Swamp Bats Fly Past Navs at Fraser, 9-2

07/07/2021 9:06 PM

By Joshua Kummins

LYNN, Mass. -- The North Shore Navigators were unable to earn their third consecutive win as the visiting Keene Swamp Bats scored two runs in the third inning and ran away late in a 9-2 win in Wednesday night’s New England Collegiate Baseball League action at Fraser Field.

North Shore fell to 11-9-2 following its second straight loss in the head-to-head season series, while first-place Keene improved to 13-7.

First baseman Logan Bravo (Harvard) had the biggest of the Navs’ four hits, belting a two-run home run in the seventh inning to cut what was a 4-0 lead for the visitors at the time. Third baseman Matthias Haas (Cal Poly), center fielder Joe Lomuscio (Stanford) and catcher Cal Christofori (Santa Clara) recorded the remaining knocks for the Navs.

North Shore starting pitcher Chris Shine (Seton Hall) and his Keene counterpart Richie Dell (Kent State) traded zeroes over the first two innings before a near one-hour rain delay halted play. Shine retired the first seven batters he faced before issuing a walk.

The Swamp Bats wasted little time getting on the scoreboard following the pause. With the bases loaded, shortstop David Bryant hit a two-run single into center field on the first pitch thrown by reliever Evan Christopulos (Bentley). The returning North Shore righty settled into the game from there, throwing 2.1 scoreless, one-hit innings.

The Navs were held hitless until the fifth when Christofori hit a one-out single that fell by the boards following an inning-ending double play. A seventh-inning twin killing also erased Lomuscio, who singled following the Bravo homer that brought home the only North Shore runs.

Keene added to its lead on Payne’s two-out single in the sixth and third baseman Daniel DiGeorgio’s (Rutgers) knock an inning later, but the home team made its way onto the scoreboard on Bravo’s no-doubt shot to right during the bottom of the seventh. The Andover native homered for the second straight night and team-leading fifth time this season, bringing home Haas following a leadoff single up the middle.

The visitors opened the game open with a five-run ninth in which all nine batters came to the plate. All of the runs scored with two outs as center fielder Troy Schreffler Jr. (Maryland) hit a two-run single into right and designated hitter Tommy Joseph (Jacksonville) cleared the bases with a three-run homer in the next at-bat.

Keene’s final frame also included a double by right fielder Michael Nyisztor (Rutgers), who went 3-for-4 with two runs scored. Joel Rodriguez (Florida Southwestern State) earned the win as he allowed just one hit and struck out three over three innings in relief of Dell.

The Navs play the back end of a two-game homestand at 6:35 p.m. Thursday against the Upper Valley Nighthawks.