PITTSFIELD — The city celebrated Independence Day by packing every nook and cranny of Wahconah Park with 5,143 fans Monday night. Four hours after the game began, the Suns' rally fizzled like a wet firecracker.
Nashua's Harry Roberson broke a tie with a two-run single in the top of the 13th. The Suns got two runners on in the bottom half, but could not score a run as the Silver Knights escaped with a 7-5 victory.
The game wasn't without a bit of controversy. With the score tied in the 11th, Pittsfield reliever Declan Cronin walked leadoff hitter Luke Glancy. After Anthony Fava sacrificed Glancy to second, Chris Sullivan hit a liner to center. Suns center fielder Al Zachary made a running catch, came up throwing and threw a strike home. Home plate umpire David Simon ruled that Glancy beat catcher Chris Cimmino's tag to score the go-ahead run.
It was a decision that Cimmino did not like, and he voiced his displeasure, as did manager Tom Conley. Bases umpire Graham Soltis got in on the conversation, but the call was not changed.
Pittsfield did tie the score in the home 11th. Cimmino worked a walk and pinch-runner Trent Bryan went to second on Kevin Donati's sacrifice bunt. Brian Moskey launched one to deep center, but it stayed in the park and on the out, Bryan took third. He scored on Thomas Hughes' base hit, and the game was deadlocked at 5-all.
Garrett Hudson, the sixth Pittsfield pitcher, walked two with one out in the 12th, but pitched out of a jam. The Suns got a leadoff single by the Futures League's June player of the month Eric Hamilton, but they came up empty.
Nashua took the lead for good in the 13th. With one out, Anthony Fava singled and Chris Sullivan was hit by a 3-2 pitch from Hudson. Cam DiSarcina moved the runners up with a ground out and Roberson followed with a single just past Hudson. Both runs scored, and while Roberson was caught stealing, the damage was done.
The Suns, if nothing else, have been resilient all season. They had a chance to extend, or win the game in the home 13th.
With one out, Justin Glover singled to right and Donati followed with a single to center. Moskey looked at strike three, while Hughes got under one and flied out to left, ending the game.
It was 3-3 when the Suns took the lead in the home fourth inning. Mickey Gasper's single had scored the tying run for Nashua in the top of the fourth, but Pittsfield parlayed three hits into a run on Donati's RBI single to go up a run.
It was a game of missed opportunities for both teams. The Suns left 12 on base in the game, while the Silver Knights stranded 19.
So while the city of Pittsfield stood en masse to applaud a spectacular fireworks exhibition to end Independence Day, the Suns (12-15) are now 2-6 in their last eight games, and are looking for a spark to get on a winning streak.
Contact Howard Herman at 413-496-6253.