Starting pitcher Crayton Bare (Baylor) threw seven scoreless innings to lead the Navigators to an 8-0 shutout over the Sanford Mainers in Game 1 of the NECBL Eastern Division semifinals on Wednesday at Fraser Field. With the victory, North Shore now has a chance to close out the three-game series on Thursday at Sanford.
Bare allowed just four hits to stifle the Sanford bats all night long and also had four strikeouts. To boot, the performance came exactly one year and a day removed from the night Bare threw a complete-game five-hitter against the same Sanford team last summer in Game 1 of the opening playoff series en route to the 2010 championship.Bare needed just 89 pitches to get through seven innings.
His offense also gave him plenty of support, especially at the top of the lineup. North Shore’s 1-2 hitters – Matt McGovern (Boston College) and Clinton Harwick (Point Loma Nazarene) – both had two hits apiece and combined to go 4-for-7 with two runs scored and three RBI. Harwick also set a Navigators playoff record with four stolen bases in the win. Harwick had stole five bags in the entire regular season.
After McGovern scored the game’s first run on a sac fly in the first, he again came home in the second on another sac fly before Harwick singled in another to go on top 3-0. Saugus native Dario Pizzano (Columbia) just narrowly missed a homer in the fourth, as his two-run double extended the lead to 5-0.
In the sixth, McGovern doubled and scored on another Harwick single, and Harwick then proceeded to steal second and third to set up a sac fly by Eric Jagielo (Notre Dame). An easy Pizzano ground ball should have ended the inning, but an error by Sanford second baseman Eric Hailer allowed him to reach and he later scored on another Mainers’ error.
Much of the damage came against Sanford’s All-Star starter A.J. Bazdanes, who allowed five runs on six hits in just 4.1 innings. The Nashua, N.H. native from the University of Maine also walked five and struck out three.
Be sure to follow the Navs on Twitter at @NSNavigators for all the live updates from Sanford on Thursday night in Game 2!