06/07/2019 8:01 PM
By Joshua Kummins
PITTSFIELD, Mass. -- The North Shore Navigators allowed single runs in the seventh and eighth innings and could not recover Friday night at Wahconah Park, dropping a 5-3 decision to the Pittsfield Suns in Futures Collegiate Baseball League action.
North Shore slipped to 5-3 on the season with the loss, while Pittsfield bounced back from Thursday’s 7-4 defeat at Fraser Field and jumped back above .500 at 5-4.
The Navs and Suns were even in the hits column with nine apiece, but North Shore made three errors on the defensive side. Right fielder Sean Lawlor (Flagler) and catcher Colin Wetterau (St. John’s) each went 2-for-4 to pace the offense, with Lawlor driving in one run and Wetterau scoring another.
Pittsfield starter John Clayton (UAlbany) faced just one Navs batter over the minimum and struck out two through the first half of his four-inning start, but the visitors broke the ice with a two-run third.
After Wetterau beat out an infield single to begin the frame, center fielder Ben Malgeri (Holy Cross) lined a single through the right side and took second on a relay throw from the outfield. Third baseman Andrew Olszak’s (Southern Maine) grounder brought the first run home before Lawlor laced a run-scoring hit to right to double the North Shore advantage.
The Suns cut into their deficit in the bottom half of the third when right fielder Matt Malcom (Eastern Connecticut State) hit a one-out double. After inducing a 1-2-3 double play to end the second, Navs starter Matt Bergeron (Saint Joseph’s of Maine) stranded a third-inning runner in scoring position to keep the score at 2-1.
North Shore extended its lead back to two runs in the in the fourth. Second baseman Dominic Freeberger (UNC Asheville) sprayed a leadoff double down the left field line and traded places with shortstop Logan Bravo (Harvard) two batters later.
The famous Wahconah sun delay split the fourth inning, and the Suns were able to tie the game with two runs on the back side. After Bergeron allowed a leadoff double to catcher Jackson Petersen (Penn), designated hitter Dan Baruch (Boston College) hit a two-bagger of his own and scored on a wild pitch with shortstop Nate Cormier (Nichols) batting.
Bergeron posted North Shore’s best start of the summer, allowing two earned runs on six hits through six innings. The Salem, N.H., native walked just one, struck out five, and stranded six runners on base to keep the game even.
Trystan Sarcone (Dartmouth) struck out two during his first of two innings of work in his Navigator debut, but the Suns jumped ahead for good against the southpaw on Malcom’s solo homer with one out in the seventh. Sarcone fielded his position well to help record two outs in the eighth before Baruch scored on a failed pickoff attempt to give Pittsfield some insurance.
Pittsfield ensured a split of the home-and-home series with a perfect ninth. Henry Leake (Babson) struck out the side to record the save his first appearance of the season, catching a pair of Navigator batters looking to end the game.
Suns reliever Jon Morrison (Rhode Island) earned the win as he allowed just four hits and one walk while striking out seven over four innings. Third baseman Jack Khawly (Broward) went 2-for-4 to lead the Pittsfield offense, while Baruch scored twice.
With the season's first series against Pittsfield now complete, the Navs return to Fraser Field for back-to-back home games this weekend. Nashua makes another trip for a 6 p.m. Saturday game before the Westfield Starfires pay their first-ever visit Sunday at 5 p.m.