07/11/2020 8:30 PM
By Joshua Kummins
NASHUA, N.H. -- The Nashua Silver Knights scored two runs in the bottom of the ninth inning and handed the North Shore Navigators the first loss of the Futures Collegiate Baseball League season, 5-4, in the second meeting between the two teams in as many nights on Saturday at Historic Holman Stadium.
After matching the best start in franchise history with Friday’s 6-2 win at Fraser Field, North Shore fell to 6-1 on the season but still maintains a 2.5-game lead over three teams atop the standings. Nashua jumped back to the .500 mark at 4-4.
Designated hitter Logan Bravo (Harvard) went 4-for-5 and scored a run to lead North Shore’s 12-hit offensive effort. Shortstop Cody Morissette (Boston College) posted his third consecutive multi-hit game, going 3-for-5 with two RBI. Despite holding a 12-8 advantage in the hit column, North Shore left 12 runners on base including at least one in eight of its nine innings at the plate.
The Navs took a 1-0 lead as they found some first-inning offense for the third consecutive game. After right fielder Ben Malgeri (Northeastern) and Morissette posted back-to-back singles with one out, Bravo lined a two-out single to left to drive home Malgeri with the game’s first run.
In the bottom half of the inning, left fielder Ben Rounds (Harvard) flipped the score in Nashua’s favor with a two-run home run. Shortstop Nick Shumski (Merrimack) led off the game with a double to left against Navs starter Cam Seguin (UMass Lowell) before Rounds sent his first round-tripper of the season deep over right field. The Nashua lead extended to 3-1 later in the frame as third baseman Luke Beckstein (Kansas State) hit a sacrifice fly to score designated hitter John Mead (Franklin Pierce).
Seguin bounced back to post a 1-2-3 second as the scoreboard remained quiet for three straight innings on both sides, but North Shore knotted the score with two runs in the fifth. Center fielder Sal Frelick (Boston College) led off the frame with a single and stole second base. After Malgeri drew a walk, both runners moved up on a passed ball and then scored on Morissette’s knock through the middle.
North Shore’s bullpen put up seven straight zeroes following the early homer against Seguin. Peter Sakellaris (Virginia Tech) pitched two scoreless and hitless innings to lead a group of five relievers over that span, while Ricky Alexy (Southern New Hampshire) and Patrick Hannon (Franklin Pierce) both tossed strikeouts in single frames of relief work.
The Navs tagged Silver Knight closer Brandon Dufault (Northeastern) for a go-ahead run in the top of the ninth. After Dufault stranded a runner in scoring position an inning earlier, North Shore grabbed a one-run lead on left fielder Ryan Cervone’s (Northeastern) ground-rule double to left.
In the ninth, first baseman Alex Brickman (Dayton) got the Navs going with a one-out single. A wild pitch moved pinch runner Cam Climo (UMass Lowell) to second base, but Nashua catcher Ed Jarvis (Northeastern) caught him trying to take an extra base on the same play. After Bravo singled to center and took second on a passed ball, Cervone’s double brought Bravo home.
Nashua jumped ahead for good against Navs closer Beau Dana (Dickinson) in the last of the ninth inning, which began with center fielder Troy Schreffler Jr. (Maryland) and Beckstein drawing back-to-back walks. After an error and a wild pitch scored Schreffler with the tying run, Shumski hit a two-out single over Morissette’s head to win the game.
Shumski, Rounds and Mead all posted two hits for Nashua. Steven Miller (Penn State) earned his first win of the summer after getting the final out in relief of Dufault in the final frame.
Marblehead’s Dana was charged with the loss in his first appearance since Wednesday after saving the first three games in which he appeared for the Navs.
The Navs will be on the road again for a Sunday doubleheader as they take on the Westfield Starfires for the first time in 2020. The first of the seven-inning games begins at 3 p.m.