It was an arms race in Nashua on Thursday at the inaugural Futures Collegiate Baseball League All-Star Game as the pitcher’s showcased their best stuff, with the Original Four acing out the New Five, 3-0, in front of 1,634 spectators at Holman Stadium.
Chris Good (New Mexico) of the host Nashua Silver Knights got things rolling from the hill, striking out two batters in a perfect first inning for the Original Four.
Four pitchers would combine to retire the first ten New Five batters of the evening and ten Original Four hurlers combined for the three-hit shutout, with Nashua’s Alek Morency (Merrimack) picking up the first All-Star win in league history.
The New Five staff surrendered only two hits over the last five innings and ten pitchers struck out nine batters on the night. North Shore’s Joe Gruntkosky (St. Joseph’s-Maine) was saddled with the loss after allowing the first run of the game in the third inning.
Nashua right fielder Jon Minucci (Southern N.H.) took home MVP honors in front of his home crowd after a 2-for-4 effort at the plate with an RBI, stolen base and two runs scored.
When Nashua’s Logan Gillis (Bentley) grounded into a third inning double play, Minucci, who singled earlier in the frame, was able to score what would turn out to be the game-winning run.
Minucci smacked his second single of the game in the fourth inning, plating Conor Bierfeldt (Western Conn.) and promptly stole second base.
He was moved to third on a Ryan Plourde (Fairfield) single and scored on the game’s final run on a Bryan Langlois (Pepperdine) groundout.
Prior to the game the players showcased their stuff for Major League Baseball scouts in throwing, running and hitting drills. Then Minucci, Gillis and Nashua teammate Chris Shaw (Boston College) captained teams of four in a celebrity hitting competition. Team Gillis would win the event behind the individual efforts of Megan Lyman, the reigning Miss New Hampshire.
SHAW READY TO HIT NEW HEIGHTS
Before the hitting competition I caught up with Nashua slugger Chris Shaw to check in on how his summer has been going. The 18-year-old, who went 1-for-4 at the plate, started at first base for the Original Four and was the youngest player in the game. Shaw is batting .284 in 38 games with the Silver Knights, belting seven home runs and driving in a league-leading 34 runs.
Having just recently graduated from Lexington High School, Shaw got the opportunity to play for the Silver Knights when the FCBL opened its doors to recent high school grads planning to play college ball. A 2012 Boston Globe All-Scholastic and ESPN Boston All-State Starting Nine selection, he was drafted by the New York Mets in the 26th round of this year’s free agent entry draft. Shaw will attend Boston College in the Fall.
On Deck: From graduation, to being drafted, to now getting to play in the first FCBL All-Star Game, talk about how these past few months have been for you.
Chris Shaw: It’s been really exciting. The opportunities I’ve had presented to me so far have been awesome. Not many kids get a chance to do this and I’m very grateful for the opportunity to be here. I’m making the most of it.
OD: Did you ever consider signing with the Mets after being drafted?
CS: I told scouts ahead of time that I was most likely headed to college and they respected that for the most part. They understood. It was very cool, but given the round and the money circumstances, it wasn’t realistic for me to sign.
OD: How has the Futures League helped in your development?
CS: It’s really helped develop me as a player. It’s ten times better pitching than what I had been seeing during high school. Every day you see a kid who can really hit his spots and throws the ball real well, so it’s just night and day. All my summer teams have been wood bat in the past, so that hasn't been an adjustment.
OD: How anxious are you to get things started at Boston College?
CS: I’m extremely excited to get there. I had orientation last week so I kind of got a taste of what it’s like to be a student there. It’s just something I want to start now, but I got to wait. I’m just going to go in and work my way towards trying to get better every day. There’s no promises and no guarantees, so I’ll just go in and try and work hard.
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