PITTSFIELD -- The Suns started fast, but an eight-run third inning all but decided the game, as Nashua beat Pittsfield 11-1. The loss drops the Suns to 5-5 on the season.
Right fielder Mike Valentin Jr. generated the only Suns’ run of the game. After reaching on a first-inning walk, Valentin stole second and third. He scored from third when the throw by Silver Knights’ catcher Brandon Walsh sailed into left field on his attempt to get Valentin at third.
The Suns scored without getting a hit, but the team’s inability to get a hit came back to bite it. Brenden Geary’s double in the fourth inning was the team’s last hit of the game.
"You never think you’re going to lose 11-1," Suns manager Tom Conley said, when asked if he would’ve guessed the score would be so lopsided after scoring in the first. "I didn’t see [the game] going that way. I felt pretty good about Mike [Marshall] today, it just didn’t work out."
Righty Marshall took the loss after surrendering eight runs in the third. The Silver Knights strung together six-straight hits to start the inning. Jimmy Ricoy, who played for the Suns two seasons ago, started the scoring with a two-run double down the third-base line. Matt Sanchez’s second hit of the inning, a two-run double capped the rally.
"I felt good, I just didn’t do my job. They hit well," Marshall said. "I was hitting my spots, but I wasn’t down in the zone enough and they took advantage of that."
Marshall said that his inability to control his slider allowed the Silver Knights’ batters to lock in on his changeup and fastball.
Nashua’s Tim Viehoff earned the win, pitching five innings, allowing three hits and striking out five. Silver Knights pitchers Lucas Olen and Trevor Holmes combined for four innings of no-hit ball.
Nashua put together a strong performance, but the team had a scare in the second inning. Walsh crashed into the backstop trying to catch a foul ball. He stayed down for about 15 minutes before being carried off the field on a stretcher. He was alert while being carried off and gave a thumbs up to the crowd as he headed toward the ambulance.
Nashua stranded two runners on base in its half of the inning, but the team opened up the game in the third. Valentin said the second-inning delay took some gas out of the team.
"We had a delay and it kind of took away the momentum we created and gave them time to recuperate and get back in to the game," he said. "We just didn’t make the adjustment. We lost fight and we should never lose fight."
Ten games into the season, the Suns head into their off day today on a two-game losing streak. Conley said he looks at the season in weekly chunks and with a 5-5 record, he said the goal is to be over .500 by this time next week.
"Overall I feel good. I think we have a lot of talent," he said. "We still have 46 games left, so it’s a long way to go. I know from coaching in this league last year, you can get some streaks good and some streaks bad. Hopefully we have more good than bad."
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