Big Third Inning Sends Nashua Home with Win

Worcester, MA – The Silver Knights struck for four runs in the top of the third inning, highlighted by a three-run home run from Billy Butler, and that is all the scoring Nashua would need in a 5-2 win over the Bravehearts Friday night.

All the damage in the third inning came with two outs. Noah Lucier singled and Kyle Sandstrom walked ahead of Phoenix Hernandez, who ripped a run-scoring single. Butler followed with the three-run shot to left field. That made the score 5-0 as Hernandez put the Silver Knights on the board earlier in the game with an RBI-double.

Bravehearts’ starter Eric Chavarria had allowed just four earned runs over his last 18.2 innings pitched entering the ballgame. The righty was pulled after the third inning, finishing with a final line of five runs on five hits. Chavarria did strike out four batters.

A combination of five Worcester relievers held Nashua (26-27) scoreless over the final six frames. Joe Nemchek, Brendan Case, Bryce Hellegth, Jakob Barker, and Angelo Baez allowed just one hit and struck out ten.

Noah Collins was great on the mound for Nashua, firing seven innings of two-run ball (one earned). He walked one and struck out three. Joseph Quintal picked up the save for Nashua.

The only Braveheart runs came on a PJ Barry ground ball into double play in the third and a Ben McNeill sacrifice fly RBI in the seventh. Worcester (28-25) recorded only five hits as a team.

The standings look to be a photo finish as the regular season comes to a close on Friday with multiple teams still in the running for a bye into the semifinal series. At 30-23, Bristol and North Shore are tied for first place. Brockton is a half game back with Worcester in fourth place and two games back of first.

Worcester still has three games remaining, including a doubleheader against last place Westfield Saturday.

First pitch of Game One against the Starfires is at 4:30 from Hanover Insurance Park at Fitton Field. Game Two will follow shortly thereafter. The Bravehearts conclude the regular season on the road at Brockton on Sunday.