June 12, 2017
WORCESTER – The North Shore Navigators finally cracked the win column in the Futures Collegiate Baseball League standings Monday night at Hanover Insurance Park at Fitton Field, posting a season-high 11 hits en route to a 9-4 victory over the Worcester Bravehearts.
The Navs improve to 1-7 on the season with the victory, their fifth over the last three seasons in Worcester, while the host Bravehearts’ second consecutive loss drops them to 5-4.
The Navs scored in seven of their nine turns at bat and drew 12 walks as a team. Each player in the North Shore starting lineup either took four balls or was hit by a pitch.
On an individual note, first baseman Tyler Kapuscinski (Marist) and third baseman Nick Falkson (Tufts) were two of the five Navigator batters who recorded two hits apiece in the game. Falkson reached base in all six of his plate appearances, while catcher Alec Cargin (Wofford) drove in three runs and Kapuscinski scored three.
North Shore had not scored in the first inning in any of its first seven games, but sent seven batters to the plate and took a 1-0 lead. After Worcester starter Jakob Barker (St. Leo) retired the first man he faced, five straight Navigators reached base safely, and Kapuscinski’s fielder’s choice grounder to second base scored center fielder Alex Carballo (Broward) after he drew his league-leading eighth walk of the season.
The Navs did not need much offense with Sean O’Neill on the mound as the righty from Brandeis University tossed six innings of seven-hit, two-run ball and struck out three in his second start of the season.
Still, Cargin singled through the left side to double the Navs’ lead in the third inning, while right fielder Jeff Mejia (UMass Lowell) and second baseman Daane Berezo (VCU) knocked back-to-back hits to open the following frame and increase the score to 3-0.
North Shore one-upped its first-inning offensive effort in the fifth, sending eight to the plate and scoring two runs on three hits. Kapuscinski and Falkson, who was making his first appearance of the season for the Navs, led off the frame with singles, and both scored as Cargin grounded a fielder’s choice and Mejia doubled deep into the left field corner.
O’Neill surrendered the Bravehearts’ first run of the game in a three-hit bottom of the fifth as left fielder Kevin Doody (Maine) hit a two-out single to score designated hitter Joe Caico (New Haven), who hit a leadoff single.
The Navs came back with another two-run frame in the sixth as designated hitter Alex Brickman (St. Petersburg) walked, Kapuscinski singled, and Cargin scored them both with a broken-bat, two-run single through the middle.
First baseman Greg Kocinski (Marist) drove in Worcester’s second run with a one-out single in the sixth before the Bravehearts tagged Navs reliever Josh Partridge (St. Joseph’s of Maine) for two runs in the seventh. Berezo scored the Navs’ eighth run on a wild pitch in the seventh inning, while an error brought Nick Fuhrmann (Frederick C.C.) home in the eighth to close the scoring.
Making his Navs debut out of the bullpen, Chris Pennell (St. Thomas Aquinas) struck out three over 2 2/3 perfect innings of work to end the ballgame.
The Navs face a quick turnaround as they return to action on the road Tuesday morning against the Nashua Silver Knights, with first pitch is set for 11:05 a.m. at Historic Holman Stadium. Nahant native Al Wallach (Framingham State) will start on the mound for North Shore.