More Late-Inning Magic Fuels Victory over Nashua

The Norwich Sea Unicorns used some more 8th inning magic on Wednesday night to defeat the Nashua Silver Knights 3-1. Norwich has now won back-to-back come from behind ballgames to improve to 19-12.

There was no scoring in the ballgame until the top of the 5th when Nashua struck for the first run of the night. Sea Unicorns starter Timothy Lewis battled through 3.2 innings of scoreless baseball, navigating through danger throughout the night. In the first and 4th, the Silver Knights threatened with a pair of baserunners but failed to score. Lewis departed in the 4th with a pair of outs and 2 on. Ethan Lewis escaped the jam, striking out the first batter he faced to keep the game scoreless. After failing to score on multiple opportunities, Nashua finally cashed in their first run of the game in the 5th. TJ Liponis began the frame cracking a double to center field. A pair of fielder’s choice groundouts propelled Liponis around the basepaths to give the visitors a 1-0 lead. Nashua continued to threaten with a pair of outs, loading the bases thanks to a pair of singles and a walk. The Yale product escaped the jam inducing a fielder’s choice groundout.

Norwich was held scoreless until the home 7th, scattering just 5 hits through 6 innings. Nashua starter Vinny Civitella worked 4 innings of shutout baseball, allowing 5 hits and a pair of walks while striking out 4. Civitella departed in the 5th after allowing a lead off base hit to Bo Yaworski. Nashua elected to bring in reliever Anderson Cuello Bautista who had not allowed an earned run over his first 13.2 innings this summer. The AIC product began his night picking off his inherited base runner and proceeded to retire the next 5 consecutive batters he faced. Norwich finally came to life in the 7th, beginning with a lead off base hit from Nick Tomasetto. Connor Lane followed, drawing his 2nd walk of the night and Nashua elected to make a pitching change after Bautista allowed the first 2 batters to reach. Trey Porter came through for Norwich delivering a pinch-hit RBI single to tie the game. Despite still having traffic on the bases and no outs, the Sea Unicorns failed to do any further damage. Silver Knights reliever Kyan Bagshaw retired the next 3 Sea Unicorns in order, including a pair of strikeouts to end the threat.

The Sea Unicorns took the lead in the 8th inning, striking for a pair of runs. Brennan Hyde began the 8th with his 2nd base hit of the night. Hyde advanced to third following a pair of fielder’s choice groundouts. Nick Tomasetto was the hero for Norwich, delivering a go-ahead RBI single into left field to drive home Hyde. Tomasetto quickly advanced into scoring position after swiping second base and came home to score thanks to a pair of wild pitches to help extend the lead for Norwich. Connor Lane kept the line moving for Norwich, smoking a double to left field. Anthony Tirado continued the inning for Norwich, drawing a walk, which ended the night for Liam O’Hearen who allowed a pair of runs while recording just 2 outs in the 8th.

Gavin Hawkes earned the victory for Norwich, firing 3 innings of shutout baseball. The victory for Hawkes is his league leading 5th of the summer and has now lowered his ERA to 1.90 across 23.2 innings in the Futures League.

Norwich returns to action Friday night for a meeting with the top seeded Westfield Starfires. First pitch is scheduled for 6:30 p.m. EST.