06/08/2019 9:41 PM
By Joshua Kummins
LYNN, Mass. -- The North Shore Navigators sent 12 batters to the plate during an eight-run seventh inning and then proceeded to slam the door shut on the visiting Nashua Silver Knights, scoring a 12-7 Saturday win to jump back into first place in the Futures Collegiate Baseball League standings.
North Shore’s win combined with Brockton’s 4-0 loss to Worcester allowed the Navs to regain the top spot in the FCBL with a 6-3 record. The Silver Knights dropped to 3-5 as their three-game win streak was snapped.
Nashua starter Patrick Harrington (Assumption) allowed just one run on seven hits through the first five innings, but the Navs scored eight of their runs in the seventh before right fielder Ben Malgeri (Holy Cross) and shortstop Logan Bravo (Harvard) hit their first home runs of the season an inning later.
Malgeri was named FCBL Player of the Night as he went 2-for-5 with two runs scored and four RBI as part of North Shore’s 15-hit attack. Third baseman Tyler MacGregor (Columbia) was 4-for-5 with a double, two runs scored, and one RBI en route to his fifth multi-hit game of the summer, while second baseman Dominic Freeberger (UNC Asheville) had a 3-for-5 day.
The Silver Knights gave starter Patrick Harrington (Assumption) a comfortable cushion with four runs in the second inning, all with two outs. Designated hitter Dylan Jones (Franklin Pierce) brought home three of them on a home run to left field after center fielder Ben Irvine (Maryland) drove home the game’s first run on a single.
The Navs left two runners on base in their first at-bats before tagging Harrington for his only run allowed in the second. Designated hitter Colin Macko (UNC Asheville) hit a leadoff single to right and scored on a wild pitch with center fielder Nolan Watson (Dayton) at the plate. MacGregor and Freeberger put together back-to-back hits in the first and fifth, but the Navs were unable to come up with any run production on both ocassions.
Navs starter James Flood (Siena) did not factor into the decision after allowing four runs on three hits and three walks in four innings. He did strike out seven Silver Knights in the game, upping his team-leading season total to 13 through 7.1 frames.
Before North Shore started its quick comeback effort, the Silver Knights tagged Bobby Cliche (Maine) for a pair of fifth-inning tallies. Two walks and left fielder Kyle Sandstrom’s (Charleston Southern) single loaded the bases, setting up runs for the visitors on a wild pitch and shortstop Ben Cowles (Maryland) being hit by a pitch.
Nashua’s John Parker (Eastern Connecticut State) set the home team aside in order in the sixth, but five consecutive baserunners reached with one out in the following frame as the game began to take a rapid turn. Watson opened the rally with a single, advanced on left fielder Sean Lawlor’s (Flagler) hard-hit ball to the shortstop, and scored on Freeberger’s knock up the middle.
MacGregor reached on a fielder’s choice that scored Lawlor and took second on an error, setting the table for Malgeri's two-run triple which took a bad hop on Nashua’s Billy Butler (Rhode Island) in right and brought the Navs back within a run. Macko tied the game with a double to right-center off Jarod Norcross Plourde (Hartford) before first baseman Colin Wetterau (St. John’s) dropped a hit into shallow left to plate the go-ahead run.
A wild pitch and the last of Nashua’s four errors in the inning gave the Navs insurance, but Malgeri and Bravo added even more with homers in the following frame.
MacGregor hit a one-out double in the eighth and trotted home on Malgeri’s rocket over the right-center field fence, while Bravo tucked his solo shot inside the foul pole to equal the final score two batters later. The homers came after Nashua added an eighth-inning run of its own on first baseman Joe Bramanti’s (Maine) bases-loaded walk.
Closer Beau Dana (Dickinson) relieved Hunter Wilichoski (Northern Essex CC) and clinched his league-leading fourth save, posting two of his four outs by way of the strikeout while working around a free pass. Cliche earned his first win as a Navigator, striking out two over three innings of three-hit, two-run ball.
The Navigators return to Fraser Field for their first-ever meeting with the Westfield Starfires at 5 p.m. Sunday.