07/29/2019 8:21 PM
By Joshua Kummins
WORCESTER, Mass. -- The Worcester Bravehearts scored in seven of their eight innings at the plate and totaled 13 hits to edge past the North Shore Navigators for a 10-6 win in the final regular-season meeting between the two Futures Collegiate Baseball League teams on Monday night at Hanover Insurance Park.
North Shore fell to 28-22 as its brief two-game winning streak came to an end. Following the loss, the Navs now sit a half-game behind first-place Brockton in the FCBL standings. Worcester, meanwhile, won its third straight game to improve to 26-23.
The Navs recorded 10 hits in the losing effort, with left fielder Sean Lawlor (Flagler) going 3-for-5 with a solo home run and two RBI to lead the way. First baseman Dominic Freeberger (UNC Asheville) and second baseman Keagan Calero (UMass Lowell) each had two hits, while designated hitter Logan Bravo (Harvard) matched Lawlor’s seven-homer total for the summer.
Three combined home runs allowed the Bravehearts to take a 2-1 lead after the first inning. North Shore struck first as Lawlor left the yard with a no-doubt shot past the scoreboard in right-center field, but center fielder John Thrasher (Hartford) and designated hitter Ben Rice (Dartmouth) hit a pair of homers in a three-batter span to answer for the hosts.
The teams traded single runs in the second, with Freeberger drawing a leadoff walk and scoring the tying run on Calero’s double into the right-center gap for the Navs. Worcester took the lead back on second baseman Mariano Ricciardi’s (Dayton) two-out single in the bottom of the second, scoring catcher Riley Livingston (Holy Cross) after a leadoff single and a wild pitch.
After Braveheart reliever Christopher Macca (Seminole State) pitched a third-inning zero, his offense scored two more runs. Rice hit his second of three homers after third baseman Chris Rinaldi (Holy Cross) drew a leadoff walk.
North Shore took a 6-5 lead with four runs on five hits in the fourth. After Freeberger hit a leadoff single, Bravo started the inning’s offense with a one-out, two-run homer to left. Catcher Louis Olivieri (Central Alabama CC) beat out an infield single in the next at-bat before he was tagged out at the plate trying to score on shortstop John Rodriguez’s (San Jacinto) triple.
Third baseman Andrew Olszak (Southern Maine) drove a fly ball to deep left field that Worcester’s Joseph Pesce (NYIT) dropped for an error. Lawlor’s RBI single to left gave North Shore a one-run lead before the inning ended.
In the fourth, the hosts tied the game at 6-6 as first baseman Mack Cheli (Chapman) drew a bases-loaded walk. Navs starter James Flood (Siena) allowed two hits in the frame, but a fly ball to Ben Malgeri (Holy Cross) in center field limited the damage to just one run in the inning.
North Shore was held scoreless over the final five innings, despite loading the bases in the seventh. Freeberger hit a two-out single after Olszak and Malgeri drew walks, but Jakob Barker (Seminole State) worked around the baserunners to strike out the side and finish his two-inning relief effort with six strikeouts.
Calero led off the previous frame with a bunt single before three straight outs stranded him on base. Among five Worcester relievers, Troy Klemm (Palm Beach Atlantic) was credited with his third win of the summer following the scoreless inning with one strikeout.
On the flip side, the Bravehearts scored during their final three innings of offensive work. Navs debutant Griffin Green (Virginia Tech) struck out two in the sixth, but Rice hit a two-out single to continue his five-RBI night. Ricciardi knocked a double to right after the following frame began with a walk and a hit batter.
Rice punctuated his four-hit night with another solo shot in the eighth. Despite allowing Worcester’s final run, Matt Poff (Saint Joseph’s of Maine) struck out two over the final 1.1 innings out of the Navigator bullpen.
The Navs continue their four-game road trip with Tuesday and Wednesday contests against the Westfield Starfires. First pitch at Bullens Field is set for 6:30 p.m. both nights.