08/15/2020 6:24 PM
By Joshua Kummins
NASHUA, N.H. -- The North Shore Navigators made their television debut on NESN and earned a third straight win in Futures Collegiate Baseball League action on Saturday, scoring three runs in the sixth inning before holding on to down the second-place Nashua Silver Knights, 4-3, at Historic Holman Stadium.
The Navs improved to 17-18 on the season, while Nashua fell to 20-16 as a result of its fourth consecutive loss.
Nashua actually held a 6-5 advantage in the hit column, but the Navs made theirs count off the bats of five different players. Left fielder Cam Climo (UMass Lowell) delivered the game-winning hit with a three-run home run in the sixth inning, his team-leading fifth of the season and second in as many games.
One run carried the Silver Knights throughout much of the game against North Shore righty Cedric Gillette (Merrimack) as center fielder Troy Schreffler Jr. (Maryland) sent a leadoff triple into the left-center gap and crossed the plate on shortstop Nick Shumski’s (Merrimack) infield grounder.
Nashua’s Griffin Young (Wheaton) cruised through the first few innings of his third straight start against the Navs, striking out five of the first 10 consecutive batters he faced. Right fielder Ben Malgeri (Northeastern) marked North Shore’s baserunner of the game as a one-out hit batter in the fourth, but Young ended the frame with back-to-back strikeouts.
Gillette allowed single hits in the second and third innings before retiring the last eight batters he faced, completing five frames of three-hit, one-run ball with four strikeouts. The Andover native’s strong finish to his team-leading sixth start -- and ultimate third win -- allowed the North Shore offense to come back with all four of its runs over the next two frames.
Back-to-back outs got Young and the Silver Knights started in the fifth, but the Navs were able to scratch across the game-tying run before exiting the inning.
Designated hitter Jack Whorf (UMass) knocked the visitors’ first hit of the game through the right side. He came home with the Navs’ first run after second baseman Jake McElroy (Holy Cross) sent a double over Nashua right fielder Jared Dupere’s (Northeastern) head and into the corner just a batter later.
North Shore flipped the score in its favor for the first time during a sixth inning that began with Malgeri ripping a triple off the top of the wall in left. Third baseman Cody Morissette (Boston College) walked to end Young’s day and bring Chris Chaney (Maryland) out of the Silver Knight bullpen, and Climo delivered a three-run bomb off the top level of advertising over left field.
Malgeri’s triple marked his league-leading sixth of the season, matching an FCBL-era franchise record that was last tied in 2018.
After Peter Sakellaris (Virginia Tech) struck out two during his inning behind Gillette, the Silver Knights got two runs back and cut the Navs’ lead to 4-3 in the seventh. Left fielder Ben Rounds (Harvard) led off the inning with a walk and scored on an error after second baseman Max Viera’s (Northeastern) infield single. Shumski then knocked a run-scoring single into left after Schreffler reached on a fielder’s choice.
Morissette drew a one-out walk in the eighth, but North Shore’s hope of any further offense was extinguished after Steven Miller (Penn State) recorded back-to-back outs out of the Silver Knight bullpen.
After Ricky Alexy (Southern New Hampshire) allowed Nashua’s last two runs, Jack Wallace (Franklin Pierce) and Derek Goldrick (Quinnipiac) both tossed scoreless innings to finish out the game for the Navs. Goldrick began the ninth with a strikeout, but his second save of the summer wasn’t official until Malgeri caught pinch hitter Kyle Bouchard’s (Nichols) bid at a game-tying homer on the warning track in right.
For Nashua, third baseman Nate Cormier (Nichols) went 2-for-3 and Shumski had both of the team’s RBI. Young was handed his second loss despite striking out eight over the first five frames.
The Navs return to Fraser Field for the second-to-last time in 2020 as they host the Westfield Starfires for a Sunday doubleheader. First pitch is set for 2:05 p.m.