BURLINGTON, Vt. (August 12, 2022) -- The Nashua Silver Knights reign again!
Designated hitter Kyle Wolff’s (Boston College) two-run home run in the top of the ninth inning lifted third-seeded Nashua to a 6-5 win over the Vermont Lake Monsters in Friday night’s deciding game of the best-of-three Futures League Championship Series at Centennial Field.
With their second consecutive last at-bat win in the series against the top seed and defending champions, Nashua clinched its second championship in three summers and record sixth in the franchise’s 12-year history. The Silver Knights are also the third straight team to win the league title after losing the first game of the final series.
Before Wolff clobbered the go-ahead shot to left-center field, second baseman Jack McDermott (Amherst) went 3-for-4 with a two-run home run in the sixth inning, a double and two RBI. McDermott’s double set the stage for the rising Boston College freshman’s heroics just one at-bat later.
McDermott was named Championship Series MVP, compiling a 5-for-11 line with two doubles, a homer, four RBI and two runs scored across the three-game series. His three homers and nine RBI across the total postseason led the league.
Cole Glassburn (Worcester State) nabbed another victory to run his total to eight across the regular season and playoffs. The righty held Vermont scoreless for 2.1 innings, allowing just two hits and striking out three.
For the second straight game, Will Andrews (Wake Forest) was the Silver Knight tasked with closing things out in a tight situation. Vermont shortstop Cooper Kelly (Kansas) and second baseman Tommy Martin (Yale) ripped one-out singles to put runners on the corners and re-energize a Centennial crowd of 2,937, but two fly balls followed an intentional walk to load the bases as Nashua claimed the crown in the most dramatic fashion.
The visitors scratched across the first run against undefeated Vermont starter Ian Parent (Endicott) in the second inning as first baseman Will MacLean (UMass) hit a leadoff single and scored after a walk and a sacrifice bunt on center fielder Matt D’Amato’s (Salve Regina) fly ball.
After Nashua starter Noah Wachter (Plymouth State) retired seven of the first eight batters he faced, the Lake Monsters flipped the score in the third. First baseman Brian Schaub (Trinity [TX]) brought home all three runs on a deep fly-ball double that was nearly caught after turning D’Amato around on the warning track.
The Knights responded and moved within a run on a one-out single by Desjardins in the fourth. Left fielder Jack Toomey (Holy Cross) beat out an infield hit two batters earlier to start the threat.
Nashua claimed the lead back in a flash in the sixth as third baseman Brady O’Brien (Colby) drew a leadoff walk and McDermott brought him home on a two-run shot to straightaway right. McDermott’s third home run swing of the postseason ended Parent’s day after four-plus innings.
Wachter worked two outs deep into the sixth inning before a pair of runners inherited by Glassburn scored to tie the game again on Vermont catcher Connor Bowman’s (Tufts) single through the shortstop hole. Glassburn stranded two Lake Monsters on base to end the inning and keep the score tied late.
After Silas Reed (Tufts) threw 2.1 scoreless, two-hit innings, the Monsters called upon trusted reliever Wyatt Cameron (New England College) to get out of a two-on jam in the top of the seventh. Cameron set down six straight as he went on to pitch a 1-2-3 eighth before McDermott doubled to right and Wolff cleared the fences with one out in the ninth to bring home the eventual winning run.
Despite playing in just two of the three championship games, Bowman had a team-leading seven RBI while going 4-for-7 for the Lake Monsters.