NASHUA, NH – Nashua pounced on Worcester starting pitcher Angelo Baez for five runs in the first inning, and that proved to be plenty of offense as the Silver Knights beat the Bravehearts 5-1 in Game Two of the FCBL Championship series.
The series, now tied 1-1 after Worcester’s 3-2 win yesterday, needs a Game Three tomorrow to determine a champion as each side looks for a league-leading five FCBL titles.
Nashua started with two straight singles to open the bottom of the first inning against Baez, who came into the outing with a 3-1 record and a 1.28 ERA from the regular season. With Troy Schreffler, Jr. and Nick Shumski aboard, Kyle Bouchard drove both runners in with a two-run single. A Dylan Jones single and a fielder’s choice groundout left two runners on base for Lucas Stalman, who sent a shot over the fence in left-center field for a three-run homerun to put an exclamation point on the first inning scoring.
Baez (Saint Thomas Aquinas) had pitched twice against Nashua during the regular season and struck out 19 batters and allowed just 10 hits and three earned runs across 12 innings. The righty shut the Silver Knights down the rest of the way with just one hit allowed after the first inning, and he departed after six full innings.
Baez gave the Worcester bats a chance to turn the game around, but left-handed starter Nick Guarino did not allow that to happen. His lone blemish came in the third inning when Nick Martin hit a solo homerun, but that is all the offense Worcester would muster all night long. Guarino struck out four and allowed just five hits in six innings of work.
Jack Dicenso and Chris Chaney combined to pitch a scoreless three innings out of the Nashua bullpen. Brad Marchetti (Tufts) struck out the Silver Knights in order in the seventh inning and John West (Boston College) struck out two batters in a scoreless eighth inning.
Worcester’s Matt Shaw (Maryland) was the only player for either team to have two or more hits.
The Bravehearts, the top-seed from the regular season, will again be the acting “home team” Saturday night despite all three games of the championship series being played at Holman Stadium. In the ten years of FCBL action, this is only the third time a championship series has gone to three games. The winner of Game One has won every FCBL title.
The win-or-go-home Game Three between Worcester and Nashua is set for six o’clock