NECBL Finals – Game 1: Danbury @ Navigators

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Playoff Summary
The Navigators took their opening playoff series two games to one over the Sanford Mainers to earn a match-up with the Gulls to decide the East. Newport, who swept the Laconia Muskrats in the first round, took Game 1 of the series 5-4 at Cardines Field, but North Shore got 8.2 scoreless innings from starter Michael Johnson in a 2-0 shutout win in Game 2, then got out to a quick lead in Game 3 with four runs in the second inning en route to a 5-2 series-clinching victory.

The Danbury Westerners path to the NECBL Finals was similar to that of the Navigators, as the No. 2 seed from the Western Division dropped Game 1 on the road as well against the top-seeded North Adams SteepleCats before taking the next two to earn a berth in the championship series. They earned a spot in the Finals with an exciting 2-1 win on the road at North Adams last night, as Danbury ace Mike Hauschild threw a complete game and allowed just one run on three hits with 13 strikeouts. The Navigators (25-17) finished the regular season one game better than Danbury (24-18), which means they will have home field advantage in the championship round.

Tonight’s Starters
DAN: LHP Kevin Kilpatrick (4-2, 2.64)
NS: LHP Kevin Kyle (1-1, 2.12)

Left-hander Kevin Kyle (Clemson) took the loss in Game 2 of North Shore’s opening round series against Sanford. He allowed five runs on four hits with four strikeouts over six innings on the road, and was all but done in by a Bobby Doyon three-run homer in the fourth inning. During the regular season, Kyle posted a 2.12 ERA in four starts.

For Danbury, Kevin Kilpatrick (St. John’s) gets the ball in Game 1. He got a road victory at Bristol in the Westerners’ opening series after he went 7.1 innings and allowed three runs (none earned) on three hits. He split time during the regular season with Newport and Danbury, going 5-2 overall with a 2.26 ERA in 11 games (seven starts). Danbury took both games against the Navigators in their only two match-ups during the regular season, as Kilpatrick got the victory on the mound on July 31 in a 4-3 win at Fraser Field. Kilpatrick allowed no runs on just two hits over six innings in that one. Danbury also rolled to an easy 8-2 win at Rogers Park on July 26.

Navigators Lineup
LF Jason Banos
2B Matt Hamlet
CF Braxton Graven
3B Anthony Melchionda
DH Jack Mayfield
1B Ben Waldrip
RF Dario Pizzano
C Garret Smith
SS Cody Dent
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SP Kevin Kyle

Follow the Game
Check out all of tonight’s in-game updates on Twitter.
For out-of-market fans, watch or listen LIVE online at www.teamline.cc.

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