|Pittsfield Suns Ousted from FCBL Playoffs|
|By Stephen Dravis, iBerkshires.com Sports|
10:50PM / Tuesday, August 08, 2017
PITTSFIELD, Mass. -- The Nashua Silver Knights Tuesday rallied for three runs in the top of the seventh to end the Pittsfield Suns’ season with a 5-2 decision in the Futures Collegiate Baseball League playoffs.
Tom Blandini broke a 2-2 tie with a solo home run off the right field fair pole, and Cam Cook and Anthony Meduri each doubled in a run to help Nashua score three off Pittsfield reliever Austin Wendt and advance out of the play-in game and into the best-of-three league semi-finals.
Pittsfield (26-28) fell behind, 2-0, after the third inning thanks to a pair of unearned runs allowed by starter Austin Pope.
But the Suns tied it in the bottom of the fifth when catcher Kyle Beaulieu led off with a single to left field, and Conor Moriarty followed with a two-run homer down the line in left.
That chased Nashua starter Anthony Lupi, and the first of four Nashua relievers promptly walked Kevin Donati and Andre Marrero, who stole second and third. But Collin Duffley righted the ship and struck out three in a row to strand both runners in scoring position.
The Suns left 10 runners on base in the loss.
Perhaps the most frustrating sequence for Pittsfield’s offense came in the fourth, when Jacob Westerman hit a one-out double to right. Zach Smith and Scott Holzwasser followed with drives to straightaway center that each had a chance to bring in the run, but Nashua’s Luke Tyree made two highlight reel plays: a leaping catch at the wall on Smith and a diving snag on a line drive by Holzwasser to end the inning.
Pittsfield also kept itself in the game with some strong defense, despite the three errors that helped produce Nashua’s first two runs.
The Suns turned inning-ending double plays in the first, third and fifth, and in the ninth, shortstop Moriarty made a gutsy play on a ground ball with nobody out and a man on second. Moriarty fired to third baseman Holzwasser, who got the tag down to get the out.
Pittsfield High and University at Albany rising junior Kevin Donati finished with a .344 batting average in 39 games for the Suns this summer. He led the team in batting, runs scored (38) and stolen bases (19).
Taconic graduate Alex Carusotto, a rising senior at UMass-Boston, appeared in 13 games this summer for the Suns, compiling an ERA of 5.31 in 22 innings of relief work, and 2017 Taconic grad Izaiya Mestre, who joined the team at the end of the American Legion season, appeared in three games, striking out seven in 7-⅔ innings of work. Mestre is headed to the University of New Haven.