Starfires Hang On, Defeat Silver Knights

Box Score

WESTFIELD, Massachusetts (June 1, 2024) – Opening weekend is already a winning one for the Westfield Starfires, who downed the Nashua Silver Knights 5-4 in Futures Collegiate Baseball League action on Saturday, June 1 at the Richards Jewelers Diamond at Billy Bullens Field.

The Starfires are now 3-1 on the season.

Westfield scored the game’s first two runs in unorthodox fashion; a wild pitch with Boston College rookie Ben Williams on third allowed him to scamper home on what was also ball four for American International College’s Jackson Haker in the third inning. A frame later, the scenario repeated itself, with Fairfield University’s Matt Lussier scoring on a wild pitch ball four to Boston College and Springfield native Cesar Gonzalez.

The score stood until the eighth when Haker reached on a bad throw from the shortstop. It was a massively consequential error, as he scored on a single by Central Connecticut State University’s Aidan Redahan. Lussier walked, and AIC’s Josh Frometa was hit by a pitch, loading the bases for Van Liott. The College of the Holy Cross rookie worked a 10-pitch walk to force Redahan in, and Gonzalez hit a flyout to center that should have been the third out, but scored Lussier as it was the second out.

Westfield led 5-0 going to the ninth, but Nashua did not roll over. A single, walk, and hit batter loaded the bases, and an RBI groundout made it 5-1. A strikeout followed, but UMass Lowell’s River Hart hammered a 3-2 pitch over the right-field fence to cut the lead to 5-4. A hit batter put the potential go-ahead run at the dish, but Camden Thomas came on to pitch, and the Keene State University product was able to induce a soft grounder to end the game and grab the save.

Nichols College senior Clark Churchill was strong in earning the win, tossing 5.2 innings of scoreless ball and scattering five hits and three walks to go with five strikeouts.

The Starfires face the Futures League Road Warriors for the second time on the weekend on Sunday, June 2 with a 1:00 p.m. start; the free kids clinic originally scheduled for after the game has been postponed due to the Westfield Bombers baseball team’s playoff game against Malden Catholic. Tickets for the game, and all home games, are available at

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