Suddenly, Nashua the place for summer baseball success
It’s the first full week of August, and locally, baseball is the sport locally still on a lot of people’s minds.
And that’s a good thing.
This is always a big week for fans of the Nashua Silver Knights. They hope that their playoff season will last longer than last year’s one night in Brockton, Mass. One more post season game at Holman Stadium would be fantastic. The Silver Knights haven’t had a home playoff game since their magical title win at Holman Stadium back in 2017.
To get that, they’ll have to do what they didn’t do a year ago – survive one game on the road, which would put them in a best-of-three FCBL semifinal series with one of them at Holman.
But locally, there’s more baseball to talk about, which hasn’t been the case in a while this time of year.
The Nashua 14U Babe Ruth baseball team is ready to take off for Demopolis , Ala., to compete in that division’s national tournament. Coach Todd Holbrook has had success and feels his team is prepared for a good showing.
Nashua begins pool play on Thursday vs. Southwest at 4:15 p.m., and then doesn’t play again until Friday vs. host Alabama at 6:45 p.m.
If the 14Us are successful, they could be there in the largest city in Alabama’s Marengo County (last population listing was just under 8,000) for awhile as the single elimination portion of the tourney begins on Monday with the top three teams in each of the two pools surviving. The finals in the city that is about 110 miles southwest of Birmingham are Thursday, Aug. 15. Hey, anything’s possible, right?
Before any of that begins, the Nashua Senior Legion Post 124 team begins Northeast Region 1 tournament play on Wednesday at 4:30 against Lawrence, Mass. The locals become the first Nashua Legion team to make the Regionals since 1998.
And the last state champion before that? Who can forget the 1991 Coffey Post squad, which was just a strike or two away from going to the Legion Nationals, but lost two games to fall short in the Regional Finals at Orono, Me. It’s still fresh in the mind of Ryan Anderson, father of one of this year’s best Nashua Legion players, Brett Anderson.
It should be interesting to see what Nashua can do in this tournament. It’s a solid team, with lots of pitching depth. If the Post 124s win on Wednesday, they’ll play again at 4:30 on Thursday. Lose and they play Thursday at 9:30 a.m. Yawn, stretch, coffee.
Besides the champions from New Hampshire, Maine, Massachusetts, Vermont, Rhode Island, and Conneticut, host Worcester as well as the Connecticut runnerup team will compete in the eight team affair.
We’ve got more. The Nashua Post 124 Junior Legion team (basically feeder program for the Seniors) went 16-0 in District A and have already won its first two games in the state tourney in Salem. Those Northeast Regionals are up in Concord this Friday through Sunday.
And lest we forget, the Nashua Chiefs – some may remember when they dominated the Senior Babe Ruth landscape several years ago – captured the NEIBL title.
So you’ve got to wonder, what’s going on? Will the youth level success eventually show up as improved records for Nashua North and South – neither of which made the Division I tournament – and more help for Bishop Guertin, which in some minds underachieved by losing to Bedford in the quarterfinals?
Maybe. We’ll have to wait until next spring and springs thereafter to see if this all translates to that.
Meawhile, in the next week plus, hop in the car (or in the 14U’s case, get on a plane) and follow your team of choice.
Why not? High school football practice doesn’t start until August 16 anyway.
Tom King may be reached at 594-1251, or@Telegraph_TomK, or firstname.lastname@example.org