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Navs Fall Just Short in Nashua, 7-6

08/01/2019 8:57 PM

By Joshua Kummins

NASHUA, N.H. -- The North Shore Navigators and Nashua Silver Knights both managed just a pair of crooked numbers during Thursday’s Futures Collegiate Baseball League game, but the hosts strung theirs together during the third and fourth innings and held on for a 7-6 win at Historic Holman Stadium.

North Shore saw its first-place lead trim to a half-game over Bristol after falling to 30-23 on the summer. Nashua moved to 25-27 after winning for the second straight contest.

Despite the loss, the Navs held a 10-9 hits advantage. Designated hitter Sean Lawlor (Flagler) went 2-for-3 and scored a run, while shortstop Keagan Calero (UMass Lowell) drove in three runs on his second round-tripper in as many games. Eight of North Shore’s nine starters recorded hits for the second straight night.

After being held scoreless during the first inning of Wednesday’s 16-5 win at Westfield, the Navs got off to a fast start with four runs on four hits against Nashua starter Cooper Anibal (Endicott) in the first inning.

Lawlor and center fielder Ben Malgeri (Holy Cross) started the visitors’ offense with consecutive one-out singles before left fielder Colin Wetterau (St. John’s) drove home the game’s first run on a base hit to right two batters later. Calero then delivered the big blow, hitting a two-out, three-run home run to left.

Navs starter Jake Gigliotti (Northeastern) worked around baserunners to pitch zeroes through two innings, but Nashua sent all nine batters to the plate and scored four times in the third. Catcher Dylan Jones (Franklin Pierce) ripped a two-run triple to right before a sacrifice fly and grounder to shortstop brought home two more runs to tie the score.

Nashua took a three-run lead after scoring three runs in the following frame, making Griffin Young (Wheaton) a winner for the third time this summer after 4.1 innings of one-hit, scoreless ball. Right fielder Kyle Sandstrom (Charleston Southern) hit a one-out double before third baseman Phoenix Hernandez (Southern New Hampshire) brought two more home with a two-bagger to right.

Young retired the Navs in order in the fourth and fifth innings and stranded a one-out baserunner in the sixth. North Shore then moved within a 7-6 score following a pair of seventh-inning runs, beginning with catcher Nolan Watson (Dayton) walking and scoring on second baseman Andrew Olszak’s (Southern Maine) double into the right-center gap.

After Lawlor walked, Nashua reliever Kyle Skidmore (Hofstra) struck out Malgeri before right fielder Dominic Freeberger (UNC Asheville) singled through the 5-6 hole. Skidmore got out of any further trouble in that frame after inducing a strikeout and fly ball with two runners aboard.

Watson hit a two-out double in the eighth before Lawlor was hit by a pitch to begin the ninth. The Navs were unable to score the tying run during the final frame as Wetterau was called out on a bang-bang play on a grounder to second while Lawlor was charging towards the plate.

North Shore used seven pitchers during the game, with lefty Jake Zoller (Wofford) suffering the loss after allowing three runs on three hits and a walk through one inning of work. Peabody’s Tyler Fitzgerald (Keene State) threw two innings of scoreless, one-hit ball to follow before Griffin Green (Virginia Tech) and Beau Dana (Dickinson) each fanned a pair over their innings of work out of the bullpen.

The Navs will take their final day off of the regular season on Friday before returning to Fraser Field for a 6 p.m. Saturday meeting with the Silver Knights.