Navs Can't Find Big Hit in North Adams, Fall 5-2

Na 5, Navs 2
06/14/2022 8:21 PM

NORTH ADAMS, Mass. -- The North Shore Navigators piled up nine hits but left 15 runners on base as they fell to the North Adams SteepleCats, 5-2, in Tuesday night’s New England Collegiate Baseball League (NECBL) game at Joe Wolfe Field.

North Shore fell to 1-5, while North Adams improved to 1-7 with its first win of the season.

Despite the loss, Jake McElroy (Holy Cross) went 4-for-5 from the top of the North Shore lineup and fellow outfielder Trace Willhoite (Lipscomb) crossed the plate twice. Shortstop Max Viera (Northeastern) and designated hitter Mike Gervasi (UMass) had the team’s two RBI.

Southpaw Cooper Smith (Stetson) was a bright spot out of the Navs bullpen, striking out three across three hitless and scoreless innings.

North Shore was unable to produce a run despite loading the bases in both the first and second innings, and the home team immediately took advantage by putting up a 3-0 lead. 

McElroy and second baseman Reece Rappoli (Brown) led off the game with back-to-back singles. In the second frame, center fielder Justin Cassella (Elon) and McElroy produced a pair of two-out hits but were left stranded as North Adams starter Cory Bosecker (Butler) induced a grounder to short after starting with consecutive strikeouts.

Three consecutive hits led to the opening two runs for North Adams in the first. First baseman Ryan Galanie’s (Wofford) base hit plated both leadoff-hitting center fielder Hunter Pasqualini (Central Connecticut) and St. John’s Prep grad Alex Lane (Bryant). Pasqualini made it a 3-0 game with a single in the following frame.

The Navs finally marked the scoreboard in the fourth as Viera beat out an infield hit to shortstop to bring home Willhoite, who drew a one-out walk and advanced on McElroy’s third knock in as many at-bats. An inning later, Willhoite started a 9-5 double play on Galanie’s fly ball to right, keeping it a two-run game.

North Shore capitalized on a pair of errors and sliced its deficit in half in the sixth inning. After Willhoite reached on a one-out error and second baseman Ty Dooley (Radford) and Viera walked to load the bases, Gervasi drove in a run while reaching on another miscue. 

SteepleCat reliever Austin McKinney (Pacific) dialed back for a strikeout to end the inning as North Shore left the bases loaded for the third time. He earned the win with five strikeouts across three hitless innings.

The hosts put the game out of reach with two runs on two hits in the eighth as second baseman Vincent Bianchina (Northwestern) was hit by a bases-loaded pitch and Scott Jones (Butler) scored on a wild pitch off North Shore reliever Peyton Heisner (Merrimack).

Swampscott’s Luke Marshall (Stonehill) took the loss after allowing three runs on five hits and striking out four in four innings.

Pasqualini and Galanie both had two hits for North Adams.

The Navs will have a very quick turnaround before their next game as the Mystic Schooners are set to visit Fraser Field for an 11:05 a.m. first pitch on Wednesday morning.