Berger, Navs Shine at NECBL All-Star Game

07/23/2023 7:42 PM

LYNN, Mass. — Jake Berger made the most of his eighth inning pinch-hit appearance in the 2023 New England Collegiate Baseball League All-Star Game. 

The North Shore Navigator and Harvard third baseman crushed a solo blast to right-center field, putting the East All-Stars on the board in Sunday’s contest at Fraser Field. It was the first NECBL All-Star event hosted in Lynn since 2011.

The West won the game, 5-1, but the East squad received key contributions from North Shore players up and down the lineup. 

Left fielder Stan DeMartinis III (Bentley) followed up Berger’s blast with a pinch-hit single to left field, and shortstop Henry Kaczmar (Ohio State) drew a walk in the first inning. Kaczmar and center fielder Evan Griffis (Stetson) both earned starting nods for the East, earning the opportunity following a vote of the field managers within the division.

Beverly native Brayden Clark (Salve Regina) shined on the mound, tossing a scoreless top of the second with a strikeout. 

Matt Chatelle (Merrimack) earned an at-bat in the seventh inning, too. 

“It’s just so cool,” Chatelle said of the atmosphere at Fraser Field, which saw its highest attendance of the season Sunday. “The NECBL is such a cool league, and being able to come out here and get a bunch of guys together that all love the game, and be able to play at such a high level against a bunch of good guys is really awesome.” 

Upper Valley Nighthawks catcher Kevin Bruggeman (Hofstra) notched two hits for the West — including a two-run single in the top of the fourth — en route to winning All-Star game MVP honors. His West teammate, Vermont Mountaineers center fielder TJ Williams (Notre Dame) added a hit, run, swiped a base and was hit by a pitch twice.