The Navigators have already clinched a playoff berth entering tonight’s game with the Laconia Muskrats, although their seed within the Eastern Division playoff picture has yet to be determined. They are currently 1.5 games up on Sanford, which will be at Newport tonight, with two games remaining. The Navs can clinch the No. 2 spot tonight with a win and a Sanford loss. If that scenario does not take course, Sanford still has three games to play, including a head-to-head matchup tomorrow at Fraser Field with North Shore. The head-to-head series determines any potential tiebreakers, but the Navs own a 3-2 advantage in that category, which adds more importance to tomorrow’s game. Meanwhile, Laconia lost 8-6 last night to the first-place Gulls and currently has a one-game lead on New Bedford for the final postseason spot in the East.
NS – RHP Nolan Corr (2-1, 5.32)
LAC – LHP England Smith (1-2, 8.53)
Right-hander Nolan Corr (Wheaton) brings his 2-1 record into tonight’s matchup, which will mark his third start of the season. Corr has made 15 appearances on the season pitching primarily out of the bullpen before being inserted into the rotation on July 25 at Newport. He got a no decision after allowing two runs over five innings of work in that outing. Lefty England Smith makes his eighth appearance (and sixth start) for the Muskrats and currently owns a 1-2 record and 8.53 ERA. He last pitched on July 25, allowing three earned over 1.2 innings of relief in a 26-4 blowout loss to the Holyoke Blue Sox. His last start came back on July 12 in a 9-5 loss to Newport. Smith only lasted an inning in the ballgame and allowed three runs on four hits.
All-Star starter Dario Pizzano (Columbia) extended his hitting streak to 17 games last night with a seventh-inning single. He is hitting .397 (29-for-73) with 12 RBI, 16 runs, and 10 multi-hit games in that span. The potential league MVP is currently second in the NECBL with a .379 season average and also leads the league in hits (53), is tied for first in doubles (12), and has struck out just 12 times in 140 at-bats.
Meanwhile, Saulyer Saxon (Oklahoma State) has hit safely in eight of his last nine games and is hitting .375 (18-for-48) with five multi-hit games over that stretch, including a four-hit showing on July 20. He was hitting as low as .220 on July 6 but is now up to .306 on the season.