Navs Drop Back-and-Forth Battle with Ocean State Wednesday

07/26/2023 8:32 PM

LYNN, Mass. — The North Shore Navigators erased an early four-run deficit but lost 6-5 in a New England Collegiate Baseball League (NECBL) Coastal Division battle against the Ocean State Waves Wednesday night at Fraser Field.

North Shore slipped to 18-23 on the season, while Ocean State moved to 18-21 to remain ahead in the NECBL playoff picture.

Shortstop Luca Trigiani (William & Mary) led the way for North Shore at the plate, belting a pair of hits for the second time in a three-game span. First baseman Brandon Drapeau (St. Joseph’s) added a key two-run RBI single in the bottom of the seventh, his 14th and 15th RBI of the season.

Ocean State loaded the bases to lead off the game, and snagged an early 1-0 lead after designated hitter Christian Ficca (Georgetown) grounded into a run-scoring 4-6-3 double play. 

The Waves doubled their advantage an inning later, when shortstop Jack Brooks (Oregon) singled home right fielder Matthew Graveline (Ohio State) to make it 2-0. Ocean State tacked on two more in the third — on a Graveline RBI single and an RBI groundout by Brooks. 

North Shore cut the Waves’ lead to 4-1 in the bottom half of the third after Trigiani singled — and then hustled all the way to third base after an Ocean State error — scoring third baseman Jake Berger (Harvard), who drew a walk the previous at-bat.

The Navs struck again in the bottom of the fifth. Berger kicked off the rally by singling home right fielder DJ Pacheco (Richmond), who reached on an infield single to start the frame. Then, Berger — who advanced to third on a Trigiani base hit and a wild pitch — scored North Shore’s third run after scampering home on yet another wild pitch, cutting the Waves’ lead to just one run.

But Brooks cranked yet another RBI single in the top of the seventh on a line drive to left field to drive home a runner from second and earn Ocean State a 5-3 edge. North Shore escaped the inning the next at-bat after catcher Matt Chatelle (Merrimack) caught pinch-hitting counterpart Jackson Phinney (Bryant) attempting to steal third base.

Then, after loading the bases in the bottom of the seventh, Drapeau came through with a clutch two-out, two-run RBI base hit to center field, scoring Pacheco and second baseman Brendan Jones (Holy Cross) and bringing the Fraser Faithful to its feet. 

Ocean State took its decisive 6-5 lead in the top of the eighth, when center fielder Khyree Miller (Charleston) ripped a base hit to center field. North Shore escaped the inning without further damage, but the Navs were unable to knot things up in the final two frames. 

Starter Will Jones (Northeastern) struck out a pair in three innings on the bump, before relievers Croix Jenkins (NJIT) and Swampscott native Pierce Friedman (Stonehill) worked scoreless fourth and fifth innings. Colin Brodeur (Bryant) handled the sixth and seventh, and Kaden Humphrey (North Florida) pitched the eighth and ninth.

The Navs will look to get back on track Thursday afternoon in another divisional collision against the Martha’s Vineyard Sharks in Oak Bluffs at 7:05 p.m.