Pregame: Mainers @ Navigators

The Game
The Navigators will take on the Sanford Mainers today in a crucial matchup with potential playoff implications. North Shore and Sanford both enter this afternoon’s matchup 4.5 games back of the first-place Newport Gulls, meaning the two teams will battle today for what may help decide the second seed in the Eastern Division postseason scenario. As things are currently aligned, the Navigators and Mainers are solid bets to square off against each other in the East Quarterfinals, but because the season-series is also deadlocked at 2-2, this afternoon’s game could be a serious factor in determining home field in the first-round of the playoffs. Sanford will also visit Fraser Field in the regular-season finale next Monday. The Mainers are coming off a 10-3 win over Old Orchard last night, while the Navigators lost on a walk-off passed ball in Newport.

Starting Pitchers
NS – RHP Junior Mendez (2-1, 3.72)
SAN – RHP Jonathan Balentina (0-2, 4.30)
Right-hander Junior Mendez (Southern New Hampshire) gets the start this afternoon for North Shore after being tagged with his first loss of the season his last time out against Newport on July 21. He allowed four runs – three earned – on eight hits over five innings and is 2-1 in four starts with a 5.40 ERA since being inserted in the starting rotation on July 3. For the Mainers, Jonathan Balentina starts this afternoon versus Mendez. The redshirt freshman from the University of Maine has a 0-2 record with a 4.30 ERA on the year and got the no-decision in his last outing in a 3-2 loss at home to Keene. In that one, he allowed two runs on four hits over 6.1 innings pitched with six strikeouts and three walks.

The Lineup
Matt McGovern rf
Clinton Harwick 2b
Eric Jagielo lf
Dario Pizzano dh
Conner Mach 3b
Matt Boulter 1b
Chase Harrison c
Saulyer Saxon cf
Cody Dent ss

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