06/19/2021 8:37 PM
By Joshua Kummins
LYNN, Mass. -- The North Shore Navigators saw their three-game win streak come to an end on Saturday night as the visiting North Adams SteepleCats came from behind to score four runs in the seventh inning and leave Fraser Field with an 8-5 win in New England Collegiate Baseball League action.
The game marked the first winning result for either team in the seven-game season series thus far after they traded ties on June 5 in North Adams and last Sunday at Fraser. North Shore slipped to 6-4-2 on the season, while North Adams moved to 4-5-2 as it snapped a two-game skid.
Left fielder David Kale (Fordham) posted his second consecutive two-hit game, going 2-for-3 with three of the Navs’ five runs scored. Right fielder Dylan Brazil (Stetson) also logged two more of the eight total hits. Brazil and third baseman Jake McElroy (Holy Cross) recorded two RBI apiece.
The Navs scored the game’s first run in the bottom of the second inning as Brazil lined a one-out single to right to score Kale, who led off the inning by reaching base on a catcher’s interference call before stealing second.
North Adams flipped the score in its favor in a fourth inning that was highlighted by shortstop Thomas Gavello’s (Pacific) two-run home run to right. Second baseman Jon Kozarian (Slippery Rock) followed with a single and crossed the plate on a throwing error. The Navs cut into their new deficit in the bottom of the frame as Brazil hit a sacrifice fly to center after Kale drew a leadoff walk and advanced on an error.
North Shore put up a big inning of its own in the fifth, scoring three runs on three hits to take a 5-3 lead. Center fielder Joe Lomuscio (Stanford) reached on a rare three-base error to begin the frame and scored the tying run on designated hitter Jose Aquino's (Cisco) line double inside the bag at third. After Kale dropped a bunt single down the third base line, McElroy put the hosts in front on a two-run single past a drawn-in right side of the infield.
Left-hander Ryan Steinhauer (Dayton) pitched a 1-2-3 inning of relief of the Navs’ Seton Hall duo of starter Christopher Shine and southpaw Aaron Groller in the sixth, but the SteepleCats scored in two of their final three at-bats to take the win.
Four of the first five North Adams batters in the seventh inning reached base and came around to score. Designated hitter Jeremy Lea (Pacific) and Gavello posted run-scoring hits in the frame, which came between left fielder Charles Middleton’s (Pacific) sac fly to center. Gavello’s knock was followed by a relay throwing error that plated another run.
In the ninth, Gavello rounded out the visitors’ scoring with an RBI grounder to second after right fielder Matt Shilling (Liberty) hit a leadoff single.
Luke Benneche was the second and final North Adams reliever to appear in the game, and he earned the victory after allowing just two hits and striking out six across the final 4.1 frames. Gavello drove in four of the six North Adams runs while going 2-for-5 out of the No. 5 hole.
The loss went to lefty Zach Chappell (North Florida), the third of four North Shore relievers who had not allowed an earned run over his first six innings of the summer entering the game. Chappell was charged with all four runs in the SteepleCat seventh.
The Navs hit the road for their next three games before returning to Fraser to host the Winnipesaukee Muskrats at 6:35 p.m. next Thursday. The stretch away from home begins at 4:30 p.m. Sunday against the Sanford Mainers at Goodall Park.