NASHUA, NH – Worcester Bravehearts pitching did itself no favors in the second inning by walking four batters and allowing two hits, and the Nashua Silver Knights rode that early lead and momentum to a 12-1 win at Holman Stadium in Nashua on a hot and humid Thursday evening.
The trouble began with a leadoff double for designated hitter John Mead, followed by an Ed Jarvis walk. Worcester starter Sebastian Gruzecki appeared to have a much-needed first out when a high chopper came back to the mound off the bat of Ben Rounds, but Gruszecki overthrew first baseman Paul Coumoulos allowing a run to score. A walk to Max Viera loaded the bases, and Gruszecki then walked Brady Day to force in a run. A strikeout was followed by an RBI-single from Troy Schreffler Jr. to end Gruszecki’s outing.
Alex Amalfi replaced and immediately walked in a run before getting a 4-6-3 double play to end the inning thanks to a highlight reel diving play from second baseman Danny Torres to start the twin killing.
Worcester (2-3) pitching ran into trouble again in the fourth inning. A double, a walk, and a single loaded the bases, but the Bravehearts got a gift on a ball that briefly got away from catcher Ben Rice, and Nick Shumski was thrown out at home trying to score. A second wild pitch just a few offerings later got behind Rice allowing Schreffler Jr. to race home. Amalfi walked Dominic Keegan which ended his outing, giving way to Kevin Hummer. The righty walked his first batter – throwing a wild pitch in the process – allowing another run to score. When the inning finally ended on a deep flyout to left field, it was a 6-0 Nashua lead.
Worcester pitchers combined for seven walks and allowed 16 Nashua hits, four of which went to Jared Dupere. Silver Knights pitchers Geoff Mosseau, Jack Pawloski, Stephen McLendon, Steven Miller, Kyle Skidmore, and Chris Chaney were phenomenal on the mound; Pawloski struck out seven batters. Outside of a two-hit inning in the fifth inning – highlighted by a Nick Martin RBI-double – Worcester was held scoreless. The Bravehearts collectively struck out 12 times. Aidan Wilde, EJ Exposito, Trevor Johnson (two), and Martin recorded the only hits for Worcester.
Nashua (3-3) tacked on two runs in the fifth on a Schreffler Jr. sacrifice fly RBI and a Jared Dupere RBI-single. Dupere drove in another with a double in the seventh, and a wild pitch and a Dominic Keegan RBI-single each plated one more run. Luke Beckstein then doubled home a run in the eighth. The Nashua win, which is the third in a row for the Silver Knights, avenges Nashua’s 6-5 loss to Worcester in their first meeting on Sunday.
Worcester is back in action tomorrow night at New Britain before the home opener at Doyle Field in Leominster, MA Saturday evening.