BROCKTON, Mass. – If you did not already know, there is a unique extra innings rule here in the Futures Collegiate Baseball League. If both teams are still tied after the 10th inning, the teams will compete in a home run derby to determine the winner of the game. The first round is three minutes and you are given two 30-second timeouts. If the teams are still tied after the first round, they go to a second round of two minutes, and if they are tied after that, there is a third and final one-minute round. Each team chooses a hitter already in their line up to participate in each of the rounds.
The Nashua Silver Knights and Brockton Rox did not need those final two rounds as the Silver Knights won the home run derby after the first round Monday night at Campanelli Stadium in Brockton. Nashua was represented in the derby by University of Rhode Island’s Billy Butler while the Rox chose Joe Sullivan to start the first round, but called a timeout after a handful of homer-less swings and substituted Sullivan with Georgetown’s Andrew Marra. Billy Butler hit six home runs in the round, giving him the victory over Andrew Marra and his three home runs.
This exciting nail biter of a game started off as a pitchers duel as both teams went scoreless through the first three innings. Nashua got the scoring started in the fourth inning scoring a run off of an error by the centerfielder after a Jared Dupere double and another run from a Ben Irvine RBI single.
The Rox would answer right back with two runs of their own in the fifth inning. Joe Sullivan had a solo home run and Nick Shumski scored later in the inning as a result of a wild pitch. The score now tied at 2.
Both teams would score one in the sixth as Nashua’s Mike La Rocca hit a solo home run and Brockton’s Andrew Marra scored on a pass ball after hitting a triple to right field. The score still even after six.
Nashua pulled ahead by one in the next inning scoring three runs compared to Brockton’s two. Kyle Sandstrom of the Silver Knights had an RBI single and would eventually cross the plate after Benjamin Cowles was hit by a pitch with the bases loaded. They would go on to score one more run in that inning from a wild pitch. Brockton’s two runs in the inning came from an RBI groundout from Cam Thompson and an RBI single from Gabe Giosso. The score now 6-5 in favor of Nashua after seven innings of play.
The Brockton Rox got a clutch run in the bottom of the eighth inning from a Joe Sullivan RBI double to tie the score at 6. No team would score again in regulation and we went on to extra innings.
Both pitchers stepped up in the 10th inning to keep the score tied at 6 and bring the game to a home run derby. The decision to start off the derby with Billy Butler served well for the Nashua Silver Knights as his six first-round homers gave the Silver Knights the victory.
There are three Futures League games scheduled for Tuesday, June 18th. The Bristol Blues will travel to Worcester to take on the Bravehearts at 6:30 PM. The North Shore Navigators will host the Pittsfield Suns in a battle of first place and second place at 7 PM. The final game on Tuesday will be another matchup between the Brockton Rox and the Nashua Silver Knights in Nashua at 7:05 PM.