The playoff-destined North Shore Navigators had a chance to clinch the second seed in the Eastern Division playoff race and home-field in the opening playoff series on Sunday night at Fraser Field. Because the third-place Sanford Mainers fell 5-3 at the hands of Newport, the door opened for North Shore to grab the No. 2 spot with a victory over the Laconia Muskrats.
Nonetheless, Laconia was able to hold off the Navigators by a final score of 5-4, leaving many playoff scenarios still up in the air. Those questions will however get answered on Monday in what marks the final day of the regular season for the Navigators.
Because both teams lost, North Shore remains 1.5 games up on Sanford in the East, with a head-to-head matchup slated tonight between both teams (6:15 p.m.) at Fraser Field. Sanford will also be in action at Laconia earlier in the day and needs a victory there to maintain its shot at taking the No. 2 seed from the Navigators.
On Sunday, the Navs had a chance to pull even in the eighth inning after singles by Conner Mach (Missouri) and Michael Dunster (Clemson). Peabody native Pat Holleran (Tusculum) followed with a single of his own to drive in Mach and make it 5-4. At that point, Laconia summoned reliever Harry Glynne from the bullpen, who promptly struck out Cody Dent (Florida) before getting Saulyer Saxon (Oklahoma State) to fly to right to escape the threat.
North Shore also added one in the seventh on a Matt Boulter (Southern New Hampshire) sac fly to make it 5-3 after Dario Pizzano’s (Columbia) two-run triple in the sixth made it 5-2. In the third, Laconia got on the board on All-Star Chris Costantino’s two-run triple and added another in later in the inning when Dylan Kelly’s single scored Costantino. The Muskrats then made it 4-0 in the fourth on a sac fly by James Beck and added another in the fifth on a throwing error by Mach.