Both the Navigators (21-20) and Mainers (20-21) have already clinched playoff spots and will square off against each other in Round 1 of the playoffs, but tonight’s game will determine which team will receive the second seed and home-field in the Eastern Division postseason scenario. North Shore currently owns a 3-2 advantage in the season series, so a Mainers’ win tonight will even the head-to-head records as well as the overall records. Sanford also owns the secondary tiebreaker, which is combined record versus first-place opponents. The Navigators are just 1-7 this season against Newport and Holyoke, while Sanford is 2-6 combined against the two clubs. Thus, tonight’s winner will get home-field advantage in Wednesday night’s Game 1 of the Eastern Division Semifinals (assuming Holyoke holds onto first place in the West).
NS – RHP Junior Mendez (3-1, 3.18)
SAN – RHP Eric Stevens (2-2, 3.34)
Right-hander Junior Mendez (Southern New Hampshire) gets the ball tonight for North Shore in this crucial matchup with playoff implications. Mendez turned in his best performance of the season his last start, allowing just two hits over five scoreless innings in a 7-0 win over Sanford on July 26. The SNHU freshman and New York native has a 3-1 record and 3.18 ERA in 12 games (five starts) on the season. Opposing Mendez is Boston College sophomore Eric Stevens, who will make his seventh start of the season. The righty won his last time out, allowing two runs – one earned – over six innings in a 7-2 victory at Danbury. Stevens had a 2-1 record and 4.38 ERA in 27 games (six starts) for the Eagles this spring.
NECBL All-Star Dario Pizzano (Columbia) extended his hitting streak to 18 games last night, which marks the longest in the league this season. He is hitting .390 (30-for-77) with 14 RBI, 18 runs, and 10 multi-hit games in that span and is currently third in the NECBL with a .375 season average. The potential MVP has a chance at the batting title with a strong night at the plate tonight. He is also second in the league in hits (54), is tied for first in doubles (12), and has struck out just 13 times in 144 at-bats.