DeMartinis Walk-Off Hit Lifts Navs Past Newport Sunday

Sydni Smaller
06/18/2023 6:32 PM

LYNN, Mass. –– In Sunday's 4-3 win over the league-leading Newport Gulls, the North Shore Navigators showcased their flair for the dramatic.

Right fielder Stan DeMartinis III (Bentley) delivered the heroics with a walk-off base hit to center field, which plated third baseman Jake Berger (Harvard) to seal the thrilling win Sunday afternoon at Fraser Field. 

North Shore snapped its six-game losing streak and moved to 3-7, while Newport (8-2) saw its three-game win streak come to an end. 

Left fielder Evan Griffis (Stetson) went 4-for-5 to pace the Navs’ bats. Berger and shortstop Henry Kaczmar (Ohio State) both went 2-for-4, while second baseman Jake McElroy (Holy Cross) also reached base twice.

But up until the ninth inning, the story of the game was North Shore’s outstanding pitching — highlighted by starter Jacob Wilson (Dayton) and Colin Brodeur (Florida Southwestern State). The two right-handers mowed down batter after batter, combining for eight innings of shutout ball against Newport, which was averaging nearly six runs per game before Sunday’s game. 

North Shore took a 1-0 lead in the bottom of the third. Berger started the rally with a one-out walk, before Griffis lined a base-hit to left field the next at-bat. The baserunners advanced to second and third on a wild pitch. First baseman Brandon Drapeau (St. Joseph’s) drove home Griffis with a grounder to second. 

The Navs tacked on another run the following inning, after Kaczmar cranked a two-out triple to deep right-center. Center fielder Peter Messervy (Harvard) legged out an infield single to plate Kaczmar.

Griffis led off the bottom of the fifth with a double down the left-field line — and advanced to third after designated hitter Tanner Zellem (Tennessee) reached on an error — but reliever Adam Maher (UMass Dartmouth) escaped the jam by inducing an inning-ending double play. 

Newport struck back in the ninth. After the Gulls’ first three batters reached base to load the bases, Samuel Kulasingam (Air Force) trotted home on a passed ball, and pinch runner Tyler Hare (Georgia Tech) scored the tying run on Matt Schark’s (Southern Illinois) sacrifice fly to center. Slate Alford (Mississippi State) put Newport on top in the top of the tenth, lining the go-ahead hit to left field to earn the Gulls a 3-2 advantage. 

North Shore punched right back in the bottom half of the frame. Berger’s leadoff RBI single scored McElroy, who was placed on second base to start the inning due to the league’s international tie-breaker rule. Griffis reached with a base hit to left, and Drapeau dropped a sacrifice bunt to move the two baserunners into scoring position. Newport intentionally walked pinch hitter Brendan Jones (Holy Cross) to load the bases, which set the stage for DeMartinis’ thrilling walk-off, which sent the Fraser Field faithful into a frenzy.

Swampscott native Pierce Friedman (Stonehill) and Kaden Humphrey (Stetson) each pitched scoreless innings of relief for North Shore. Tristan Ciampa (Northern Essex CC) was the last to take the mound and earned the victory.

The Navs will stay in Lynn for a Coastal Division showdown with the Mystic Schooners at Fraser Field tomorrow at 6:35 p.m.