Down 8-0 after five innings, the North Shore Navigators nearly pulled off an improbable comeback last night in Laconia before ultimately succumbing to the Muskrats 10-8. North Shore scored six times in the eighth and ninth innings combined to make it a ballgame, and also stroked four home runs in the contest. The only issue lied in the Navigators’ opponent, as the Muskrats connected for six long balls of their own.
Saddled with an eight-run deficit, NECBL All-Star Clinton Harwick (Point Loma) hit a two-run shot – his first of two homers in the game – in the sixth inning off Muskrats starter Justin Wiley. Wiley, who got the victory after allowing just two runs on four hits, was removed from the game at the conclusion of the sixth, much to the pleasure of the Navigators’ offense.
Laconia scored twice in the seventh to again make it an eight-run game, but the Navigators got those runs back on back-to-back solo shots in the eighth from Harwick and another North Shore All-Star, Eric Jagielo (Notre Dame), to make it 10-4.
North Shore’s success with the long ball continued in the ninth. After Harwick reached on an error with two outs that should have ended the game, Jagielo plated Matt McGovern (Boston College) with a double before Dario Pizzano (Columbia) to the plate. Pizzano, an All-Star starter and reigning NECBL Player of the Week, followed up with a three-run homer to make it a two-run game at 10-8.
Conner Mach (Missouri) then singled with nobody on to bring the tying run to the plate, but Laconia brought in reliever Williams Prince, who got Eric Williams (Columbia) to pop out to short to end it.
Harwick went 3-for-5 with three runs and three RBI, while Jagielo, Mach, and Saulyer Saxon (Oklahoma State) each had two hits.