06/19/2022 7:54 PM
LYNN, Mass. -- The North Shore Navigators swept a Father’s Day doubleheader from the Coastal Division rival Newport Gulls with 4-1 and 1-0 wins in New England Collegiate Baseball League action on Sunday at Fraser Field.
North Shore improved to 3-9 on the season following the pair of wins, while Newport fell to 7-4 after entering the day with a 1.5-game lead over Mystic for first place in the division standings.
The Navs, who fell 8-1 to Newport in Saturday’s three-game series opener, banged out nine hits in the opening game. Third baseman Trace Willhoite (Lipscomb) crossed the plate with the only run of the nightcap on an eighth-inning passed ball, as the hosts won a game that featured just three combined hits.
The Navs conclude their four-game homestand at 12:05 p.m. Monday when they host the Martha’s Vineyard Sharks for the first time this summer. The two teams will make it a home-and-home series, heading down to Oak Bluffs on Tuesday night.
Game 1: North Shore 4, Newport 1
North Shore put up more offense over the first two innings of the opener than it did over any of the last three complete games, scoring two runs on three hits against Newport starter Logan McGuire (Georgia Tech) in each of those frames.
In total, seven of the Navs’ nine starters recorded the team’s nine hits. Shortstop Max Viera (Northeastern) and left fielder Nathan Blasick (West Virginia) each had 2-for-3 nights to lead the way, Blasick drove in a run, and center fielder Jake McElroy (Holy Cross) and second baseman Jake Gustin (Bryant) both recorded a hit, scored a run and drove in another.
Four runs were more than enough support for Jack DiLauro (Holy Cross), who struck out six across five innings of one-run ball to improve to 1-1 through two solid starts. The righty scattered six hits across his 106-pitch outing. Matt Potok (Coastal Carolina) pitched two shutout innings with a strikeout to record his first save.
The Navs quickly plated the first run as McElroy reached on a throwing error and immediately scored on Gustin’s first-pitch double into the right-field corner. After Viera ripped a single up the middle, Blasick’s base hit brought home another run.
A two-run second inning began with first baseman Jake Bullard (Stetson) and right fielder Stan DeMartinis (Bryant) logging back-to-back singles. Bullard stole second and hit third on the latter single before scoring on a wild pitch, while McElroy made it a 4-0 game with a run-scoring single to center.
Newport right fielder Josh Kuroda-Grauer (Rutgers) knocked his third hit in as many at-bats to plate the visitors’ first run in the fifth. Blasick capped the inning with a defensive web gem, running full speed into the Navs bullpen in foul territory to retire Newport counterpart Alec Makarewicz (East Carolina).
Newport’s Logan McGuire (Georgia Tech) allowed three earned runs on seven hits and struck out three in a losing effort.
Game 2: North Shore 1, Newport 0 (8 innings)
The Navs turned to Cooper Smith (Stetson) for seven shutout, two-hit innings with six strikeouts in his first start of the summer. Newport’s Kevin Seitter (Quinnipiac) was even more dominant, tossing six no-hit frames and striking out six to keep the game scoreless into extra innings.
The home team was held out of the hit column until Viera lined a leadoff base hit to right in the first at-bat against Newport reliever Chase Allen (Michigan), but two runners were left stranded during the most productive offensive inning in the game to that point.
Smith retired the side in order in both the first and third innings, receiving fine support in the form of McElroy’s diving catch to take a hit away from Newport first baseman Samuel Kulasingam (Air Force) during the latter of those frames.
North Shore wasted little time bringing across the winning run as Willhoite -- the automatic runner on second base -- was moved to third on first baseman Connor Bertsch’s (Dartmouth) sacrifice bunt and scored on a one-out passed ball with McElroy at the plate.