06/19/2019 8:25 PM
By Joshua Kummins
BRISTOL, Conn. -- The North Shore Navigators were shut out for the first time during the Futures Collegiate Baseball League season as they were held to just three hits and committed four errors in Wednesday’s 7-0 loss to the Bristol Blues at Muzzy Field.
North Shore slipped to 10-5 as a result of its second loss in three games, while Bristol improved to 6-10 after improving to 2-3 over the last five.
Left fielder Dominic Freeberger (UNC Asheville), right fielder Kade Kretzschmar (Dartmouth), and catcher Louis Olivieri (Central Alabama CC) all had hits for the Navs. Despite the loss, Freeberger and first baseman Tyler MacGregor (Columbia) have both reached base in each of the first 15 games of the summer.
Bobby Cliche (Maine) was strong in his fourth relief outing as a Navigator, working 4.1 innings of three-hit, one-run relief with five strikeouts.
Center fielder Nolan Watson (Dayton) and Freeberger drew back-to-back walks as North Shore’s first two batters of the game, but Bristol starter Ryan Lauk (Wagner) struck out two and induced a pop to first base to post a zero in the first inning of what turned out to be a dominant second straight start against the Navs.
Bristol plated two runs to break the scoreless deadlock in the third. Left fielder JT Mounce (Oklahoma State) turned a one-out walk and stolen base into the game’s first run when center fielder Austin White (Rhode Island) reached on Keagan Calero’s (UMass Lowell) throwing error at shortstop. Brandon Miller (St. John’s) doubled the Blues lead with a run-scoring single to his right field counterpart two batters later.
The hosts broke the game open and chased Navs starter Jake Zoller (Wofford) from his first start of the summer during a four-run fourth inning. Catcher Will Reiner (Villanova) walked as the first of four straight Blues to reach with one out and immediately came around to score after second baseman Kyle Maves (Quinnipiac) doubled to left and advanced 90 more feet on an error.
Shortstop Zeke Diamond (Emory) then extended Bristol’s lead with a single to center, then White added an run-scoring grounder to second and designated hitter Christian Beal (Bates) singled inside the right-field line.
Six runs proved to be more than enough offense to support Lauk who evened his record to 1-1 after three appearances. The righty struck out 10 North Shore batters over 5.2 innings of shutout ball, working around two hits and four walks.
Though it stranded 10 batters throughout the night, North Shore’s best offensive threat came in the sixth. MacGregor was hit by a pitch to begin the inning before Kretzschmar hit a two-out single to end Lauk’s night. Dominic Niman (Central Connecticut State) entered the game and walked Calero to load the bases, but he rolled a fielder’s choice to end the frame without any damage.
Zoller took the loss for North Shore as he allowed five hits and six runs, just three of which were earned, over 3.2 frames. Cliche struck out two in the fifth and finished the team’s second-longest relief outing of the summer with back-to-back scoreless frames.
Bristol relievers Niman and Wesley Lahey (Southern New Hampshire) allowed just one combined hit over the final 3.1 innings. On the offensive side, Diamond and Mounce each recorded two hits and two runs scored for the home team.
Weather permitting, the Navs are slated to make their first visit to Historic Holman Stadium in Nashua, N.H., this season on Thursday night. First pitch against the Silver Knights is set for 7:05 p.m.