07/05/2019 8:33 PM
By Joshua Kummins
WESTFIELD, Mass. -- The North Shore Navigators split Friday’s Futures Collegiate Baseball League doubleheader with the Westfield Starfires, earning a 7-4 win in the opener before suffering an 8-6 loss in walk-off fashion to end the day at Bullens Field.
North Shore moved to 17-15 on the season as a result of the split, while Westfield became the final FCBL team to reach the 10-win mark as it improved to 10-21.
Every member of the Navs starting lineup had a hit in the victory, with three players recording multiple and outfielder Kade Kretzschmar (Dartmouth) driving in three runs. Sean Lawlor (Flagler) hit home runs in his first two at-bats of the finale and finished with five RBI before Westfield earned the last-inning win on Sean Murphy’s (Gettysburg) pinch-hit, two-run blast.
The Navs complete their six-game road trip on Sunday against the Bristol Blues. First pitch at Muzzy Field is set for 6 p.m.
Game 1: North Shore 7, Westfield 4
The Navigators scored multiple runs in the first inning against Westfield for the second time this week as the first two batters to face Starfires lefty Chase Jeter (Dartmouth) scored. After Colin Wetterau (St. John’s) singled and Andrew Olszak (Southern Maine) doubled to right, Lawlor reached on a fielding error that allowed both runs to cross the plate.
North Shore made it a 3-0 game an inning later. Keagan Calero (UMass Lowell) singled, advanced all the way to third on an error in the outfield, and scored on a passed ball. The Starfires then scored their first run in the bottom half of the same frame on Christian Walsh’s (UMass) solo home run out to center.
The visitors’ eventual game-winning run came across in the fifth after Olszak and Lawlor posted one-out singles and Westfield’s fourth error brought home the Danvers native second baseman with one of his three runs scored.
While North Shore posted 12 hits, Swampscott’s Gavin Sullivan (Stetson) was strong en route to his second win of the summer. The rising sophomore allowed just one run on three hits through six innings, completing four frames in the minimum three batters.
Kretzschmar extended North Shore’s lead and capped his 2-for-4, three-RBI performance with a three-run homer to right in the top of the seventh, but the Starfires finished the game with three runs of their own. A fielding error on designated hitter Andrew Ciaccarelli’s (American International) single to left brought in two of the runs before Tommy Quinn (Stonehill) added another RBI hit.
Marblehead’s Beau Dana (Dickinson) began his inning-long stint with a strikeout and worked around two hits and two walks to finish the game. For Westfield, Jeter was tagged with the loss after allowing four runs — though just one was earned — on seven hits through five frames.
Game 2: Westfield 8, North Shore 6
Wetterau started the North Shore offense quickly for the second straight game as he ripped a leadoff to center before Lawlor cleared the fence for his first of two homers on the night to give the Navs a 2-0 lead. Wetterau went 3-for-4 with two runs scored, while Lawlor became the first Navigator batter to record a two-homer game this season after two did so in 2018.
The Starfires took the game’s first lead with three runs in the first and two more in the second, taking advantage of three hits, four walks, and three wild pitches against North Shore debutant and rising Northeastern freshman Sebastian Keane. Walsh had Westfield’s lone RBI of the opening frame with a one-out single, but the reigning Massachusetts Gatorade Player of the Year from North Andover recorded two of his three strikeouts to help limit the damage.
Westfield starter Stephen Fleury (Merrimack) struck out his first batter of the third inning, but the Navs started the offense as Wetterau and Olszak put together back-to-back singles with one out. Lawlor then tied the game at 5-5 as he ripped a three-run shot out to right.
Danny Crossen (Northeastern) flipped the score in favor of the hosts during the next half-inning as his one-out single brought home Dolan Ocasal (UAlbany) to make the score 6-5. The leadoff hitter went 2-for-3 with two runs scored and one RBI, while Walsh also had two hits and scored twice for the Starfires.
The Navs added another game-tying run in the fourth when Madoc Fisher (Salem State) drew a leadoff walk, took second on a wild pitch, and scored on Wetterau’s second double of the game. Lefty Jake Zoller (Wofford) put up a zero with two strikeouts an inning later and finished the game out of the North Shore bullpen, scattering five hits over the final 4.1 frames.
Fisher singled and Nolan Watson (Dayton) walked for the Navs in the sixth, but reliever Justin Butz (Kansas State) struck out Wetterau to bring Westfield back to the bats. Thomas Joyce (Merrimack) led off with an infield bunt single, but Olszak got Zoller through the inning in the minimum with a diving stop at third base to start a double play.
The score, thus, remained tied through six. Butz would earn the win after 1.1 innings of scoreless relief as Sean Moorhouse (Westfield State) drew a one-out walk and pinch runner Bryce Walker (Hartford) touched the plate on Murphy’s winning homer to right.