Titans rally past Knights to earn split, 11-7
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By TOM KING
NASHUA - The Nashua Silver Knights were three outs away from grabbing the overall Wild Card lead in the Futures League.
Instead, they may have to travel on Saturday.
After blowing away Torrington 11-5 in the first game of Wednesday's doubleheader at Holman Stadium, Nashua blew a 7-5 lead in the top of the seventh in the nightcap, and fell 11-7 in eight innings.
The doubleheader split, before a crowd of 915, keeps Nashua (27-25) a half game behind both Torrington (27-24) and Brockton (28-25) in the Wild Card standings. The top two Wild Card teams host the play-in games. Nashua and Torrington play again Thursday at Holman at 7:05 p.m.
Worst loss of Nashua's season? Perhaps.
"One of them," Silver Knights manager Ted Currle said. "We've had a couple like this, that we thought were done and they weren't."
Nashua rallied in the nightcap from a 5-2 deficit and appeared to be on its way to a sweep after Michael Pierson had singled in an insurance run in the bottom of the sixth (the game was scheduled for seven innings). Pierson had four RBIs on the night.
The top of the seventh would have seemed like the perfect spot for FCBL saves leader Travis Landry to close things out. Landry, before Wednesday, had given up just one run the entire season, that coming last week and his earned run average was 0.34.
But instead the Knights stayed with setup man Trevor Holmes to start the seventh. An error by first baseman Jimmy Ricoy, a double by Titan Jack St. Clair, and a one-out double by R.J. Going tied the game. Then Currle made the change for Landry.
"We stuck with Holmes," Currle said. "He threw only 14 pitches in the sixth and looked phenomenal. The thinking was we're going to let him close it out and then we'd have Landry and Holmes (for Thursday). Instead it didn't work out that way."
Landry (2-2) kept Torrington off the board the rest of the seventh but a leadoff double by Titan Joe Paparelli in the eighth started a barrage of four runs. James DeNomme and Kyle Decker singled in runs and Going doubled in two more for the 11-7 lead.
Earlier, the Silver Knights rallied from a 5-2 deficit to grab a 6-5 lead in the fourth. Matt Sanchez had the key blow, a game-tying two-out, two-run single off Titans starter Brett Susi. Pierson followed with a go-ahead RBI single.
Early on, Silver Knights starter Lucas Olen spotted the Titans, who outhit Nashua 14-10, a 2-0 lead in the first. Nashua tied it with Carson Helms' ninth homer of the year and Harry Oringer's RBI single in the second. But the Titans touched Olen for a run in the third and two in the fourth, Taylor Olmstead delivering the key blow with an RBI triple.
Currle said Holmes will be available to pitch Thursday, but not Landry. Nashua brought the tying run to the plate in the bottom of the eighth but Jimmy Ricoy popped out with the bases loaded off Titans reliever Justin Robarge (2-0).
"It wasn't like we were looking ahead or anything like that," Currle said. "Trevor Holmes is perfectly capable of closing. ... It was a tough loss. There's a little fire; it should be a good night at the park (on Thursday)."