07/08/2018 8:04 PM
By Joshua Kummins
LYNN, Mass. -- The North Shore Navigators saw their four-game winning streak come to an end Sunday night as the first-place Martha’s Vineyard Sharks scored six runs over the first three innings and never looked back en route to a 12-4 win in Futures Collegiate Baseball League action at Fraser Field.
The Navs fell to 12-19 on the summer, though they maintain a half-game lead on Nashua for the final playoff spot in the FCBL after the Silver Knights lost to Bristol for the second consecutive day. Martha’s Vineyard improved to 21-8 with its third straight win.
Third baseman Elias Varinos (Tufts) led the North Shore offense, going 3-for-4 with an RBI double in the second inning and a run scored of his own. Center fielder Sal Frelick (Boston College) went 2-for-5 and scored twice. In addition, the Navs set a single-season record with 93 stolen bases as right fielder JP Knight (Tufts) recorded his team-leading 16th.
Both offenses clicked early as the score was tied at 3-3 after just one inning. First, the Sharks sent eight men to the plate and logged four hits against debut Navs starter Tucker Hetherman (SNHU) in their first at-bats. Designated hitter Eric Foggo (Stetson), second baseman Tate Kolwyck (Vanderbilt), and right fielder Tate Hagan (Dayton) all recorded run-scoring hits.
North Shore quickly responded with three runs of its own in the first. Sharks starter Bob Hamel (Western New England) allowed singles to the first three members of the Navs lineup before Knight was hit by a pitch with the bases loaded and catcher Harrison Engstrom’s (Cochise) fielder’s choice and throwing error scored two more runs to tie the game.
The Navs took their only lead of the game with a single run one inning later. After Frelick legged out his second infield single in as many innings and took bases on back-to-back wild pitches, the recent Lexington High grad scored on the Varinos double that dropped over the head of the Sharks’ Collin Shapiro (UMass) in left field.
Martha’s Vineyard tagged Hetherman for another three-run inning in the third. First baseman Tyler Wincig (Bucknell) punctuated the frame with a two-out, two-run triple into the right-center field gap for his first of two hits in the game.
Six of the nine Vineyard starters recorded multiple hits in the game. Wincig went 2-for-3 with a run scored and three RBI, while third baseman Jackson Raper (Catawba) went 4-for-5 with two runs scored and one RBI, and catcher Matt Oldham (Elon) scored three runs.
After back-to-back scoreless innings, the Sharks scored single runs in the sixth and seventh innings as Raper lifted a sacrifice fly to left field before Wincig brought Oldham home with his second run-scoring hit of the game.
The Sharks completed one turn through the lineup and scored four runs on four hits against Navs reliever Justin Foley (Bates) in the ninth. Shortstop Kellen Hatheway (Williams) recorded a two-out, two-run single to round out the frame.
Hetherman was tagged with the loss in his North Shore debut as he allowed six runs on eight hits while striking out four over four innings. Yamil Delgado (Fisher) and Jeam Castillo (New England College) each allowed a run over three combined innings of work before Matt O’Connor (UMass Lowell) pitched a scoreless eighth that included the Navs’ league-leading 35th double play turned this season.
Devon DiMascio (New Haven) earned his second win of the season for Martha’s Vineyard as he struck out three over three innings of scoreless, one-hit ball in relief of Hamel.
The Navs have Monday off and return to action for a crucial doubleheader against the Nashua Silver Knights at Historic Holman Stadium. First pitch is set for 4:05 p.m.