody Gilchrist.
Nashua grabbed an early 1-0 first inning lead on pitcher-turned DH Mike Geannelis' RBI single, but ended the inning leaving runners on second and third.
Silver Knights starter Sam Nepiarsky gave up a solo blast to Brogden (his second on the year) in the third to tie it and the Navs took a 2-1 lead on Brogden's RBI single to right in the fourth.
The Silver Knights left the bases loaded in the fourth off Navs starter Walker O'Connor and a potential run was negated when Carson Helms took a potential double play throw off the shoulder at second, interference the call.
Nashua is now 0-9 when trailing after five innings. But the killer were the runners left on as the teams combined for seven errors.
"It was tough on both sides of the field," said Knights outfielder Matt Sanchez, who kept his on-base streak alive at 20 games. "Just one of those days. That's baseball."