There’s a new name on the Futures Collegiate Baseball League championship trophy.
With a 6-3 defeat of the Nashua Silver Knights before a cheering home crowd on Thursday evening, the Martha’s Vineyard Sharks earned their first league title. They swept their way through the FCBL playoffs, which began last week, building on a strong 35-18 regular season to bring home the title.
“I had no doubt,” general manager Jerry Murphy said after the game. “These guys are unbelievable.”
The Sharks never trailed in Thursday’s game, the second in a three-game championship series. Starting pitcher Matt Timoney of Harvard College held the Silver Knights to two runs through four innings, while the Sharks had four runs. In the seventh inning, Nashua pulled within one run, but the Sharks answered the call, loading the bases in the bottom of the inning and paving the way for Nik Campero to send Vineyarder Tad Gold, of Endicott College, home to make the score 5-3.
The Sharks added the final run in the eighth when catcher Chris Miller took advantage of a Silver Knights error to sprint from first base all the way home on a Brett Holmgren double.
Relief pitchers Jon Dunn and Kyle Brenner continued to shut down the Silver Knights; closer Matt Calamoneri of the University of Scranton entered in the ninth and promptly struck out two. He was swarmed on the mound by his teammates after shortstop Dylan Tice made the final putout and the crowd exulted. Tice was named the postseason most valuable player, adding to his hardware from the regular season, where he was also MVP.
“This is just a really great team,” Gold said after the game. “It really wouldn’t have been right if it had ended any other way.