08/07/2019 9:33 PM
By Joshua Kummins
LYNN, Mass. -- The Bristol Blues scored 10 runs over their final three plate appearances and stunned the North Shore Navigators for a 12-7 win in the second game of a best-of-three Futures Collegiate Baseball League semifinal series on Wednesday night at Fraser Field.
After earning a 3-1 road win in Tuesday’s series opener, the Navs lost for the first time in three total postseason games and will travel back to Muzzy Field for a deciding third contest. First pitch is set for 7 p.m. Thursday as the Navs look to clinch their first championship berth since 2012.
Third baseman Andrew Olszak (Southern Maine) and catcher Louis Olivieri (Central Alabama CC) had two hits apiece to lead the Navigator offense. Olszak also scored twice while center fielder Ben Malgeri (Holy Cross) hit North Shore’s fourth home run in three postseason games and drove in three runs.
The Blues offense got right to work as second baseman Kyle Maves (Quinnipiac) and right fielder Brandon Miller (St. John’s) laced consecutive one-out singles, but Saugus native Todd Tringale (UMass) retired the next two batters he faced to finish his first of four scoreless innings in his first postseason appearance on the Navigator mound.
North Shore jumped ahead with two first-inning runs after Olszak doubled to the wall in left and scored on Malgeri’s homer two batters later. The Navs sent eight batters to the plate and scored four runs on four hits in the second frame that followed, extending Tringale’s early cushion to six runs.
Second baseman Keagan Calero (UMass Lowell) led off North Shore’s big frame with a single up the middle and scored on shortstop John Rodriguez’s (San Jacinto) line double to left after stealing second and third. Olivieri and Olszak lined back-to-back doubles to continue the rally before Malgeri lifted a sacrifice fly to left to plate the inning’s final run.
That offense proved to be more than enough for Tringale who did not allow a baserunner after the first and sandwiched two of his three strikeouts together at the end of the third and the beginning of the fourth innings.
The visitors began their epic comeback with two runs in the fifth. Shortstop Zeke Diamond (Emory) and designated hitter Kasey Bass (Wisconsin-Stout) opened the frame with back-to-back hits before scoring on left fielder John Orzechowski’s (Stonehill) fielder’s choice and succeeding error. Center fielder Austin White (Rhode Island) followed with another fielder’s choice in the next at-bat.
The Navs added a sixth-inning run on Olivieri’s fielder’s choice, making the score 7-2. First baseman Connor Morin (New England College) led off the frame with a single before Rodriguez grounded a ball to shortstop.
Bristol responded with six runs in the seventh to take a one-run lead, dropping Hunter Wilichoski (Northern Essex CC) into a losing decision after Griffin Green (Virginia Tech) allowed three runs on five hits while recording just one out. Jake Zoller (Wofford) allowed Bristol’s first runs before Parker Browne (Suffolk) recorded the final two outs of the sixth.
The Blues benefitted from a North Shore error for the third consecutive inning ― and fourth of six in the game ― as part of an 11-batter frame. Third baseman Buddy Dewaine (Central Connecticut State) and Diamond delivered the big blows with a run-scoring triple and single, respectively.
Dewaine added a two-run single to right in the eighth, highlighting his 3-for-5 night with a run scored and three RBI. The newly-named FCBL Defensive Player of the Year added a single to right with a succeeding error after Reynolds reached on another miscue.
Bass and Maves also had three hits apiece as the Blues totaled 15 hits, including six in the seventh inning. Maves drove home the final run on a two-out single in the final frame.
On the mound, Tyler Boisvert (Post) relieved Matt Shane (Central Connecticut State) after two innings and allowed just one unearned run on three hits and three walks over the next 5.1 frames.