The North Shore Navigators suffered a 9-6 setback to the Newport Gulls at Fraser Field on Thursday night, marking North Shore’s fourth straight loss against the divisional rival. The Navigators also missed a chance to grab a share of first-place having entered last night’s action just a game back of the Gulls back in the standings.
Things got interesting in the eighth inning, as the Navs quickly cut into a 7-2 deficit to make it a one-run ballgame. Newport starter Ryan Strufing walked Matt McGovern (Boston College) and Eric Jagielo (Notre Dame) to begin the frame, setting the stage for Dario Pizzano (Columbia), who singled home McGovern. A pair of errors by Newport shortstop Jack Reinheimer led to two more runs before an RBI groundout by Chase Harrison (Cypress) made it 7-6.
The Gulls added two more in the ninth after Jeff Mellilo tripled and later scored on a single by Rand Ravnass, who had a 5-for-6 night. Conrad Gregor added another run on a sac fly to center.
Strufing went seven-plus innings, allowing five runs on seven hits but still managed to get the win.
The Navigators scored the first run of the ballgame in the first on an RBI fielder’s choice by Saulyer Saxon (Oklahoma State) but managed just four base runners over the next four innings while Newport went to work with the bats.
The Gulls scored twice in the third and fourth innings against North Shore starter Junior Mendez, who allowed four runs – three earned – on eight hits over five innings to take the loss.
All-Stars Eric Jagielo (Notre Dame) and Pizzano did however manage to extend their respective hitting streaks in the loss. Jagielo doubled to lead off the sixth, extending his hitting streak to 11 games, while Pizzano also lengthened his hit streak to 10 games with a 2-for-4 night. He raised his average to .378 in the process, which is second-best in the NECBL.