Navs Fall Short of Second Straight Dramatic Win, Lose to Mystic in 11

06/19/2023 9:30 PM

LYNN, Mass. -- The North Shore Navigators rallied from a five-run deficit to take the lead before a back-and-forth stretch over the late innings fell against them in an 8-7, 11-inning setback to the visiting Mystic Schooners in a Monday night New England Collegiate Baseball League game at Fraser Field.

North Shore, which trailed 6-1 after 6.5 innings, scored two runs in the seventh and four more in the eighth before the game moved into extras. The Navs fell to 3-8 with the loss, while Mystic improved to 7-4 following its fifth straight victory.

Right fielder Stan DeMartinis III (Bentley) went 3-for-4 with three runs scored and a three-run triple that highlighted the team’s eighth-inning rally, while catcher Jacob Jarrell (Clemson) had two hits and two RBI. With DeMartinis on third, Jarrell ripped a second straight triple into the gap to give North Shore a 7-6 lead.

Despite the Navs’ best efforts to claim a second consecutive walk-off win, Mystic extended the game with a run in the ninth inning, and shortstop JT Navyac (Cal State Fullerton) snuck a game-winning single through the right side in the top of the 11th.

The Schooners loaded the bases without the benefit of a hit in the first and scored the opening run after first baseman Maddix Dalena (UConn) was hit by a pitch to force home a run. North Shore starter Brett Dunham (Northeastern) stranded three on base by striking out Navyac to end the inning.

Catcher George Athanasiadis (Merrimack) was hit by a pitch to lead off Mystic’s second inning. After advancing on a wild pitch and center fielder Drew Kron’s (UConn) single, the visitors’ second run scored as designated hitter Caleb Shpur (Endicott) reached on an error.

An inning later, Athanasiadis drove home the third Schooner run on a deep sacrifice fly to left field, scoring third baseman Anthony DePino (Rhode Island) following a leadoff walk.

The Navs broke onto the scoreboard with a run in the last of the third. DeMartinis, who was Sunday’s walk-off hero against league-leading Newport, lined a leadoff single to center before moving up 90 feet on a wild pitch. Left fielder Andrew Eppinger (NJIT) then drew a one-out walk, and second baseman Jake McElroy (Holy Cross) lined the run-scoring single into center two batters later with two outs.

A one-out single by right fielder Mike Bello (Auburn) set the table for Mystic to get the run back in the fourth. Bello stole second and moved to third on a subsequent throwing error before scoring on second baseman Addison Kopack’s (Rhode Island) double to left.

Relief pitching helped to settle the game down in the middle innings. North Shore’s Sawyer Duarte (Middlebury) put up zeros in both the fifth and sixth innings, opening the latter frame with a strikeout of Kron.

In the seventh, both teams scored multiple runs in an inning for the first time. Dalena’s two-out double and a following base hit by Navyac padded the Mystic lead. After Mystic southpaw Matthew Fletcher (Lasell) was relieved after 2.1 shutout innings, the Navs immediately plated two runs of their own with the help of three consecutive one-out hits.

First baseman Brandon Drapeau (St. Joseph’s) started the seventh-inning rally with a line single to right, and a DeMartinis knock to center followed. Jarrell then brought the Navs one run closer with an RBI single to center, while shortstop Henry Kaczmar’s (Ohio State) two-out double to center made it 6-3.

Croix Jenkins (NJIT) stranded the bases loaded to set up the North Shore offense’s most productive inning of the game. The Navs sent all nine men to bat during a four-run eighth, which began with two hit batsmen and a single by center fielder Evan Griffis (Stetson) loading the bases with no outs. After Drapeau flew out, DeMartinis and Jarrell strung together back-to-back triples to put the hosts in front.

Mystic forced extras as Juju Stevens (Missouri) hit a one-out single following a leadoff walk and Navyac’s sacrifice bunt. Will Jones (Northeastern) retired the side with an automatic runner on second base in the 10th, but Navyac took his chance to win the game with one out in the 11th.

North Shore had its chances to score in both of the extra innings, but two strikeouts with runners in scoring position were stranded in the 10th before Griffis hit into a game-ending double play in the 11th. Jay Allmer (Seton Hall) pitched three hitless innings to nab the win for Mystic.

The Navs hit the road for their next three games before returning to Fraser Field Saturday, starting with a Tuesday visit to face the Ocean State Waves. First pitch is set for 6:35 p.m. at Old Mountain Field in South Kingstown, R.I.