Smith Dazzles Again, Bats Erupt in Navs' Friday Win

07/14/2023 8:59 PM

LYNN, Mass. — The North Shore Navigators scored multiple times in four different innings and matched their season-high run total on the way to a dominating 13-1 win over the visiting Mystic Schooners in Friday night’s New England Collegiate Baseball League (NECBL) action at Fraser Field.

North Shore has now won five of its last six games to move to 15-16, claiming sole possession of third place in the Coastal Division standings. Mystic fell to 19-11 as its seven-game win streak came to an end.

Center fielder Evan Griffis (Stetson) and left fielder Stan DeMartinis III (Bentley) each had three RBI to lead the North Shore offense. Shortstop Henry Kaczmar (Ohio State) matched catcher Matt Chatelle (Merrimack) and DeMartinis with two hits apiece, helping the team finish with a total of 12. Kaczmar also drew two walks to finish the game reaching base four times.

The Navs continued to get outstanding starting pitching from left-hander Cooper Smith (Stetson), who struck out seven across six, two-hit frames to post his third victory of the season. After allowing a first-inning run on two hits, Smith pitched hitless ball the rest of the way and worked around only a two-out walk in the sixth before completing his start.

The Schooners drew first blood quickly as second baseman Sam Kirkpatrick (Belmont) hit a leadoff double to center field and scored on shortstop Jack Goodman’s (Pepperdine) single to center two batters later. Smith settled into his recent dominant form after getting out of the inning with a fielder’s choice grounder and a fly ball. 

North Shore knotted the score in a second inning that began with Chatelle reaching on a dropped third strike and first baseman Brandon Drapeau (Saint Joseph’s) hitting a long single to the right-field warning track. Both runners moved up on a throwing error on the infield, and Jarrell opened the scoring with a two-run single through the shortstop hole.

A three-run third inning helped the Navs put the game out of reach early. Second baseman Luca Trigiani (William & Mary) legged out a one-out single and moved up on a throwing error. Kaczmar followed with a deep infield base hit of his own before Griffis walked to load the bases.

Chatelle began a stretch of three straight run-scoring plays in the frame with a line single to left, marking his third consecutive game with an RBI. Drapeau followed with a sacrifice fly to center and DeMartinis drove in a run by singling off the third base bag.

Four straight Navs batters reached base and three scored to begin the fifth. Chatelle drew a leadoff walk, Drapeau was hit by a pitch and DeMartinis crushed a two-run triple to center. Third baseman Jake Berger (Harvard) grounded into a 4-6-3 double play ball that scored the final run of the inning.

Batting around for the second time, the North Shore offense busted out for four runs on three hits in the seventh. Griffis highlighted the inning with a bases-clearing double into deep right, and Chatelle made it back-to-back when he lined another run-scoring hit down the line in left.

North Shore concluded its scoring when right fielder Jake McElroy (Holy Cross) walked and ultimately came home on a wild pitch in the eighth. 

After Smith exited the game, Sawyer Duarte (Middlebury), Croix Jenkins (NJIT) and Jack Iannibelli (Stonehill) each pitched scoreless innings out of the bullpen. A former Austin Prep standout, Iannibelli was making his home debut.

Mystic was held to just six hits, and Anthony DeFabbia (Stetson) was charged with the loss on the mound after allowing five runs (just one earned) across three innings. 

North Shore’s homestand continues with the Upper Valley Nighthawks visiting for a Saturday doubleheader. First pitch is set for 4:05 p.m.