06/12/2018 8:33 PM
By Joshua Kummins
PITTSFIELD, Mass. – The traditional Wahconah Park “sun delay” proved to doom the North Shore Navigators on Tuesday night as the host Pittsfield Suns scored all six runs they needed in the fourth inning en route to an 8-5 win in Futures Collegiate Baseball League action.
Pittsfield uses its second consecutive win to improve to 4-9 this summer, while North Shore slips to 2-9.
Catcher Harrison Engstrom (Cochise) went 2-for-5 and scored a run to pace North Shore’s nine-hit attack. The Marblehead native has logged four multi-hit games in his first nine this summer. In addition, second baseman Sal Frelick (Boston College) connected for a grand slam in the first at-bat of his Navigators career to punctuate a four-run second inning.
All was well for North Shore early in the ballgame as starting pitcher Devin O’Donovan (Austin Peay) worked around just two hits over the first three innings and his offense scored four times on three hits in the top of the second.
All four Navs runs in the second came across on one swing of the bat as Frelick drove the sixth grand slam in team history over the right field fence. Engstrom led off the inning with a single before right fielder George Sutherland (Cochise) singled and center fielder Drew Robertson (LIU Post) walked with one out.
The Suns sent 11 men to the plate and scored six runs on five hits in the fourth inning, which followed the 38-minute sun delay. After O’Donovan walked and hit the first two batters he faced, first baseman Patrick Sullivan (Georgia) brought them both home on a three-run home run that cleared both fences in right field.
O’Donovan recorded the first out of the inning before Pittsfield took the lead as the next three batters reached and came around to score. Right fielder Chad Shade (Springfield) tripled to right, then catcher Taylor Meilleur (St. Mary’s) singled and left fielder Kyle Cronk (Penn) did the same before scoring on a wild pitch.
North Shore cut its deficit to just one run in the sixth as designated hitter JP Knight (Tufts) lined a leadoff single to left, advanced across the diamond after a stolen base, and throwing error and scored Sutherland’s attempted double steal of second base.
Swampscott’s Gavin Sullivan (Stetson) got the final two outs of the fourth before Travis Lane (Boston College) came out of the Navs bullpen for four innings of work to finish the game.
Pittsfield managed a pair of insurance runs in the sixth. Meilleur and Cronk logged back-to-back singles to lead off the frame before center fielder Dave Matthews (Central Connecticut State) scored them both on a single that dropped just inside the left field line.
Lane worked the longest relief outing of the summer by a Navs pitcher, striking out four Suns over four innings of four-hit, two-run ball.
Mike Demarest (Adelphi) struck out five over two innings in relief of Bryce Cafaro (Fairfield) to earn the win for the hosts. After Izaiya Mestre (New Haven) allowed just two hits to the Navs over the next two innings, Jordy Mora (Felician) logged a scoreless ninth for his first save. Right fielder Chad Shade (Springfield) went 3-for-4 to lead Pittsfield’s offense.
The Navs return to action and conclude their three-game road swing Wednesday against the Brockton Rox. First pitch is set for 11:05 a.m. from Campanelli Stadium. The same two teams play a Thursday doubleheader at Fraser Field that is slated for a 4:30 p.m. start.