Sports

Navigators end two-game slide with win over Pittsfield

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LYNN — The North Shore Navigators gained a game in the Futures Collegiate Baseball League standings after scoring four runs over the first three innings and holding off the first-place Pittsfield Suns for a 5-2 win Thursday night at Fraser Field.

North Shore improved to 20-16 and put its brief two-game losing streak to an end. 

Right fielder Kade Kretzschmar (Dartmouth) reached base in all four of his plate appearances, going 3-for-3 with two runs scored and one RBI to help lead North Shore’s nine-hit offensive attack. Second baseman Keagan Calero (UMass Lowell) went 2-for-4 and drove runs home on each of his doubles. 

On the pitching side, Swampscott’s Gavin Sullivan (Stetson) carried a perfect game into the fourth and allowed just two runs on four hits in his total six-inning start. The rising sophomore is now tied for the team lead in wins after improving to 4-1.

Sullivan and Pittsfield’s Jon Morrison (Rhode Island) were perfect in their first innings of work, but the Navs got the scoring going in the second after three consecutive batters reached base. After Kretzschmar singled and third baseman Logan Bravo (Harvard) walked, Calero drove in the game’s first run with a double into shallow right.

The Navs ultimately won the game an inning later, plating three runs on four hits after Morrison had allowed just four earned runs over his first 23 1/3 innings as a Sun. 

Designated hitter Andrew Olszak (Southern Maine) doubled to lead off the Navs’ key run-scoring frame and traded places with center fielder Ben Malgeri (Holy Cross) two batters later. After first baseman Sean Lawlor (Flagler) singled, Malgeri knocked home two runs with a two-base shot into the right-center gap. Kretzschmar followed with a bloop hit to center that plated North Shore’s fourth run.

Pittsfield designated hitter Matt Malcom (Eastern Connecticut State) hit a two-out double in the fourth for his team’s first hit, but the Suns did not crack the scoreboard until the following frame when second baseman Jack Culumovic (Pensacola State) tripled and scored on third baseman Jack Khawly’s (Broward) two-run home run.

Sullivan fanned five during his second consecutive six-inning outing before turning things over to a pair of strong relievers in Harry Painter (UMass Lowell) and Beau Dana (Dickinson). Painter allowed just a hit and a walk and struck out three over the next two frames before Marblehead native Dana struck out the side for his league-leading 11th save.

In the eighth, the Navs gave Dana an additional run with which to work. Kretzschmar drew a leadoff walk, stole second, and scored on Calero’s second double of the night.

Morrison took his first loss of the summer for Pittsfield as he allowed four runs on eight hits and struck out six over the first five innings. Michael Portela (Norfolk State) fanned four more North Shore batters over three frames of one-hit, one-run ball. At the plate, Khawly and Malcom had two hits apiece.

The Navs return to Fraser Field for a 7 p.m. Friday contest against the Bristol Blues. There will be a fireworks display following the game, sponsored by Wayne Alarm.

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