Navs split doubleheader in Nashua

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NASHUA, N.H. — The North Shore Navigators scored three runs in the top of the eighth inning en route to a 6-3 win over the Nashua Silver Knights in the first game of Tuesday’s Futures Collegiate Baseball League doubleheader at Historic Holman Stadium.

The two teams split a doubleheader for the second time this season as Nashua shortstop Cody Morissette (Boston College) hit a walk-off single in the seventh inning of a 5-4 nightcap. With the split, North Shore moves to 13-20 on the summer, while Nashua is 12-20.

Catcher John Prentice (New England College) drew a bases-loaded walk to bring home the game-winning run before shortstop Sal Frelick (Boston College) hit a two-run single through the right side to provide the Navs with insurance in the opener.

Second baseman Joey Murphy (Saint Joseph’s of Maine) went 3-for-4 with two runs scored and an RBI to lead North Shore’s seven-hit effort, while Brock Riley (Salem State) struck out three and allowed just four hits over three innings of scoreless ball to earn his first win.

In the nightcap, Frelick went 1-for-2 and scored twice. He has now reached base in all 20 games in which he has appeared since joining the team from Lexington High School.

The Navs return to action at 7 p.m. Wednesday against the first-place Martha’s Vineyard Sharks before Worcester visits Fraser Field the following night to begin a three-game homestand.

Game 1: North Shore 6, Nashua 3

The Silver Knights tagged Navs starter Jeam Castillo (New England College) for two runs in the bottom of the first inning. After shortstop Cody Morissette (Boston College) drew a two-out walk, designated hitter Jake Lebel (NYIT) hit a two-run home run to deep center field.

North Shore loaded the bases on just one hit in the second. Left fielder Michael Wynne (Wofford) hit a two-out single before Silver Knight starter and St. John’s Prep alum Justin Snyder (Bryant) walked one and hit a batter, but a ground ball off the bat of Frelick ended the inning.

The Navs jumped ahead for the first time with a three-run fourth, but Nashua scored in its half of the same inning to force an eighth and extra inning.

After center fielder George Sutherland (Cochise) led off the visiting half of the fourth with an infield single, Murphy drove a double to center and Wynne was hit by a pitch. Prentice greeted Nashua reliever Michael Guerrero (Marshall) with a game-tying, broken-bat single. Third baseman Elias Varinos (Tufts) then reached on a fielder’s choice, and an error plated Wynne with the tying run.

Nashua plated the tying run in the bottom of the fourth as former Navs first baseman Alex Brickman (Dayton) and right fielder Andrew Gorham (Tulane) logged back-to-back singles with one out and catcher Teddy Beaudet (Northeastern) hit a sacrifice fly to center field.

Castillo stranded runners on base in both the fourth and fifth innings, finishing his first start of the summer allowing three runs on five hits while striking out three. Riley followed him out of the bullpen and pitched one-hit ball over his first two innings, allowing the Navs to score three times in the eighth for their fifth win in six games.

Right fielder JP Knight (Tufts) led off the eight-batter inning with a walk before three consecutive North Shore batters reached base with one out. Prentice drew a bases-loaded free pass to give the Navs a lead before Frelick roped knocked in two runs with a single, extending his league-leading RBI total to 34.

Guerrero struck out eight Navs over 4.1 innings of relief but was charged with the loss as he allowed three of North Shore’s six runs. On offense, Lebel, Brickman, and left fielder Jeff Costello (Northeastern) each had two hits for Nashua.

Game 2: Nashua 5, North Shore 4

The Navs took a 1-0 lead right off the bat against Nashua ace Brandon Dufault (Northeastern) as Frelick drew a leadoff walk and came around to score on designated hitter Harrison Engstrom’s (Cochise) two-out single through the right side.

Nashua responded with two runs in its half of the opening frame as Lebel and first baseman Ryan Berardino (Bentley) tagged Zach Begin (St. Joseph’s of Maine) for back-to-back RBI doubles with two outs. From there, Begin and Dufault put up dueling zeroes for three innings before the Silver Knights took a 4-1 lead after five innings.

After center fielder Austin White (Rhode Island) drew a one-out walk and Costello singled in the fifth, Lebel extended the Nashua lead with a two-run double to right field. Lebel went 2-for-3 with two doubles, a run scored and three RBI in the nightcap, and 4-for-7 with two runs scored and five RBI in the total doubleheader.

North Shore recorded just one hit and benefited from three errors in a three-run sixth to tie the score at 4-4. Frelick hit a leadoff single before Varinos was awarded first base on catcher’s interference. After Dufault recorded the first out, Engstrom reached on a fielder’s choice that allowed two runs to score and reached third base on a pair of errors, setting up second baseman Spencer Brown (Northern Essex CC) for a run-scoring grounder to the right side.

Begin allowed four runs on six hits and two walks over his five-inning start. Dufault fanned seven Navs over six innings of three-hit, four-run ball, though just one of the runs he allowed was earned.

Garret Keough (Holy Cross) pitched a scoreless first inning of relief, but the Silver Knights walked off with a win on three hits in the seventh. Catcher Dylan Jones (Franklin Pierce) and White led off the seventh with singles before an intentional walk loaded the bases, and Morissette drove the winning hit through the left side.

Morissette’s hit made a winner out of Nashua reliever Joe Grassett (Hartford) who struck out a pair of Navs in one scoreless inning.

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