07/19/2020 5:43 PM
By Joshua Kummins
NASHUA, N.H. -- The bulbs on the Historic Holman Stadium scoreboard were popping all throughout Sunday afternoon’s Futures Collegiate Baseball League game, but the North Shore Navigators came up on the short end of an 18-15 final score against the Nashua Silver Knights.
North Shore slipped to .500 at 7-7 on the season following its second consecutive loss, while Nashua jumps ahead in the league standings with an 8-7 record.
The Navs topped the 20-hit mark for just the second time in franchise history. Their 21 hits stand as the second-most in franchise history, two shy of the record 23 set on June 9, 2012 in Pittsfield. Center fielder Ryan Cervone (Northeastern) went 4-for-6 with a run scored and an RBI to lead the offense as all nine starters recorded at least one hit.
Catcher Ryan Turenne (Maine) doubled twice and tied the team’s individual season high with five RBI, while Lynnfield native second baseman Jonathan Luders (Seton Hall) added three hits, scored two runs and drove in another. Left fielder Cam Climo (UMass Lowell) finished the game with his second home run in as many games in the ninth inning.
Nashua’s offense was even more impressive, recording 23 hits including five home runs off of four of the Navs’ six pitchers. First baseman Dominic Keegan (Vanderbilt), left fielder John Mead (Franklin Pierce) and third baseman Max Viera (Northeastern) all had four hits apiece. Shumski and Keegan also drove in four runs, while center fielder Jared Dupere (Northeastern) homered twice.
The teams combined for 33 runs on 44 hits, with 17 players driving in at least one run.
The Navs scored twice in each of the first two innings against Nashua lefty Hunter Owen (Vanderbilt) to build an early 4-0 lead, but that would be far from the only offense over the course of the three-hour, 31-minute ballgame.
North Shore’s offense went right to work in the first inning as right fielder Ben Malgeri (Northeastern) hit a leadoff single to left and scored on designated hitter Alex Brickman’s (Dayton) double to right. Brickman traded places with Climo after another run-scoring double down the opposite line in the next at-bat.
Both of the Navs’ runs in the second inning came after Luders drew a two-out walk. Malgeri followed with his second hit in as many innings and scored on shortstop Cody Morissette’s (Boston College) two-run line of a double just inside the first base bag.
Nashua responded with a quick crooked number, scoring seven runs as 11 batters came to the plate in the last of the second. After Mead led off with his first of two singles in the inning, second baseman Lucas Stalman (Boston College) hit a two-run home run to left-center as the second of five straight Silver Knights to hit and score to begin the frame against Navs starter Nate Espelin (Dayton). Keegan helped to cap off the inning with a two-out, two-run double.
After a scoreless third inning for both sides, the Navs topped Nashua’s first seven-run frame with an eight runs on eight hits in their half of the fourth. North Shore sent 13 men to the plate and scored its most runs in an inning since putting up 10 to start the first game of a July 3, 2017 doubleheader against the Silver Knights.
Cervone and Luders began the third with back-to-back singles before a double play erased them both, but the Navs started the offense back up and scored all eight runs with two outs on the scoreboard. After Morissette walked, first baseman Logan Bravo (Harvard) hit a two-run double off the base of the brick wall in left to make the score 7-6.
In the new one-run game, Brickman and Climo drew consecutive two-out walks before third baseman Jake McElroy (Holy Cross) guided a game-tying single into right. North Shore then flipped the score as Turenne ripped a bases-clearing double over Dupere’s head in center. Cervone followed with a double into the left-center gap, but Luders was not done in the inning as his second hit dropped into right and increased the lead to five.
Nashua repeated its seven-run output in the fourth, beginning the inning with back-to-back homers off the bats of right fielder Ben Rounds (Harvard) and Dupere. Three of the next four batters reached base and scored around the Navs’ second call to the bullpen, but the bases were cleared when shortstop Nick Shumski (Merrimack) ripped a grand slam into trees beyond left field.
The Silver Knights crossed the plate three more times in a sixth inning that included back-to-back doubles from Keegan and Mead. The former hit knocked in two of the runs.
North Shore responded with two runs in the seventh as Turenne ripped a double to center following Bravo’s leadoff walk and Climo’s one-out single. The teams traded homers to finish the game as Dupere cleared the fence in right in the eighth before Climo worked to the opposite field in the top of the ninth.
Parker Browne (Suffolk) was charged with the loss for North Shore, working before Griffin Green (Virginia Tech) tossed the lone scoreless appearance of the day with an inning of work out of the bullpen. Ricky Alexy (Southern New Hampshire) posted two strikeouts during his frame.
Shaun Cormier (New England College) earned the win for the Silver Knights, and Chris Chaney (Maryland) struck out three over the final 1.1 frames to post his first save.
The Navs return to action on Monday night for a 6 p.m. exhibition game against the Area Code Yankees at Fraser Field. Their next Futures League contest against the Brockton Rox one night later.