Maurice, Emus Shine as Navs Blank Muskrats, 4-0

06/24/2021 7:49 PM

LYNN, Mass. -- The North Shore Navigators pitched their second shutout of the New England Collegiate Baseball League season, holding the visiting Winnipesaukee Muskrats to just five hits on the way to a 4-0 win on Thursday night at Fraser Field.

North Shore improved to 8-6-2 on the season following its second straight win, while Winnipesaukee saw its record fall to 6-9 after losing for the sixth time in seven games.

First baseman Kyle Maurice (Saint Anselm) and left fielder Dylan Brazil (Stetson) each posted three hits to lead the North Shore offense, while catcher Cal Christofori (Santa Clara) had a pair of knocks and scored twice. Maurice started the 10-hit attack with a two-run home run in the second inning, supporting a brilliant seven-inning start by Jackson Emus (Princeton).

Emus dealt seven frames and needed just 89 pitches to finish the longest outing by a Navs starter this summer. The former Phillips Andover standout allowed just three hits, two walks and struck out seven Winnipesaukee batters. He faced the minimum in four different frames and recorded a pair of strikeouts in two of them.

North Shore took a 2-0 lead on one swing of the bat in the second inning as Maurice deposited the home team’s first Fraser Field homer out to right-center field. The long ball was the second of the summer for Maurice, who made his first start on Wednesday at Upper Valley after hitting a Northeast-10 Conference-leading 10 home runs during the regular season at St. A’s.

Winnipesaukee starter Ryan Fischer (NJIT) retired five straight batters after Brazil led off the game with a bunt single back to the mound, but Christofori set up Maurice’s bomb with a two-out single to left to get the scoring started.

The same two Navs combined for two-out offense in the fourth, extending their lead to 3-0. After right fielder Jose Aquino (Cisco) singled into right and was erased on a double play, Christofori ripped a two-out double off the base of the left-center field fence and crossed the plate on Maurice’s single into shallow right.

Emus faced three batters over each of the next two innings, benefitting from the second of three double play balls turned by the North Shore infield. 

The Navs increased their lead with another in the bottom of the sixth as Brazil beat out a single hit off Muskrat first baseman Mike La Rocca’s (SNHU) glove, scoring designated hitter Matthias Haas (Cal Poly). Haas and Christofori drew back-to-back walks with one out before third baseman Jake McElroy (Holy Cross) reached on a two-out free pass two batters later.

Relieving Emus in the eighth, North Shore newcomer Nick Artymowicz (SNHU) allowed a single and a walk before striking out two and inducing a fly ball to get out of the jam. Justin Butera (Merrimack) closed out the game, retiring the side on three batters after a leadoff single by right fielder Matt Overton (Molloy) was erased when Lynnfield native shortstop Jonathan Luders (Seton Hall) started up another double play.

Shortstop Danniel Rivera (SNHU) recorded two of the Muskrats’ five total hits, while Fischer suffered the loss as he allowed three runs on seven hits across the first five innings. The Muskrat starter did strike out six Navs. Drew Martin (Eckerd) worked the next frame out of the bullpen before lefty Nate Espelin (Dayton) held his former team scoreless and to just two hits over the seventh and eighth innings.

Following a day off, North Shore returns to action on Saturday night at North Adams. First pitch is set for 6:30 p.m. at Joe Wolfe Field.