07/08/2019 8:54 PM
By Joshua Kummins
LYNN, Mass. -- The North Shore Navigators scored in each of their last five at-bats, punctuating a 15-hit offensive performance with six runs in the eighth inning en route to a 15-5 win over the Brockton Rox in Futures Collegiate Baseball League action on Monday at Fraser Field.
The Navs improved to 19-15 on the season with their second straight win and sixth in nine games, while Brockton slipped to 17-15. The two teams entered the night in a virtual tie for second place in the FCBL standings, but the Navs now hold sole possession of that spot with Pittsfield just one game ahead.
Right fielder Kade Kretzschmar (Dartmouth) went 3-for-5 with two runs scored and one RBI to lead the Navs offense. Center fielder Ben Malgeri (Holy Cross), third baseman Logan Bravo (Harvard), and shortstop John Rodriguez (Florida Atlantic) also recorded multiple hits for North Shore. Bravo and first baseman Colin Macko (UNC Asheville) homered during the team’s final two at-bats.
North Shore starter James Flood (Siena) and Brockton counterpart Brad Marchetti (Tufts) matched each other’s zeroes over the first three innings. Left fielder Sean Lawlor (Flagler) tripled to center in the first and Bravo ripped a single up the middle an inning later, but the Navs were unable to do any damage after both two-out hits.
The hosts broke the scoreless drought with one run on two hits in the bottom of the fourth, which began with Malgeri hitting a single deep in the shortstop hole. Malgeri came around to score on Bravo’s sacrifice fly after Kretzschmar beat out his own infield single two batters later.
Brockton broke up Flood’s no-hit bid and tied the game in its next trip to the plate. Right fielder JP Knight (Tufts) and left fielder Cam Thompson (Oklahoma State) opened the inning with back-to-back singles before the former Navigator scored on catcher Marc Goulart’s (St. Mary’s, Calif.) sac fly.
The Navs were quick to respond as eight batters came to the plate in a five-run fifth. Catcher Colin Wetterau (St. John’s) set the offense in motion with a one-out walk and advanced on second baseman Keagan Calero’s (UMass Lowell) sac bunt back to the mound. Lawlor ripped an RBI double before designated hitter Tyler MacGregor (Columbia) posted a two-run triple and Kretzschmar reached first for the second straight frame with a single.
Rodriguez continued his strong Navs debut with one-out triple to left in the sixth. Wetterau’s single up the middle in the next at-bat brought him home with North Shore’s seventh run.
The Rox posted two runs in both the seventh and eighth frames, but North Shore reliever Arlo Marynczak (Siena) averaged a strikeout through his three innings of work to lift his Flood to fourth consecutive win. Knight went 3-for-4 with two runs scored to pace Brockton in his return to Fraser, while Thompson was 2-for-4 and scored once.
Despite the comfortable lead, North Shore’s offense was not done. After Kretzschmar laced a one-out single, Bravo added a two-run homer to left to give the Navs a 9-3 win in the seventh. Ten batters came to the plate in the following frame, producing six runs on just three hits.
Malgeri sparked the offense with a double to right and scored when MacGregor reached on Goulart’s errant throw from behind the plate. Kretzschmar and Bravo then walked to load the bases, and Macko ripped the team’s first grand slam and his own third homer of the year out to right field to close the night’s scoring.
Flood allowed just two hits and one walk while striking out a pair through the first five innings, while Cedric Gillette (Merrimack) closed the game with a scoreless ninth. Despite striking out eight, Marchetti was tagged with the loss as he allowed four earned runs on five hits in 4.1 frames for the Rox.
The Navs will return to Fraser Field for two games later this week, but their next two dates are both away from home. On Tuesday, they will visit Historic Holman Stadium in Nashua, N.H., to take on the Silver Knights at 7:05 p.m.