06/02/2018 9:14 PM
By Joshua Kummins
LYNN, Mass. -- A big inning doomed the North Shore Navigators for the second consecutive night as the visiting Worcester Bravehearts scored five times in the fifth inning and cruised to a 9-3 victory, spoiling Saturday night’s home opener at Fraser Field.
With the result, North Shore slips to 0-3 on the summer as Worcester improves to 2-1.
The three-hour, 17-minute game saw both teams record 10 hits and make four errors in the field, while at least three players on each side recorded multiple hits. Navs third baseman Elias Varinos (Tufts) went 3-for-5 with an RBI and leads the team with five hits through three games.
Right fielder JP Knight (Tufts), second baseman George Sutherland (Cochise), and first baseman Corey DiLoreto (Northeastern) each had two hits. Sutherland and DiLoreto also crossed home plate once apiece, and DiLoreto drove home a run.
Navigator starting pitcher Garret Keough (Holy Cross) and Worcester counterpart Jared Freilich (Polk State) posted up zeroes in the first inning, but the Bravehearts took the game’s first lead with single runs in the second and third innings.
Worcester designated hitter Dakota McFadden (Keystone) walked, advanced to second on a Keough wild pitch, and scored as center fielder Joseph Pesce (NYIT) hit a two-out single for the game’s first run in the second. Pesce singled four times, scored twice, and drove three runs to pace the visitors’ offensive attack.
The visitors scored a run on three hits against Keough in the third, with right fielder Michael Dellicari (SUNY Oswego) recording the RBI on a base knock to center. North Shore tied the game in the bottom half of that frame, benefitting from a pair of errors as DiLoreto and Varinos recorded RBI singles.
After designated hitter Michael Wynne (Wofford) hit a leadoff single in the fourth, shortstop Andrew Olszak (Southern Maine) reached on a one-out error that allowed North Shore to take a short-lived lead at 3-2.
The Bravehearts sent 11 men to the plate against the Marblehead native Keough and reliever Danny Ryan (Northeastern) in a five-run, three-hit fifth. Pesce punctuated his team’s offensive run with a two-out, two-run double as the third of four consecutive batters to reach with two outs.
Keough suffered North Shore’s third consecutive loss as he allowed seven hits and five earned runs over 4.2 innings of work. Ryan came out of the bullpen for the next four outs, holding Worcester scoreless despite walking three and allowing a hit.
The Bravehearts extended their lead to seven and closed the game’s scoring with single runs in the seventh and ninth innings, when, respectively, third baseman Dustin Harris (St. Petersburg) hit a sacrifice fly to right field and Pesce scored on one of Navs center fielder Drew Robertson’s (LIU Post) two errors.
Brock Riley (Salem State) was a bright spot out of North Shore’s bullpen for the second time in three games. He allowed two hits, two runs, and two walks over the final three innings, but recorded five of his nine outs by way of the strikeout.
Rob Cerulle (Penn) relieved Freilich after four innings and was the winning pitcher for Worcester, allowing just two hits over three scoreless frames. He recorded four of the Bravehearts’ eight strikeouts on the mound.
The Navigators travel to Bristol, Conn., for a Sunday doubleheader against the undefeated Blues. First pitch is set for 3 p.m. at Muzzy Field.