Centerfielder Saulyer Saxon (Oklahoma State) was the hero in Wednesday’s 10-9 walk-off victory over the Mystic Schooners, going 4-for-6 with four RBI while delivering both the game-tying hit in the ninth and the game-winner in the 10th.
Things looked bleak for the Navigators after Mystic sent 11 men to the plate in a six-run third inning, but they scored twice in the eighth and three more times in the ninth before winning it extras. In the 10th, Saxon came to the plate against Mystic reliever Anthony Kliniske, who did not do himself any favors by hitting a batter and walking two others with two outs. Saxon worked the count full before lining a single through the right side for the victory.
The walk-off was the Navigators’ fourth at home this season, and the win moves the team to just a game back of the Newport Gulls, who are in town tonight (6:15 p.m.) at Fraser Field with first place in the NECBL Eastern Division on the line.
Down three runs in the ninth, the Navigators seemingly had no plans of going down without a fight. They opened up with three straight base hits against reliever Matt Doyle – the third an RBI single by Clinton Harwick (Point Loma) to make it a two-run game. A passed ball allowed the tying run in Harwick to move into scoring position for Saxon, who lined a two-run single into left center to tie it.
Saxon was actually one of two Navigators to have a four-hit night, as third baseman Conner Mach (Missouri) went 4-for-5 with two runs scored.
The bullpen was superb once again, allowing just one run over five innings of work. All-Star alternate Miles Landry (Baylor) threw two scoreless to get the win and also had a pair of strikeouts.
All-Star Eric Jagielo (Notre Dame) extended his hitting streak to 10 games with a 2-for-5 night, while fellow All-Star Dario Pizzano (Columbia) extended his personal streak to nine games with a 2-for-6 showing. Jagielo’s .342 average is tied for eighth in the league, while Pizzano’s .374 clip is good for second in the NECBL.