Ocean State Comes Back, Defeats Navs in Wednesday Matinee

06/14/2023 1:38 PM

LYNN, Mass. -- The Ocean State Waves scored five runs over the final two innings to come from behind for a 7-5 win over the host North Shore Navigators in Wednesday afternoon’s matinee New England Collegiate Baseball League game at Fraser Field.

North Shore slipped to 2-5 on the season following its fourth consecutive loss, while Ocean State won its fourth straight to improve to 4-3.

Shortstop Henry Kaczmar (Ohio State) hit a two-run double that helped the Navs take a 3-0 lead in the first inning. Third baseman Jake Berger (Harvard) and center fielder Evan Griffis (Stetson) each finished the game with two runs scored.

Ocean State’s comeback effort including single runs in the sixth and seventh innings, three in the eighth and two in the ninth spoiled Cooper Smith’s (Stetson) second start of the summer for the Navs. The southpaw struck out eight while allowing two hits and two walks over the first five innings.

North Shore got off to a fast start in the first inning as Smith worked around right fielder Matthew Graveline’s (Ohio State) one-out base hit to strike out the side before the offense put together a three-run, four-hit frame.

After Ocean State starter Kyle Rossy (UCF) retired the first batter, second baseman Brendan Jones (Holy Cross) and Berger dropped bloop singles into shallow left. Griffis then lined a single to put the Navs on the board with a line single to left. A wild pitch moved both runners into scoring position, and Kaczmar ripped a two-out, two-run double down the line two batters later to make it 3-0.

Smith benefited from his defense turning double plays in the second and fourth innings. He also struck out the side in order in his fifth and final frame. 

In the sixth, the Waves got on the board on first baseman Christian Ficca’s (Georgetown) two-out single, but the hosts responded with two runs as Berger and Griffis drew back-to-back walks and scored on errors. Reliever Alex Logusch (Winthrop) entered with one out in the inning and struck out two to get Ocean State out of the inning.

Third baseman Garrett Howe (Samford) brought the Waves a run closer with a solo homer in the seventh. Ocean State’s biggest inning was the eighth as it scored three more runs, including two on left fielder Eric Genther’s (Rhode Island) single.

The Waves took the lead in the ninth as Howe drew a leadoff walk and Lewis Barnum (Bryant) was hit by a pitch before scoring on a two-base error. North Shore right fielder Andrew Eppinger (NJIT) reached on a one-out infield single in the ninth, but Austin Wainer (Bryant) retired back-to-back batters to end the game.

Logusch struck out six in 2.2 innings of no-hit ball to earn his second win for Ocean State. Wainer recorded his second save in as many appearances against North Shore. Genther went 2-for-4 with two RBI, and Howe scored two runs.

The Navs complete their four-game homestand with a Thursday night game against the Vermont Mountaineers. First pitch at Fraser is set for 6:35 p.m.