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Tuesday, July 15, 2014

Nashua Silver Knights fall to Worcester Bravehearts

WORCESTER, Mass. – Another opportunity missed.

That seems to be the theme of the Nashua Silver Knights season, and Tuesday was yet another example as they couldn’t hold a 5-2 lead en route to a rain-delayed, 7-5 loss at the hands of the West Division-leading Worcester Bravehearts. ...

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WORCESTER, Mass. – Another opportunity missed.

That seems to be the theme of the Nashua Silver Knights season, and Tuesday was yet another example as they couldn’t hold a 5-2 lead en route to a rain-delayed, 7-5 loss at the hands of the West Division-leading Worcester Bravehearts.

“We had four, four-pitch walks, and every kid we walked today scored,” Nashua manager Ted Currle said. “It’s pretty frustrating.”

The Silver Knights who matched Worcester’s nine hits, dropped to 17-17, 3.5 back of the 20-13 Bravehearts, as starter Shawn Heide and reliever Lucas Olen (1-1) couldn’t hold the lead before an announced Camp Day crowd of 2,770 at Holy Cross’ Fitton Field.

Olen walked in a run and gave up a sacrifice fly for two Braveheart runs in the fifth. He then walked two of the first three he faced in the sixth and paid for it with Tom Paine’s game tying double. Reliever Trevor Holmes then gave up a sacrifice fly to Ian Strom as Nashua’s Jimmy Ricoy chased the ball down in foul ground down the right-field line.

“Just a tough loss right there,” Helms said. “We thought we were coming back and we had it and they kind of just took it from us.”

Nashua grabbed a 1-0 lead on Helms’ RBI triple in the fourth, but Worcester reached Heide for two in the bottom of the frame thanks to a throwing error by newly signed third baseman Ryan Sullivan, and a Tyler McVicar RBI single.

The Silver Knights bounced back with four in the fifth on RBI singles by Griffin Garabedian and Mike Pierson off Worcester reliever Joe Saia.

An errant pickoff throw and wild pitch by Saia plated two more runs. However Braveheart reliever Chris Dious (2-1) shut the door to pick up the win.

After an 80 minute rain delay, Worcester’s Strom drove in his second run with a base hit in the eighth. The game ended when Matt Sanchez, after doubling with two out, was inexplicably caught trying to steal third with the tying run at the plate.

“Just a brain freeze,” Currle said.

And just another moment in frustration.

Switching leagues

How did Sullivan, one of Nashua’s best hitters a year ago before he went to the University of Connecticut, end up returning?

Simple. He was assigned by the Huskies to Laconia of the New England Collegiate Baseball League (NECBL), but was rarely playing. The UConn coaching staff requested he be given his release so he could sign with Nashua.

Sullivan hit .234 with nine RBIs as a freshman at UConn in 26 games. At Laconia, Sullivan was hitting .158 in just 38 at-bats over 16 games.

“I had been watching all of our older guys and he hadn’t been getting many at bats in Laconia,” Nashua VP of Player Personnel B.J. Neverett said. “That’s another case of they (the UConn staff) sent him someplace and it didn’t work out. He could have been here all year.

“We need some help in the lineup, some offense, and he can help us.”

Aside from his errant throw, Sullivan made his impact felt defensively in a good way early with a nice pick at third to stat a 5-4-3 double play in the first inning.

“I check on the guys we lose,” Neverett said. “If they’re not getting a shake where they’re at, I’ll see if I can get them back.”

Upcoming

Silver Knights lefty Tom Hudon (0-4, 5.06) will get the nod in Wednesday’s second half of the 11:05 home-and-home with the Bravehearts. After that it’s former Trinity High School lefty Carmen Giampetruzzi (2-1, 3.75) getting a rare start on Thursday as it’s Manchester Night. Then, ace Sam Nepiarsky (4-0, 2.56) will get the nod on Friday.

Currle said that lefty Tim Viehoff may return to the rotation depending on how his arm (elbow) feels. If the decision is to keep him in the bullpen, then Matt Tulley will take his spot in the rotation as Olen has returned to the pen full-time.