Smith Throws Gem, Navs Sink Sharks at Home

06/30/2023 8:24 PM

LYNN, Mass. — Behind outstanding pitching and a late surge at the plate, the North Shore Navigators battled their way to a 5-0 win over the Coastal Division rival Martha’s Vineyard Sharks in Friday night’s New England Collegiate Baseball League game at Fraser Field.

The win moves North Shore’s record to 9-11 and marks their fifth victory in their last six games. Martha’s Vineyard is now 7-13.

Martha’s Vineyard had no answer for Navs starter Cooper Smith (Stetson), who twirled seven shutout innings with six strikeouts while allowing just three hits. The win marks the southpaw’s second scoreless start of the season, and 17 of Smith’s last 18 innings have been scoreless.

First baseman Brandon Drapeau (Saint Joseph’s) cranked three hits to lead North Shore at the plate, highlighted by a three-run double to seal the win in the bottom of the eighth inning. 

Right fielder Stan DeMartinis III (Bentley) and shortstop Henry Kaczmar (Ohio State) both reached base three times, too.

After loading the bases in the seventh, North Shore took the lead after second baseman Luca Trigiani (William & Mary) slapped an RBI groundout to shortstop. Catcher Matt Chatelle (Merrimack) joined the action with a sacrifice fly to deep left the following at-bat. 

Kaden Humphrey (Stetson) picked up where Smith left off in the top of the eighth, working around a walk to finish the frame with two strikeouts. 

Then, Drapeau provided the exclamation point with his bases-clearing double, which whizzed down the left-field line and brought the Fraser Faithful to their feet. His big night caps off a huge week, during which the Mullica Hill, N.J. native has gone 6-for-12 with seven RBI and four runs scored — including a pair of home runs. 

Closer Tristan Ciampa (Northern Essex CC) finished off the win by tossing a 1-2-3 ninth inning. The right-hander from Wilmington has been lights out in his role as North Shore’s closer, notching four consecutive hitless appearances and five in a row without allowing a run.

The Navs will look to keep the momentum rolling when the team travels to Martha’s Vineyard tomorrow to cap off a home-and-home series with the Sharks. First pitch is slated for 7:05 p.m. On Sunday, the team returns to Fraser to host the league-leading Newport Gulls at 5:05 p.m.