08/06/2020 8:33 PM
By Joshua Kummins
LYNN, Mass. -- The North Shore Navigators fell short in their second “Home Run Derby Wins It” tiebreaker of the season, dropping a 4-3 decision to the Nashua Silver Knights in Thursday night’s Futures Collegiate Baseball League action at Fraser Field.
The Navs slipped to 12-14 on the season following their second consecutive loss. Second-place Nashua moved to 16-11 after first baseman Dominic Keegan (Vanderbilt) ripped 13 homers in the Derby to power its seventh win of the season against North Shore.
Center fielder Sal Frelick (Boston College) went 3-for-5 with a run scored, two RBI and a stolen base from the leadoff spot in a North Shore batting order that finished with a 9-6 hits advantage in the game. Third baseman Jake McElroy (Holy Cross) and second baseman Jonathan Luders (Seton Hall) also had multi-hit efforts.
After Navs starter Cam Seguin (UMass Lowell) worked around five baserunners over the first two innings, the offense came through with three runs on three hits during the bottom of the second.
McElroy started North Shore’s first run-scoring frame with a double to the wall in right before catcher Dylan January (Franklin Pierce) drew a walk. After Luders dropped down a sacrifice bunt, Frelick’s double inside the third base bag brought home the first two runs. Designated hitter Logan Bravo (Harvard) tripled into the left-center gap to extend the home team’s lead to three a couple of batters later.
The Silver Knights put together some two-out offense to get a run across during Seguin’s fourth and final inning of work. Left fielder Ben Rounds (Harvard) sent a single through the left side of the infield, bringing home former St. John’s Prep catcher Jack Arend (Nichols) to cap off a stretch of three consecutive hits.
Luders chased Nashua starter Josh Roberge (Wheaton) from the game after leading off the fifth with a single. Frelick greeted reliever Jake Thibault (Merrimack) with a check-swing single through the left side, but a strikeout and a double play ended the North Shore threat.
Seguin finished his third start of the summer with six strikeouts over four innings of three-hit, one-run ball. Danny Gracia (Franklin Pierce) worked two innings of one-hit, three-strikeout relief before Nashua turned around to tie the game against his Ravens teammate Jack Wallace in the seventh.
Right fielder Jared Dupere (Northeastern) started the rally with a one-out walk before Keegan lined a double to set the table for the Knights. Designated hitter John Mead’s (Franklin Pierce) grounder to second brought the visitors within a run, and third baseman Luke Beckstein (Kansas State) knocked in the tying run on a line single up the middle.
North Shore put two runners aboard over its next two trips to the plate before Frelick was stranded on base after a leadoff single in the ninth. The Lexington native proceeded to steal his 27th career base as a Navigator, passing three-year outfielder Tim Hendricks (Benedictine, 2012-14) for the all-time lead in team history.
Max Meier (Stanford) struck out four over two hitless innings for the Navs, while Jack Pawloski (UMass) retired the final four batters he faced out of Nashua’s bullpen.
With the score tied after regulation and an extra inning, Keegan became the first player in Navs history to win a Home Run Derby for and against North Shore as he belted 13 home runs over the Fraser fences during the opening three-minute round. Navs first baseman Cam Climo (UMass Lowell) finished his round with three, and thus the game was over.
After completing a stretch of eight out of 10 games at home, the Navs will hit the road for five of their next six games. North Shore heads to the Nutmeg State on Friday night to take on the New Britain Bees at 6:35 p.m.