06/06/2018 12:16 PM
By Joshua Kummins
LYNN, Mass. – The North Shore Navigators welcomed a franchise-record 3,611 fans – mostly comprised of children from schools in Lynn and surrounding communities – to Fraser Field on Wednesday morning, but dropped their second consecutive game to the Nashua Silver Knights, 5-3.
Third baseman Elias Varinos (Tufts) went 3-for-5 with a run scored and an RBI to lead North Shore’s nine-hit attack, while shortstop Andrew Olszak (Southern Maine) and right fielder George Sutherland (Cochise) had two hits apiece. Olszak also scored a run in the loss, which dropped the Navs to 1-5 on the summer.
After Swampscott native Gavin Sullivan (Stetson) retired the side to start the game, the Navs took a 1-0 lead in the bottom of the first inning. Olszak and Sutherland each recorded one-out hits, and the shortstop scored on Varinos’ infield single two batters later.
The visitors sent seven batters to the plate in a three-run third inning before shortstop Bryce Reagan’s (Texas) groundout in the fourth scored left fielder Nick Biddison (Virginia Tech) with the eventual game-winning run. Nashua strung together three hits in the third, moving ahead on center fielder Luke Tyree’s (Marymount) RBI single and right fielder Jeff Costello’s (Northeastern) three-bagger.
Nashua added to its lead in the sixth as designated hitter Ryan Berardino (Bentley) and first baseman Thomas Joyce (Merrimack) logged doubles, sandwiched between a fly ball for the first out of the inning.
Costello went 2-for-4 with an RBI out of the No. 3 hole in the Silver Knight lineup. Second baseman Jared Brescia (Assumption) also finished 2-for-4, scoring a run and driving in another during the three-run third.
Sullivan was tagged with the loss, though only one of the four runs he allowed on three hits was earned. North Shore’s bullpen was solid as Matt O’Connor (UMass Lowell) struck out five over the next three frames in his first outing of the summer, and Devin O’Donovan (Austin Peay) allowed just one hit in the final two innings.
Brandon Dufault (Northeastern) allowed just one run on five hits in his four-inning start for Nashua, so Spencer Bergeron (UMass) was credited with the win after keeping the Navs scoreless over the fifth and sixth innings while allowing just two hits.
The Navigators pulled within two after crossing home twice in the eighth inning. Varinos hit a one-out single and moved up as second baseman Joey Murphy (Saint Joseph’s of Maine) was hit by a pitch. After catcher John Prentice (New England College) walked, center fielder Michael Wynne (Wofford) did the same to force home a run before left fielder Jeff Mejia (UMass Lowell) reached on a fielder’s choice.
Derek Duffy (Franklin Pierce) did not allow a hit over the final 1.2 innings for Nashua, earning a save.
North Shore returns to the field Thursday night at Brockton. First pitch against the Rox at Campanelli Stadium is set for 7 p.m. The Navs will then host Martha’s Vineyard in the first “Fireworks Friday” game of the season at Fraser Field.