Schooners Clip Navs in Extras Tuesday

07/02/2024 8:43 PM

GROTON, Conn. 一 The North Shore Navigators suffered their second extra-inning loss in as many games, falling to the host Mystic Schooners 4-3 in Tuesday’s New England Collegiate Baseball League action at Fitch High School.

North Shore fell to 9-11 on the summer, while Mystic moved into sole possession of second place in the Coastal Division race at 11-11 at its exact halfway mark of the season.

Second baseman Brendan Jones (Holy Cross) and shortstop Reece Moroney (Rhode Island) led the Navigator offense with two hits and a run scored apiece. Jones reached base in all four of his plate appearances, going 2-for-2 with two walks.

North Shore right-hander Truman Pauley (Harvard) allowed two runs on two hits in Mystic’s first inning before settling into his third start of the summer, allowing just one other base knock and one walk while striking out a season-high 11 across five frames. 

Pauley became the first Navigator to fan double-digit batters since Matt Potok (Coastal Carolina) also fanned 11 over the first eight innings of a 5-0 shutout win at Keene on July 21, 2022. The right-hander struck out the side in the second and again in his fifth and final frame, leading the way for a North Shore pitching staff that totaled 17 strikeouts in a contest for the second time this summer.

After Josh Lajoie (Lipscomb) and Owen Tross (Middlebury) pitched scoreless and hitless ball over the two innings immediately following Pauley’s outing, the Schooners tied the game in the eighth and won it on third baseman Anthony DePino’s (Rhode Island) walk-off single up the middle in the 10th.

Mystic wasted little time getting on the scoreboard as left fielder Scotty Young (Old Dominion) and first baseman Maddix Dalena (UConn) posted back-to-back RBI for a 2-0 lead in the home half of the first. After Dalena’s single, Pauley struck out two to escape any further damage in the inning.

Pauley fanned the Schooners side in order in the second, setting the stage for the visitors’ three-run, three-hit third to flip the score at 3-2. The runs came across in three consecutive at-bats against Mystic starter Jake Francis (Villanova).

First baseman Will Burns (Maine) reached on a hit by pitch to spark North Shore’s rally and advanced on Brendan Jones’ base hit. After center fielder Kyle Jones (Stetson) sacrificed both runners into scoring position, Moroney dunked an RBI single into shallow right. Right fielder Jesse Jaconski (Penn State) then knocked a game-tying sacrifice fly to left. D’Amico’s double off the right-center wall scored Moroney to equal the 3-2 score.

The North Shore defense came up big by turning two unassisted double plays to help maintain the one-run lead into the late innings. Jones recorded the first on a ground ball right to the second base bag to end the fourth before Burns fielded a liner and doubled pinch runner Johnny Pilla (Stony Brook) off first to cut Mystic’s seventh short.

Mystic tied the game in the eighth, as DePino led off the frame with a single to a diving Moroney at shortstop and came around to score on a wild pitch. Peabody native Ryan Bradley (Bryant) dialed up a strikeout to strand the go-ahead run on the third base, and Swampscott’s Pierce Friedman (Stonehill) fanned two in a 1-2-3 ninth to force extras.

Back-to-back singles by designated hitter Juju Stevens (Missouri) and DePino ended the game for Mystic in walk-off fashion in the 10th.

Mystic pitching also benefited from the strikeout, mowing down eight straight North Shore batters in between Brendan Jones’ walks in the seventh and ninth innings. Connor Podeszwa (Tufts) was the last Schooner reliever to post a zero, retiring the Navs side 1-2-3 in the 10th to claim the win.

The Navs have Wednesday off before returning to Connecticut to face the Danbury Westerners on Independence Day evening. Thursday’s first pitch at Rogers Park is set for 6:30 p.m.