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  • Staff file photo
    Fans packed the stands at Holman Stadium for Game 1 of the Nashua Silver Knights’ final series against Torrington on Aug. 4, 2011.
  • Staff Photo by GRANT MORRIS


    Facebook - Grant Morris of the Nashua Telegraph


    Nashua Silver Knights Logan Gillis fields a line drive to second during Thursday evening's final at Holman Stadium.
  • Staff Photo by GRANT MORRIS


    Facebook - Grant Morris of the Nashua Telegraph


    Nashua Silver Knights Mark Sanborn slides into third base as Torrington's third baseman, Kyle Murphy's feet leave the ground during game one of the finals Thursday evening at Holman Stadium.
  • Staff Photo by GRANT MORRIS


    Facebook - Grant Morris of the Nashua Telegraph


    Nashua Silver Knights Rob Benedict throws the ball to first base during a routine ground ball, Thursday evening at Holman Stadium in Nashua.
Friday, August 5, 2011

Knights slay Titans in Game 1 at packed Holman

SILVER KNIGHTS 12 TITANS 0

NASHUA – The reason the Nashua Silver Knights finished as the top seed in the Futures Collegiate Baseball League was they were the perfect blend of pitching, offense and defense.

And that’s why, after a resounding 12-0 Game 1 win on Thursday night over the Torrington Titans before a lively Holman Stadium crowd of 1,331, they are on the verge of taking the first ever FCBL title.

They’ll try to clinch the best-of-three series tonight at 6:35 in Torrington, Conn., with righty Lamarre Rey (2-0, 1.98) taking the hill against possibly Torrington’s Kevin Bartlett (3-4, 5.01).

The Silver Knights got superb pitching from Eric Perrault, who showed why he was deserving of his pre-game awards for league Pitcher of the Year and Top Pro Prospect as he took a no-hitter into the sixth and ended up pitching 71⁄3 frames of scoreless ball.

They got 10 hits, paced by RBI triples by Kyle Neverman and Jon Puttress, and a three-run Mark Sanborn homer, and took advantage of three Titans errors. Conversely, they got that superb defense with two incredible 8-4-3 double plays with Matt Jacobs running down deep flies to center.

“This was a culmination of what we’ve been doing all season long,” Silver Knights manager Mike Chambers said. “We get some good at-bats, some timely hitting, all of a sudden it’s 5-0 and guys could relax.”

Torrington starter Gavin McCullough, who came in with the league best 1.24 earned run average, gave up seven runs, only three earned, over five innings.

“Not our night,” Torrington manager Gregg Hunt said. “They hit well, there were those great catches by Jacobs. That’s what good ball clubs do, but at this time of year, the score doesn’t matter, it’s who wins games. The math is easy.”

It was easy for Perrault, who struck out 10, walked three, and hit two batters but gave up just one of the two hits Torrington managed all night.

“It helped I could establish my fastball early in the game,” Perrault said. “Hopefully we can clinch it (tonight). This is what we’ve been working for.”

It just seemed like destiny for the Silver Knights to win in front of the huge crowd. Chambers said earlier in the week he wanted good at-bats against McCullough, and he got them. In the second, Logan Gillis and James Katsiroubas worked walks to set up a two-run triple for Kyle Neverman.

Up 2-0, Nashua added to its lead with three runs in the fourth thanks to two Torrington misuces.

John Puttress reached on a throwing error, Neverman walked, and McCullough’s errant throw to first plated Puttress. Rob Benedict and Matt Jacobs singled in runs to make it a 5-0 lead.

Nashua made it 7-0 in the fifth on another Titans throwing error and Sean Lyons’ RBI infield hit. Puttress tripled in a run in the sixth and Sanborn hit a bomb off knuckleballer Jordan Scheiner in the seventh.

But Jacobs catches left a mark, too, especially the first. It might have been a somewhat different game had he not ran down Ryan Sonberg’s deep fly with a man on and nobody out in a scoreless second.

“Those were big league catches,” Chambers said. “If those drop in, the whole dynamic changes.”

Notes

 • The only negative for the Silver Knights Thursday was word that righthander Geoff Fisher, who was originally penciled in to start tonight’s Game 2, has been hobbled by an inflamed back that could keep him out for the series. Chambers said it’s possible Fisher could lobby for a deciding Game 3 start but right now that belongs to former Nashua High School North standout Alek Morency.

“It’d be exciting,” Morency said of the chance, “but I hope we can wrap it up in two.”

But, added Chambers, he’d rather use Morency out of the bullpen.

“If we’re up three runs with three innings to go, I wouldn’t hesitate,” he said. “And then I’ll have to figure it out (who to use Saturday).”

 • Also on the injury front, Nashua lost outfielder Jon Minucci last weekend to a broken finger, which is why Kyle Adie has been the right fielder of late.

 • Prior to the game, the Silver Knights garnered five regular season awards presented on the field by FCBL Commissioner Chris Hall: Logan Gillis with the Silver Slugger award for top average (.376); Dylan Maki for Reliever of the Year; Rob Benedict as the Defensive Player of the Year, and then Perrault’s double awards.