06/07/2018 8:28 PM
By Joshua Kummins
BROCKTON, Mass. -- The North Shore Navigators recovered from four separate deficits to tie Thursday night’s game at Campanelli Stadium, but the host Brockton Rox scored the final run on a wild pitch in the bottom of the ninth inning to snag a 6-5 win in Futures Collegiate Baseball League action.
Navs reliever Brock Riley (Salem State) stranded five Rox runners on base with five strikeouts over the seventh and eighth frames, but was dealt the tough-luck loss as Brockton shortstop Jake Rosen (Northeastern) trotted home with the game-winning run after reaching base on a one-out walk.
North Shore falls to 1-6 on the season with its third consecutive loss, though it held a 10-8 advantage in the hit column. Left fielder Michael Wynne (Wofford), third baseman Elias Varinos (Tufts), catcher Harrison Engstrom (Cochise), and second baseman Joey Murphy (Saint Joseph’s of Maine) all had two hits for the Navs.
Brockton wasted little time scoring the game’s first run against first-time Navigator starter Travis Lane (Boston College) as right fielder Joe Lomuscio (Brown) hit a one-out double in the first inning and scored on left fielder Matt Johnston’s (MIT) single to center field in the next at-bat.
The Navs evened the game at 1-1 on three hits and one error when the scoreboard flipped to the second inning. Right fielder JP Knight (Tufts) came around to produce the marker as he hit a two-out single to left, moved across to third on Murphy’s single through the right side, and scored on an error.
Lane was tagged for a second go-ahead run before exiting after four innings of three-hit ball. Rosen grounded into a 6-4 fielder’s choice that scored catcher Brennan Vasquez (Brown) after a leadoff walk. A recent Phillips Academy graduate, Lane benefitted from double play balls in each of the first two frames and left in just a one-run game.
The Navs responded as Brockton called for Ben Shields (UMass) to replace starter Nolan Collins (Bates) to begin the fifth. Wynne created the game-tying offense the second time around, drawing a leadoff walk and stealing two bases before scoring on designated hitter George Sutherland’s (Cochise) RBI grounder.
The Rox sent eight batters to the plate against Navs reliever Zach Brown (Amherst) and took a two-run lead in the fifth. First baseman Matt Ronai (Merrimack) and third baseman Zach Gelof (Virginia) each hit RBI singles after Brown issued two walks and hit a batter in his first outing since last Thursday’s season opener at Martha’s Vineyard.
After the teams traded zeros in the sixth, the Navs scored twice in the top half of the seventh to even the score once again. Center fielder Drew Robertson (LIU Post) led off with a walk, stole second, and scored on Wynne’s double to center field. Rox reliever Patrick Arter (Wheaton) then induced a pair of grounders, but the Navs plated Wynne with the tying run as first baseman Corey DiLoreto (Northeastern) reached on dropped pop-up to second.
Brockton took another one-run lead as Lomuscio led off the eighth with a double and scored on second baseman Kyle Ruth’s (SNHU) single to left. The Navs then used Engstrom’s sacrifice fly to center field to score the tying run in their next at-bat, but the hosts walked off in unconventional fashion for their fifth win of the season.
For Brockton, Arter allowed three runs on three hits and struck out four before Jack Mahala (Harvard) walked a batter but recorded the final two outs of the game to earn the win. Lomuscio went 3-for-5 and scored three times, while Gelof went 2-for-4 with an RBI.
The Navigators are back at Fraser Field for their next two games. They will host Martha’s Vineyard in the first “Fireworks Friday” of the season, with first pitch set for 7 p.m. Saturday’s game against Nashua will begin at 6 p.m.