06/01/2018 9:46 PM
By Joshua Kummins
NASHUA, N.H. -- The North Shore Navigators led through five innings Friday night, but the Nashua Silver Knights scored four runs in the seventh inning to take the only lead that mattered and – despite making six errors – snagged an 8-7 win at Holman Stadium.
North Shore slips to 0-2 on the young Futures Collegiate Baseball League season, while Nashua’s first win of the season moves its record to 1-2.
North Shore logged 11 hits to hold the advantage in that category for the second consecutive night. Shortstop Andrew Olszak (Southern Maine) went 4-for-5 with an RBI and a run scored and reached base in all five plate appearances, while center fielder Jeff Mejia (UMass Lowell) scored three times while going 2-for-4.
The Navigators defined the phrase “manufacturing a run” in the first inning, scoring three times on one single from Olszak and one Nashua error. The first three batters of the game came around to score on ground balls to Silver Knight shortstop Tyler Littlefield. The University of Houston product was tagged with four of the home team’s fielding miscues.
Nashua cut the North Shore lead to 3-1 as first baseman Thomas Joyce (Merrimack) singled in the bottom of the opening frame before the teams traded single runs two innings later.
Mejia singled to left, stole second, and scored on Olszak’s rolling base hit through the middle infield for the Navigators’ third-inning run, while Littlefield cleared the left-center field fence for a home run to cut the deficit to two runs in the bottom half.
The first two Navigator pitchers to appear in the ballgame were Saint Joseph’s College of Maine products. Matt Demma allowed two runs on four hits and a walk in his three-inning start before Zach Begin fanned three over the next three frames, despite allowing single runs in the fourth and fifth that kept the Silver Knights within one.
North Shore scored a run in the top of the fifth to temporarily increase its lead to two runs as Mejia led off a second consecutive inning with a single and came around to score after a pair of errors charged to Littlefield.
A four-run seventh proved to be the difference in the game. New England College’s Shayne Audet, the second Navigator reliever, walked three and allowed four runs on two hits in the frame. Right fielder Andrew Gorham (Tulane) concluded the hosts’ scoring run with a two-run double to left-center.
The Navs scored single runs in their final two at-bats to cut the score to the final of 8-7. Left fielder Michael Wynne (Wofford) drove home the seventh-inning run with a two-out single, while second baseman George Sutherland (Cochise) scored the final run on the first of two errors in the final frame.
Nick Couhig (Boston College) pitched a scoreless seventh inning to earn the win for the Silver Knights in their home opener. Aidan Welch (Millersville) worked around the two miscues, one hit, and one unearned run to post the save. Devin O’Donovan (Austin Peay) logged a scoreless eighth inning out of the Navs bullpen.
The Navigators make their Fraser Field season debut Saturday against the Worcester Bravehearts at 6 p.m., before rounding out the weekend with a Sunday doubleheader in Bristol, Conn.