Navs Score Season-High 15 Runs, Down Muskrats

06/18/2021 7:56 PM

By Joshua Kummins

LACONIA, N.H. -- The North Shore Navigators scored nine runs in the sixth inning and never looked back as they put up their best offensive night of the season in a 15-8 win over the host Winnipesaukee Muskrats in Friday’s New England Collegiate Baseball League action at Robbie Mills Field.

North Shore improved to 6-3-2 following its third consecutive win, bouncing back from an 8-7, walk-off loss to the Muskrats in its previous visit to Laconia last Thursday. Winnipesaukee lost its third straight to slip below the .500 mark at 5-6.

First baseman Logan Bravo (Harvard) and catcher Kyle Maurice (Saint Anselm) hit their first home runs of the summer, helping the Navs rack up 11 total hits in the ballgame. Three different North Shore batters recorded two hits and four drove home multiple runs, led by right fielder Jose Aquino’s (Cisco) three RBI.

The Navs wasted little time getting on the scoreboard while sending seven men to the plate in the top of the first inning. Second baseman Jonathan Luders (Seton Hall) was hit by the game’s first pitch and scored on Aquino’s one-out single into left.

Winnipesaukee knotted the score in its first at-bats as center fielder Cole Johnson (Kansas State) drew a one-out walk and before stealing the next three bases. Right fielder Jake LaPrairie’s (Tulane) two-run double with one out punctuated a three-run second frame that tipped the score in the home team’s favor.

The Muskrats extended their lead with single runs in each of the next two frames, ending the day for North Shore’s Swampscott native starter Luke Marshall (Stonehill) after three complete. Catcher Nick Marrero (Hofstra) brought home Winnipesaukee’s third-inning run on a two-out homer to left before Johnson left the yard with a shot to right to extend the lead to 6-1 in the next inning.

After allowing the fourth-inning homer, Navs reliever Myles McDermott (San Jacinto) worked around a one-out double to put up the first zero of the night and set his team up for a rapid comeback over the next two frames. McDermott followed Marshall as the first North Shore arm out of the bullpen and earned the victory following two innings of two-hit ball with three strikeouts.

North Shore returned to the scoreboard thanks to Bravo’s solo homer to right in the fifth. Prior to Bravo’s first long ball of the summer, Muskrats starter Geoff Mosseau (St. John’s) had not allowed a hit since the Navs put two on the board on the way to scoring first in the opening frame.

The Navs chased Mosseau from the game and saw three different Winnipesaukee pitchers during a ninth-run sixth. Eleven of the team’s 12 baserunners in the inning reached with two outs after Maurice started the offense with a one-out walk.

After Mosseau dealt a strikeout, Luders was hit by a pitch for the 10th time this summer and designated hitter Matthias Haas (Cal Poly) followed by dropping a run-scoring single into shallow right. Center fielder Joe Lomuscio (Stanford) followed with a free pass, moved around on Aquino’s two-run knock inside first base and scored the game-tying run on a wild pitch.

North Shore jumped in front on third baseman Jake McElroy’s (Holy Cross) line single over third base before Maurice and Lemery drew bases-loaded free passes to force in runs. Luders dropped a single into shallow center before Haas was hit by a pitch with the sacks full to drive in the ninth and final run of the inning.

The New Hampshire native Maurice left no doubt on his first hit and homer of the season, hitting a solo shot to deep left-center to begin the eighth. LaPrairie brought the Muskrats a bit closer with a two-run homer to right in the bottom half of that frame, but the Navs quickly responded and concluded the game with a three-run ninth.

Lomuscio led off the last frame with a single up the middle and Brazil drew a walk before left fielder David Kale (Fordham) scored them both on a two-run standing triple off the base of the wall in right. McElroy’s grounder to third brought Kale home to conclude North Shore’s scoring.

Caleb Hollis (Crowder) pitched a hitless inning in relief of McDermott before James Sashin (San Diego) allowed just one knock over the next two frames and Justin Butera (Merrimack) struck out the side in as many batters in the ninth.

The Navs return to Fraser Field for a Saturday night contest against the North Adams SteepleCats. First pitch is set for 6:35 p.m.