07/12/2020 7:28 PM
By Joshua Kummins
WESTFIELD, Mass. -- The North Shore Navigators slipped in both ends of Sunday’s Futures Collegiate Baseball League doubleheader, dropping 4-3 and 15-5 decisions to the Westfield Starfires to cap off the first full week of the 2020 season at Bullens FIeld.
The Navs will enter Monday’s league-wide off day with a 6-3 record, still holding a half-game lead over Westfield atop the standings. The Starfires have now won three consecutive games and sit at 4-2 after sweeping the twinbill and setting a single-game franchise record for runs scored in the nightcap.
Outfielder Cam Climo (UMass Lowell) hit a game-tying single in the final inning of the opener and finished the day with four RBI to pace the North Shore offense. Shortstop Cody Morissette (Boston College) continued his torrid pace with a hit and an RBI in each game. He now sports a .394 average and leads the FCBL with 15 RBI through the first nine games.
The Navs return to action on Tuesday night as they return to Fraser Field to host the New Britain Bees. First pitch is set for 6 p.m.
Game 1: Westfield 4, North Shore 3
The Starfires scored the all-important first run in the first of the seven-inning games, using a pair of hits to cross the plate in the first inning. After first baseman Reggie Crawford (UConn) drew a one-out walk and left fielder Mark Coley (Rhode Island) singled, designated hitter Drew DeMartino (Hartford) brought the run home with a single to center.
Westfield managed five hits over the final three innings of North Shore starter Nate Espelin’s (Dayton) second appearance in as many weeks, but the left-hander scattered four strikeouts and did not allow any further damage before departing in a 1-0 game.
The Navs were held in check for much of the day against Westfield starter Cregg Scherrer (UAlbany) who allowed just one unearned run on four hits over the first 5.1 innings. The Starfire lefty tossed three 1-2-3 innings, with two of North Shore’s hits coming off the bats of first baseman Logan Bravo (Harvard) and left fielder Sean Lawlor (Maine) in back-to-back at-bats during a second inning in which the bases were left loaded.
Coley extended Westfield’s lead to three in the fifth with a two-run home run over the left-center field fence. After Navs reliever Parker Browne (Suffolk) retired the first batter he faced, Crawford knocked a single and Coley’s second homer of the summer drove him home in the next at-bat.
The Navs marked the scoreboard for the first time in a sixth inning that began with center fielder Sal Frelick (Boston College) beating out an infield single. After right fielder Ben Malgeri (Northeastern) reached on an error, Morissette drove home the run on a grounder to second base.
North Shore was down to its final strike of the final frame before it tied the score on Climo's two-run single to left. Lawlor led off with a walk before third baseman Jake McElroy (Holy Cross) dropped a bloop single into right. After Starfire reliever Patrick Gallagher (UConn) dealt back-to-back strikeouts, Climo’s first hit as a Navigator brought in two runs to knot the score at 4-4.
After LT Pare (Merrimack) came on to retire Malgeri and the side, the Starfires loaded the bases against North Shore and Saugus native reliever Todd Tringale (Northern Essex CC), ultimately walking it off in the bottom of the seventh as catcher Johnny Tuccillo (Stony Brook) dropped the deciding single and his third hit of the contest into shallow center.
Game 2: Westfield 15, North Shore 5
The Starfires posted three different five-run innings on the way to winning the nightcap. Left fielder Braydon Seaburg (Quinnipiac) led the way from the top of Westfield’s order, going 3-for-5 with a run scored and two RBI. Three other players posted multiple hits against seven different North Shore pitchers.
Despite falling to Westfield’s 15-run, 12-hit outburst, the Navs scored just as quickly in the nightcap as the Starfires did in the first game of the day. North Shore collected a pair of hits and drew four more hits in the first inning against Westfield starter Thomas Pinto (Sacred Heart) on the way to taking a 4-0 lead.
Center fielder Ryan Cervone (Northeastern) began the game with a single to right and walked around the bases as Malgeri, Morissette and first baseman Alex Brickman (Dayton) all drew free passes, with the latter forcing home a run. After Bravo struck out, Climo drove a two-run single through the middle to extend the visitors’ lead to 3-0. Two batters later, Swampscott native catcher Dylan January (Franklin Pierce) drew another walk with the bases full in his first appearance of the season.
Westfield one-upped North Shore’s first-inning output in the following frame, putting five runs across on four hits while sending 10 batters to the plate to chase Max Meier (Stanford) from his first start as a Navigator.
In the first run-scoring inning, five straight Starfires reached base with one out including designated hitter Anthony Porrino (Sacred Heart) and center fielder Danny Crossen (Northeastern) who recorded back-to-back RBI hits. After a walk, Seaburg sent a two-run single into left to tie the game. Right fielder Jarod Dalrymple (Bryant) scored the go-ahead run on a passed ball.
North Shore knotted the score at 5-5 in the fourth as Morissette lined a hit off the wall in right to score second baseman Jonathan Luders (Seton Hall) after he was hit by a pitch to begin the frame.
Westfield surged ahead for good with five runs during the following frame, posting three hits including back-to-back doubles by catcher Mike DeMartino (Southern Connecticut State) and Porrino. The Starfires closed their scoring with five runs on five hits in the fifth, marking their second straight inning batting around.
The Navs got just two runners aboard over the final three innings at the plate, but Swampscott native Nick Reiser (Franklin Pierce) pitched a scoreless frame out of the bullpen that was highlighted by Luders making a diving catch on Seaburg’s shot into right field. Peter Sakellaris (Virginia Tech) and Luke Marshall (Franklin Pierce) combined for 1.2 innings of scoreless ball in relief of Meier.
Michael Mathews (Salve Regina) earned the win for Westfield after tossing three innings of one-run ball. Robert Nadel (La Salle) was charged with the loss for North Shore.