Eighth Inning Helps Navs Surge Past Bristol Wednesday

06/21/2023 8:13 PM
​BRISTOL, Conn. -- A tiebreaking four-run eighth inning was the difference as the North Shore Navigators posted a 6-2 victory over the host Bristol Blues in Wednesday night’s New England Collegiate Baseball League (NECBL) game at Muzzy Field.

North Shore broke a two-game skid and improved to 4-9, while Bristol slipped to 5-7 following only its second home loss of the summer. The victory was the Navs’ first-ever as an NECBL franchise against Bristol, which was also a rival of the franchise during its Futures League tenure.

Left fielder Stan DeMartinis III (Bentley) and second baseman Brendan Jones (Holy Cross) had the run-scoring hits in North Shore’s big inning, the latter of which was a bases-clearing, three-run double. First baseman Jackson Hornung (Kansas State) went 2-for-4 with an RBI and a run scored in his Navs debut.

Four North Shore relievers followed David Hagaman (West Virginia) into the game, working a combined five scoreless, two-hit innings. Nick Davis (Northeastern) earned the victory following two shutout, one-hit innings over which he struck out four.

Hagaman worked around a two-out walk to post a zero in the first inning. After shortstop Luca Trigiani (William & Mary) started a 6-4-3 double play to erase a leadoff walk in the second, the Blues got on the board when catcher Jimmy Sullivan (Northeastern) shot a single up the middle to score designated hitter Ryan Daniels (UConn).

The Navs had a big opportunity to break onto the scoreboard in the second. Center fielder Evan Griffis (Stetson) started the threat with a double to left before catcher Jacob Jarrell (Clemson) reached on an error two batters later, but Bristol’s Justin Solimine (Manhattan) used back-to-back strikeouts to escape the inning.

Bristol’s lead doubled in the fourth as shortstop Chaz Myers (Pacific) ripped a leadoff double into left and crossed the plate on a Daniels single past a drawn-in infield two batters later.

Hagaman allowed two runs on five hits and struck out four across the first four innings.

North Shore greeted Bristol reliever Danny Macchiarola (Holy Cross) rudely in the sixth, knocking three straight hits to draw within one. Right fielder Jake McElroy (Holy Cross) snuck a leadoff single over the pitcher’s mound and advanced to third on designated hitter Henry Kaczmar’s (Ohio State) base hit to left to set up the run-scoring plays.
With two on base, Hornung drove home McElroy with the first Navs run on a wall-ball double to right. After Luke Benneche (Northwestern) relieved Macchiarola, third baseman Jake Berger’s (Harvard) RBI groundout tied the score at 2-2.

Bristol loaded the bases on a single and two walks during its half of the sixth, but Hornung stayed on second baseman Vincent Bianchina’s (Northwestern) hard ground ball at first and dove to the bag to record the out and get Swampscott native Pierce Friedman (Stonehill) out of the jam.

The Navs posted their second crooked​​ number inning in as many nights in the eighth, putting the game away this time with four runs on three hits. Kaczmar drew a leadoff walk to start things off before Hornung singled to left and Berger reached on an error on an attempted sacrifice bunt.

Bristol reliever Emmett Tolis (Fairfield) recovered to strike out Griffis for the first out, but DeMartinis lined a go-ahead RBI single to right to make it a 3-2 game. After Jarrell fanned, Jones extended the score by launching a bases-clearing, three-run double to right.

Davis and Tristan Ciampa (Northern Essex CC) finished the game with a hitless inning apiece. Davis fanned a pair in the eighth to conclude his appearance, while Ciampa started a 1-6-3 double play ball following a leadoff walk.

Daniels, Myers and center fielder Pete Durocher (Manhattan) each had two hits for Bristol. Tolis suffered his second loss of the season.

After taking Thursday off, the Navs will complete their three-game road trip with another Friday trip to Rhode Island to face the Newport Gulls. First pitch at Cardines Field is set for 6:35 p.m. The team returns to Fraser Field to host the Valley Blue Sox at 7:05 p.m. Saturday.​