Silver Knights, Schooners win summer baseball titles
For one summer baseball league champion, it had been only four years since the players hoisted a trophy. Another team hadn't won a title since 1994.
The Futures League's Nashua Silver Knights and the NECBL's Mystic Schooners reign as their league champions. Both teams won their titles within the last 10 days.
In the Futures League, Nashua won the first two titles, beating Torrington in 2011 and North Shore in 2012. The Silver Knights did lose to Martha's Vineyard in 2013.
The Silver Knights beat two-time defending champion Worcester 2-0 in a best-of-three series.
In the NECBL, Mystic won a title back in 1994 as the Eastern Tides. The Schooners also went 2-0 in their series to win the championship.
THE FUTURES LEAGUE
Nashua was one of four wild-card teams, who needed to win one-game playoffs in order to advance. The Silver Knights beat Torrington 6-2 to reach the league semifinals and play East Division champion Seacoast. The Silver Knights dispatched the Mavericks 12-5 and 10-9 to reach the championship series, where they would face Worcester.
The West Division champions faced North Shore in the semifinals and beat the Navigators 5-1 and 5-4.
The first game of the Futures League finals was held on Aug. 11, and the Silver Knights needed 11 innings to beat Worcester 9-8. Ryan Sullivan, whose two-run home run in the bottom of the ninth tied the game at 8, singled Mickey Gaspar to third in the 11th. Gaspar scored the winning run when Cam Disarcina beat a throw to first on what would have been an inning-ending double play.
The series moved to Worcester for what proved to be the final game. Disarcina hit a two-run double in the first inning, giving Nashua a lead it would not give up. Yanny Thanopoulas made it 4-0 with a two-run double in the second.
Worcester had beaten Martha's Vineyard in 2014 and Bristol last year, and was seeking its third straight title.
The Schooners were in the finals for the second consecutive year, having lost to Vermont 2 games to 1. The Mainers won their first-ever NECBL title back in 2008, beating perennial contender Newport.
Mystic took care of Newport in the semifinals 2 games to none, while Sanford lost the first game to Valley but took the next two games from the Blue Sox. With that, you had a league championship series involving the two division champions.
The Southern Division champs scored a 3-1 win over North champion Sanford. Carson Teel pitched 2 2/3 innings of scoreless relief to get the win. Nick Mascelli's RBI single in the seventh inning plated Brett Bond with the tie-breaking run. Bond hit an RBI double one inning later, accounting for the final score.
In the last game of the NECBL season, the Schooners scored four runs in the seventh inning to break open a close game and they went on to beat Sanford 8-2.
The big hit in the four-run, four-hit seventh was a two-run home run by Chase Lunceford. Kevin Magee got the win.
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