North Adams Tops Navs in Another Ninth-Inning Finish

06/15/2024 6:49 PM

LYNN, Mass. — The North Shore Navigators (4-3) were unable to rally in the final frame against the North Adams SteepleCats (2-5), falling 6-5 in New England Collegiate Baseball League action on Saturday night at Fraser Field.

With two outs in the final frame, pinch hitter Jesse Jaconski (Penn State) sought to keep the Navigators’ hopes alive. But he was unable to do so, striking out looking and sealing the game. 

“They’re a good team. They got the ball in play, and they just out-hit us,” manager Bob Macaluso said of the SteepleCats. “We had our opportunities and didn't capitalize.”

Reece Moroney (Rhode Island) and Pat D’Amico (Seton Hall) each continued racking up the hits for North Shore, going 2-for-4 with an RBI and run scored. Both of D’Amico’s hits were doubles.

Moroney has recorded four multi-hit efforts within the team’s first seven games. 

The matchup between the Navigators and SteepleCats was the second this season. In the prior matchup, starting pitcher Truman Pauley (Harvard) cruised through the SteepleCats lineup, striking out eight batters and allowing no runs through four innings.

But Pauley was unable to replicate his prior start on Saturday, going just two innings and allowing seven base runners over that span.

“For me, it was the lack of command,” Macaluso said of the difference between Pauley’s two starts. “He hit a guy and there were too many walks, and the pitch count was high for two innings.”

The SteepleCats wasted no time getting on the scoreboard as a pair of two-out hits from Elijah Lambros (Maryland) and Luke Mistone (Cal State Fullerton) gave the SteepleCats a 1-0 lead in the opening frame.

Lambros produced all day for the SteepleCats, finding his way on base three times and recording a run and an RBI.

After a three-run opening frame by the Navigators which included an RBI base hit by Luke Orfi (Georgia Highlands), the SteepleCats responded in the following frame with a two-out RBI of their own as Antonio Morales (Wake Forest) roped a base hit into right field.

After Pauley was relieved, the SteepleCats continued to do damage against the Navigators’ pitching staff as a fielder’s choice and a two-out base hit up the middle by Lambros allowed North Adams to retake the lead.

Despite the Navigators rallying to tie the game, North Adams pulled ahead in the eighth inning with a sacrifice fly to take a 6-5 lead.

The Navigators tied a franchise record with eight stolen bases in their previous home game, and they continued to be aggressive on the basepaths. Ryan Gerety (Northeastern) stole second base in the bottom of the first to put two men in scoring position, allowing a groundout by D’Amico to even the score at one.

The productive out then sparked a two-out rally for the Navigators as a balk and Orfi’s base hit through the right side of the infield provided the Navigators a 3-1 advantage.

After four unanswered runs by the SteepleCats, Will Burns (Maine) provided the Navigators with an answer, chipping a base hit over the head of Caden Dulin (Pitt) to cut the deficit to 5-4.

More aggressive baserunning gave the Navigators the opportunity to tie the game in the following inning as Ryan Wideman’s (Georgia Highlands) second stolen base of the game forced an errant throw into center, putting the tying run 90 feet away. Moroney took advantage of that in the ensuing at-bat, chipping a base hit into left field to even the game at five.

Despite the comeback, the Navigators were unable to overcome an eighth-inning run, falling 6-5.

The Navigators will look to rebound on Sunday when they play the Mystic Schooners at 5:05 p.m. on Father’s Day. In an ode to "The Promo Man" Bill Terlecky, fans wearing Navs or Celtics gear to the ballpark tomorrow will receive free admission!