Navs Blanked for Second Straight Friday in Newport

06/23/2023 7:45 PM

NEWPORT, R.I. -- The North Shore Navigators’ bats were silenced by the best team in the New England Collegiate Baseball League for the second consecutive Friday night as they suffered a 4-0 defeat to the Newport Gulls at Cardines Field.

North Shore was unable to snag a second straight win and slipped to 4-10 on the season, while Newport remained at the top of the Coastal Division and overall league standings with an 11-3 record.

Right fielder Stan DeMartinis III (Bentley), designated hitter DJ Pacheco (Richmond) and catcher Matt Chatelle (Merrimack) each recorded a hit for North Shore, which was held to just three as a team for the second time in as many trips to Newport this season.

Left-hander Cooper Smith (Stetson) struck out nine across a six-inning start for North Shore. Smith began the game with five consecutive scoreless innings before Newport scored all four of its runs on first baseman Sam Kulasingam’s (Air Force) grand slam in the sixth inning. Newport put up just three hits prior to Smith’s final frame.

The Navs put two runners aboard in the second as DeMartinis hit a one-out single into center field and Pacheco followed with a two-out knock through the right side two batters later, but Seitter induced a popup to end the threat.

Smith allowed a leadoff single to Newport center fielder Anthony Donofrio (Quinnipiac) before retiring the next six straight, which included bookending the second with strikeouts. After left fielder Kolton Freeman (Dartmouth) started the third with a base hit, the North Shore southpaw retired 10 in a row through the first out of the sixth.

Following Pacheco’s single in the second, North Shore would not get another runner aboard until the fourth when DeMartinis drew a two-out walk. Chatelle would also be stranded after lining a single up the middle with two outs in the sixth. 

Newport finally got to Smith and broke the game open in its half of the sixth. Donofrio and second baseman Luke Beckstein (Northeastern) started the rally with a one-out triple to right and an infield single, respectively. After Smith issued his first and only walk to third baseman Slate Alford (Georgia), Kulasingam provided the first runs of the game on a grand slam to center.

The Navs had a chance to get on the scoreboard after putting their first two batters on base in the ninth. First baseman Jackson Hornung (Kansas State) reached on an error on a hard-hit ground ball to third base, and pinch hitter Tanner Zellem (Tennessee) was hit by a pitch. David Horn (Vanderbilt) struck out the next three batters to clinch the home team’s victory.

Seitter pitched six innings of three-hit, scoreless ball with six strikeouts en route to his third win for Newport. He has now blanked the Navs over six innings in back-to-back starts. 

Donofrio (3-for-4) and Beckstein (2-for-4) each had multiple hits for the Gulls.

With a three-game road trip in the books, the Navs will return home to Fraser Field for the first time since Monday and will entertain the Valley Blue Sox at 7:05 p.m. Saturday. North Shore is set to play three of its next four games on home turf.