Navs Soar Past Keene in Home Opener

06/09/2023 8:44 PM

LYNN, Mass. -- Stellar pitching powered the North Shore Navigators to their second consecutive win, a 7-1 rout of the Keene SwampBats in North Shore’s home opener Friday night at Fraser Field.

Beverly native starter Brayden Clark (Salve Regina) earned the win in his Navs debut, allowing just three hits and striking out six in five shutout innings.

North Shore’s bullpen followed suit, combining to allow one run and four hits the rest of the way with four strikeouts. Jake Needham (Holy Cross) and Kaden Humphrey (Stetson) twirled shutout appearances, and Tristan Ciampa (Northern Essex CC) closed things out in the ninth.

The Navs’ offensive production was a balanced effort that came from across the lineup. Six different players recorded an RBI, and seven belted a hit.

Right fielder DJ Pacheco (Richmond) led the way, notching two base hits, an RBI, and a sacrifice bunt that led to North Shore’s first run of the evening.

Center fielder Peter Messervy (Harvard) put the Navs (2-1) on the board with an RBI single in the bottom of the third, before North Shore added a second run in the inning on left fielder Evan Griffis’ (Stetson) sacrifice fly. First baseman Tommy O’Connor (Cincinnati) kicked off the rally with a walk, and advanced to second on Pacheco’s bunt. He scored on Messervy’s knock, and Messervy trotted home on Zellem’s base hit the following at-bat.

Then, in the sixth, the Navs tacked on two insurance runs on infield singles by second baseman Jake McElroy (Holy Cross) and Pacheco, taking advantage of two Keene errors. Chatelle scurried home on McElroy’s dribbler down the first base line, and McElroy scored the Navs’ fourth run after Pacheco hit a chopper that bounced over the pitcher’s mound and died in the infield grass. 

A three-run burst by North Shore in the seventh put the game out of reach. Third baseman Tanner Zellem (Tennessee) kicked off the rally with a leadoff walk, and designated hitter Jake Berger (Harvard) followed with a base hit.

After Zellem advanced to third on a wild pitch, catcher Matt Chattelle (Merrimack) cashed in the run with a sacrifice fly, before shortstop Henry Kaczmar (Ohio State) added the exclamation point with an RBI double into the left-center gap.

The SwampBats scored their lone run of the night in the final frame on Garrett Rice’s (Missouri Southern State) sac fly, which drove home center fielder Blake DeLamielleure (Jacksonville).

Tyler Murphy (Florida Atlantic) took the loss for Keene, conceding two earned runs in four innings on the bump.

With the victory, the Navs have won three straight games against Keene, dating back to last season.

North Shore will travel to Holyoke tomorrow to take on the Valley Blue Sox at 6:30 p.m. The team will return to Fraser Field Sunday for a Coastal Division showdown with the Ocean State Waves.