06/21/2019 8:30 PM
By Joshua Kummins
LYNN, Mass. -- The North Shore Navigators hosted a Futures Collegiate Baseball League doubleheader for the first time this summer Friday at Fraser Field, breaking their first losing streak before the Worcester Bravehearts bounced back to salvage a split.
North Shore scored a sixth-inning run to take the opener by a 2-1 count before the visiting Bravehearts earned a 6-4 win in the nightcap, scoring all their runs over the fourth through sixth frames. As a result of the split, North Shore moved to 11-7 and dropped a half-game behind Pittsfield for first place in the FCBL standings. Worcester now stands at 7-9.
The Navigators hit the road for back-to-back games this weekend, beginning at 6:35 p.m. Saturday against the Brockton Rox from Campanelli Stadium. Following a Sunday visit to Worcester, the Navs return to Fraser Field and host Brockton for the first time this summer at 7 p.m. Tuesday.
Game 1: North Shore 2, Worcester 1
Each team was limited to just one hit over the first three innings as North Shore starter James Flood (Siena) matched Worcester counterpart Angelo Baez (St. Thomas Aquinas) with each out. Kade Kretzschmar (Dartmouth) was the lone Navs baserunner during that span, thanks to his two-out single to center in the second.
Baez struck out the side twice over the course of his first start, including in the third before the Navs scored first an inning later. After Keagan Calero (UMass Lowell) led off the frame with an infield single, Sean Lawlor (Flagler) traded places with him at first base on a fielder’s choice. Logan Bravo (Harvard) and Tyler MacGregor (Columbia) followed with back-to-back base hits, with the latter knock through the second base hole giving North Shore a 1-0 lead.
Both teams were held off the board in the fifth, but the Bravehearts spoiled Flood’s shutout bid and tied the game in their second-to-last at-bats. Idelson Tavares (Southern New Hampshire) led off with an infield single and advanced across the diamond on a failed pickoff attempt. Mariano Ricciardi (Cypress) drove home the tying run on a sacrifice fly to center.
North Shore quickly responded in the bottom half of the sixth, scoring the only other run it needed to equal the final score. Calero opened the frame with a double inside the right field line, advanced to third on Lawlor’s fly ball to right, and scampered home on a wild pitch.
Marblehead’s Beau Dana (Dickinson) came in from the Navs bullpen for the seventh and final frame, retiring the side to post his league-leading seventh save of the season.
Calero finished 2-for-3 in the opener, marking his second multi-hit effort in four games as a Navigator. MacGregor recorded the lone RBI in support of Flood, who struck out four and allowed one unearned run on two hits and a walk over six innings.
Baez was Worcester’s tough-luck loser as he fanned nine Navigators over five innings of five-hit ball. He allowed Calero to reach base to start the sixth before Jakob Barker (Seminole State) surrendered the winning run.
Game 2: Worcester 6, North Shore 4
North Shore scored right off the bat in the nightcap as Colin Wetterau (St. John’s) beat out a leadoff infield single and crossed the plate on Lawlor’s one-out, two-run home run that exited Fraser just to the left of the batter’s eye in deep center. Lawlor joins Bravo as the second Navigator to hit multiple homers on the summer.
Trystan Sarcone (Dartmouth) cruised through the first three innings of his third appearance and first start with the Navs, working around Jakob Sessa’s two-out single in the first. He struck out a pair of Bravehearts during each of the early innings.
Worcester put up a crooked number against Sarcone in a fourth inning that began with Ben McNeill (NYIT) drawing a leadoff walk and scoring after Mack Cheli (Chapman) skipped a double to the wall in right. Jack Gardner (Cypress) and PJ Barry (St. Leo) drew back-to-back walks against Sarcone before Hunter Wilichoski (Northern Essex CC) was summoned from the bullpen. Aidan Wilde (Stonehill) beat out a 6-4-3 double play ball to tie the game and extend the inning, allowing Gardner to give Worcester its first lead of the day on a wild pitch.
The Navs got a run back in their half of the fourth when Nolan Watson (Dayton) hit a two-out double. However, Joseph Pesce (NYIT) manufactured the visitors’ go-ahead run in the following frame, hitting a leadoff double before scoring on Jake Gigliotti’s (Northeastern) consecutive wild pitches.
Craig Corliss (Siena) extended the Worcester advantage to three runs on a two-run triple to center in the sixth. Bravo drew a leadoff walk in the sixth and came around to score as Watson sent a grounder to second, but reliever Brendan Case (Salem University) struck out two Navs to limit the damage.
North Shore looked to begin a rally in the seventh when Andrew Olszak (Southern Maine) reached on a two-base error to begin the frame. Bryce Hellgeth (Dayton) then quickly struck out Lawlor and induced two grounders to record his second save.
Despite the loss, Lawlor and Watson were responsible for two RBI apiece. Lawlor went 3-for-4 and also scored a run. Blake Bennett (UMass Lowell) was a bright spot out of the bullpen once again, retiring the last three Worcester batters after a leadoff walk.