07/23/2021 8:48 PM
By Joshua Kummins
LYNN, Mass. -- One night after a walk-off victory, the North Shore Navigators controlled Friday night’s New England Collegiate Baseball League game from start to finish as they received a strong starting pitching performance and scored two runs in the fourth inning on the way to a 4-1 win over the Winnipesaukee Muskrats on Friday night at Fraser Field.
North Shore improved to 16-14-2 on the season following its third win in four games, opening a two-game lead over the Vermont Mountaineers for fourth place in the Northern Division. Winnipesaukee slipped to 11-21.
First baseman Logan Bravo (Harvard) and center fielder Joe Lomuscio (Stanford) had two hits apiece, combining for four of North Shore’s five in total. Lomuscio opened the scoring with a two-run home run in the fourth inning, while Bravo extended the third-longest hit streak in franchise history to 15 games.
Third baseman Jonathan Luders (Seton Hall) had the remaining hit and two RBI in support of right-handed starter Chris Shine (Seton Hall), who tossed six innings of six-hit, one-run ball with a season-high nine strikeouts.
Lomuscio broke up Muskrat southpaw Geoff Mosseau’s (St. John’s) no-hit and shutout bid on one swing of the bat as he lined a one-out homer over the left-field fence to stake the Navs to an early two-run lead. Bravo drew a one-out walk to set up a two-run shot for the All-Star outfielder’s fifth long ball of the summer.
One run was all the Navs needed for nearly two-thirds of the game as Shine spun the best of his five starts this summer, scattering six hits while facing the minimum twice and striking out multiple batters in four of his six frames. The Muskrats finally grabbed their lone run on designated hitter Drew Metzdorf’s (Plymouth State) two-out single in the sixth.
North Shore quickly got the run back in the bottom of the frame as Luders knocked a single through the left side, scoring left fielder David Kale (Fordham) following a fielder’s choice. Kale reached on an error to lead off the eighth before stealing second, advancing to third on a balk and beating a drawn-in infield on a Luders grounder to third to score the team’s fourth and final run.
North Shore’s trio of relievers was strong in helping Shine to the victory, allowing just two combined hits over the final three innings. Michael Willis (Georgetown) dealt a perfect seventh before James Sashin (San Diego) and Justin Butera (Merrimack) worked around two-out singles with a strikeout in their frames. Butera earned his fourth save.
Center fielder Cole Johnson (Kansas State) and shortstop Kohl Abrams (UNC Asheville) both went 2-for-4 for Winnipesaukee. Mosseau was handed his third loss in five decisions.
The Navs hit the road for four games over the next three days before returning to Fraser next Tuesday night. The trip begins against the Upper Valley Nighthawks at 6 p.m. Saturday from Maxfield Sports Complex in White River Junction, Vt.