The Martha’s Vineyard Sharks rode the postseason wave on Wednesday night, soundly defeating the Nashua Silver Knights 11-2 in New Hampshire in the first of a three-game series to decide the winner of the Futures Collegiate Baseball League.
If they win tonight at home, the Sharks will be crowned league champions for the first time.
Game time is 7 p.m. at the Vineyard Baseball Park. Pitcher Matt Timoney, who plays for Harvard, is scheduled to start.
If necessary, a third game will be played Friday at home.
This is the first year the Sharks have made the FCBL playoffs, which began Sunday. The team defeated Old Orchard Beach 2-0 in a preliminary three-game series.
“Getting here is just a huge jump, not just for us, but for the Futures League,” general manager Jerry Murphy told the Gazette early this week.
“Every year the quality of the players [in the league] gets better and the league gets better as well.”
Pitcher Trevor Breton of Western New England College continued his dominance on Wednesday night, going six innings and striking out six. Breton allowed one hit in six innings, with four walks and two runs. His current ERA of 1.55 for regular and postseason play is the lowest in the FCBL. Setup man Jon Dunn of Le Moyne pitched two innings of relief, allowing no hits and striking out two, and Kyle Brenner who plays for Brandeis stepped in as closer for the final inning.
Normally a starting pitcher, Brenner kept the door shut tight against the Silver Knights.
The Knights kept the game close through the first four innings, staying within one run of the Sharks, but the Vineyard scored in the sixth and exploded for six runs in the seventh. The insurance run came in the eighth.
Rightfielder Ryan Siegel from Mercyhurst College is the batting champion of the FCBL. He had three RBIS on two hits and scored three of the Sharks’ eleven runs. Centerfielder and native Vineyarder Tad Gold of Endicott College had three hits, two runs and an RBI, and second baseman Nick Sanford of University of Massachusetts at Amherst had three hits and one run.
“We’ve lined ourselves up and put our best pitchers out there,” Mr. Murphy said.