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Navs Go 1-1 in Doubleheader Action

06/25/2018 9:09 PM

By Joshua Kummins

NASHUA, N.H. – Dylan Gaita pitched his second complete game of the season as the North Shore Navigators earned a 2-1 win over the Nashua Silver Knights to cap Monday night’s Futures Collegiate Baseball League doubleheader at Historic Holman Stadium.

A Melrose native and rising Plymouth State senior, Gaita went the seven-inning distance on 102 pitches, allowing just one run on six hits while striking out three Silver Knights en route to his second win of the season.

North Shore moved to 7-15 as it split a doubleheader for the second time this summer. Nashua is 8-13 following a 9-5 win in the day’s opener.

The Navs return home to Fraser Field for a single Tuesday night contest against the Pittsfield Suns. First pitch is set for 7 p.m. The teams were slated to play a doubleheader to make up for a June 18 rainout, but that game will now take place as part of a twinbill on Thursday, July 26 beginning at 4 p.m.

 Game 1: Nashua 9, North Shore 5

North Shore’s four third-inning runs weren’t enough in its fifth loss of the season to the Silver Knights, who sent ten batters to the plate in a five-run bottom half of the frame.

Shortstop Sal Frelick (Boston College) went 3-for-3 with a run scored lead to lead North Shore’s eight-hit attack, while first baseman Corey DiLoreto (Northeastern) went 2-for-3, and third baseman Elias Varinos (Tufts) and left fielder Michael Wynne (Wofford) each recorded two RBI.

The Navs stranded two runners in scoring position in the first inning and the bases loaded in the second against Nashua starter and future St. John’s lefty Geoff Mosseau. The Silver Knights took a 1-0 lead as former Navigator first baseman Alex Brickman (Dayton) reached on a two-out error in the bottom of the first.

In the third, North Shore sent eight batters to the plate to take a 4-1 lead, but it was short-lived as Nashua batted around and scored five runs in its half of the frame.

Frelick and right fielder JP Knight (Tufts) legged out infield singles that were sandwiched between the first out of the big inning. The Navs then scored their first run on a successful double steal. After center fielder George Sutherland (Cochise) walked, Knight hustled home from second on an RBI grounder from Varinos, and Wynne hit a two-run double over the head of Nashua right fielder Andrew Gorham (Tulane).

Seven of the first eight Silver Knights to bat against Navs pitchers Devin O’Donovan (Austin Peay) and Matt O’Connor (UMass Lowell) in the bottom of the third reached base, and five came around to score on three hits.

Gorham’s two-run single over second made it a 4-3 game before second baseman Bryce Reagan (Texas) and shortstop Tom Blandini (SNHU) flipped the score Nashua’s way by a 5-4 count. Third baseman Nick Biddison (Virginia Tech) added insurance to the Silver Knight lead with a sacrifice fly to right.

The Navs plated a run in the fifth as Sutherland led off with a single to right, advanced all the way to third on another Gorham error, and scored as Varinos logged his second RBI grounder of the game. Nashua then extended its lead for good with a three-run sixth, which was highlighted by Gorham’s two-run single.

O’Donovan allowed five runs (four earned) on two hits and five walks over the first 2.1 innings in his second start of the summer. O’Connor struck out three over three innings of work but suffered his first loss of the season after surrendering seven hits and four runs. Zach Begin (St. Joseph’s of Maine) pitched two-thirds of an inning to round out the game.

Manny Ray (Tufts) earned the win for Nashua as he held the Navs to a run on three hits over three innings in relief of Mosseau. Michael Guerrero (Marshall) pitched 1.2 innings of scoreless ball to log a save. Gorham led the Silver Knights with a 2-for-4 game and four runs scored, while Reagan also had two hits.

Game 2: North Shore 2, Nashua 1

Nashua took a first-inning lead for the second consecutive game as three straight one-out hits against Gaita set up Brickman for a run-scoring grounder to first base.

This time around, the Navs rallied for two runs on three hits in a seven-batter fourth inning after Nashua’s Casey Candiotti (St. Mary’s) held them hitless over the first three frames. Second baseman Joey Murphy (Saint Joseph’s of Maine) stung a leadoff single up the middle before Varinos dropped a double inside the right field line.

Frelick tied the game with a single up the middle with two runners aboard. After catcher Harrison Engstrom (Cochise) was hit by a pitch, Knight drove home the game-winning run with a fielder’s choice grounder to shortstop.

North Shore was held to just one hit the rest of the way, but Gaita matched that en route to becoming the second Navs pitcher in as many seasons to pitch a pair of complete games. Gaita allowed a one-out single to pinch hitter Ryan Berardino (Bentley) in the sixth, but ended the frame with a pair of strikeouts with two runners aboard. The Silver Knights were retired 1-2-3 in the seventh.

Candiotti slipped to 0-3 as he allowed four runs on two hits over the first four innings. Mike White (Stonehill) then pitched three hitless frames to end the game. At the plate, Biddison and left fielder Jeff Costello (Northeastern) posted two-hit nights for the Silver Knights.