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Navs, Worcester Even in Monday Pair

07/01/2019 4:58 PM

By Joshua Kummins

LYNN, Mass. -- A strong pitching performance, two home runs, and a triple play highlighted Monday at Fraser Field for the North Shore Navigators as they split a Futures Collegiate Baseball League doubleheader with the Worcester Bravehearts, earning a 3-1 win before the visitors staged a five-run comeback in the seventh inning and posted a 9-8 triumph.

As a result of the split, the Navs and Bravehearts remained in a tie for fourth place in the FCBL standings with identical 14-13 records. North Shore had lost back-to-back games and seven of its last 10 entering the day.

Kade Kretzschmar (Dartmouth) had run-scoring hits in both games of the doubleheader for the Navs, including his first home run of the summer to support lefty Jake Zoller’s (Wofford) six strong innings of work in the opener. Colin Wetterau (St. John’s) reached base six times during North Shore’s 19-hit day, going 3-for-3 with a double and two walks in the latter game.

The second game also featured third baseman Andrew Olszak (Southern Maine) starting an around-the-horn triple play with second baseman Keagan Calero (UMass Lowell) and Wetterau to get the Navs out of a fourth-inning jam. It was the first triple play in team history.

The Navs will now spend the rest of this week on the road before returning home to Lynn next Monday at 7 p.m. The five-game road trip begins with a 6:30 p.m. contest Tuesday against the first-year Westfield Starfires.

Game 1: North Shore 3, Worcester 1

Zoller stranded two Bravehearts on the bases to open his third consecutive start for North Shore before the offense scored first in the bottom half of the frame. The lefty worked quickly with three single runs of support throughout the game, striking out two while allowing just one run on five hits and a walk over six-plus innings.

After Wetterau opened the home half of the first with his second leadoff hit in as many days, Olszak walked and Sean Lawlor (Flagler) dropped a single into left field to score the leadoff hitter and give the Navs a quick 1-0 lead. Wetterau crossed the plate following a leadoff single and stealing second base.

Zoller didn’t allow more than one hit in any inning until he began the seventh and finished his outing throwing 49 of his 66 pitches for strikes. However, the visitors managed to square the score in the third after Trevor Johnson (Dartmouth) tripled to right and Mariano Ricciardi (Dayton) scored him on a sacrifice fly to center.

In the fourth, the Navs brought home the only other run they needed as Kretzschmar lined a one-out shot over his teammate Johnson in right. The rising sophomore outfielder became the seventh different North Shore batter to leave the yard this season.

Brian Robertson (Dayton) worked a scoreless first inning after starter Eric Chavarria (Cypress) left the game for Worcester, but the Navs tagged him for some insurance in their final at-bats.

Bravo opened the sixth with a single and Kretzschmar followed with a walk. The two Navs completed a double steal before Ben Malgeri (Holy Cross) was intentionally walked to load the bases. Calero extended the hosts’ lead to 3-1 as he beat out a single hit to third base.

Marblehead’s Beau Dana (Dickinson) relieved Zoller with two Bravehearts on base, but the Navs closer was credited with his league-leading ninth save as he struck out two and induced a bases-loaded fly ball to center off the bat of Ricciardi to end the game.

Olszak and Lawlor were both repeat hitters for the Navs, combining to go 4-for-5 with an RBI out of the second and third positions in the batting order. Ricciardi was credited with the lone RBI of the game for Worcester, while five different players recorded hits.

Game 2: Worcester 9, North Shore 8

After completing a one-hour, 54-minute opener, the two teams combined to score seven runs on eight hits in the first inning of a wild nightcap that lasted two hours and 39 minutes. Tyler Becker (Adelphi) gave Worcester an early two-run lead thanks to a one-out double, but the Navs immediately answered with five runs while sending 11 batters to the plate.

Worcester starter Chris Keenan (NYIT) failed to make it out of the first inning as the first five Navs reached base and came around to score. Colin Macko (UNC Asheville) drove home the first run as he was hit by a pitch, then Kretzschmar’s two-run single to left-center made it 3-0.

Bravo walked and Calero singled in another run after Keenan recorded the first out, but Wetterau’s bases-loaded walk made the score 5-0 and forced the visitors to dip into the bullpen. The Navs tagged reliever Jack Moynihan (Siena) for three more runs over the next two innings, beginning with Macko’s two-run shot to the opposite field in the second. Macko finished 2-for-3 with two runs scored and three RBI in the game.

The offense came quickly in the third, too, as Nolan Watson (Dayton) was hit by a pitch, Wetterau singled, and Olzak lifted a sac fly to center for his team-leading 19th RBI of the year.

Arlo Marynczak (Siena) allowed just one hit over his final four innings as North Shore’s starter for the second time this summer, finishing the day with a pair of strikeouts in five frames of two-run ball. Most of Worcester’s damage came against the Navs bullpen as it scored seven runs over the sixth and seventh to leave Lynn with a split.

The Bravehearts scored twice against Hunter Wilichoski (Northern Essex CC) in the sixth as Joseph Pesce (NYIT) lined a double past Olszak after a hit batter and a single began the frame. Two innings earlier, Pesce grounded out to the Danvers native who started the aforementioned 5-4-3 triple play.

All nine batters stepped to the plate in seventh for Worcester, which benefited from four hits and two errors. Paul Coumoulos (St. Leo), Pesce, and Nicholas Martin (Westfield State) all had run-scoring hits in the inning before Ricciardi drove home the go-ahead run on a grounder to Calero at second.

Watson hit a one-out single and Wetterau walked against Worcester closer Bryce Hellgeth (Dayton) in the seventh, but Olszak’s liner to second ended the game as his latter teammate was caught off the bag. Hellgeth closed out his sixth save.

After Parker Browne (Suffolk) recorded one out from the Navs bullpen in opening the final frame, Blake Bennett (UMass Lowell) allowed an unearned run before retiring the Bravehearts side and was dealt his first loss. Alex Rosario (Middlebury) pitched three innings of scoreless, three-hit ball to earn the victory for Worcester.