The No. 2 Navigators (22-20) will take on the third-seeded Sanford Mainers (20-22) for the second straight season in the opening NECBL playoff series. North Shore took the season-series 4-2 this summer, including a seed-clinching 6-3 win over Sanford on Monday night. Last season, the Navigators took Games 1 and 3 at home in the Eastern semifinals against the Mainers to advance to the East Finals against the Newport Gulls. Newport will take on the Laconia Muskrats in the other divisional series, while Keene hosts Danbury and Holyoke hosts Vermont in the West.
NS – LHP Crayton Bare (2-2, 3.89)
SAN – RHP A.J. Bazdanes (2-1, 2.46)
Lefthander Crayton Bare(Baylor) will start tonight for the Navigators. Bare went 2-2 with a 3.89 ERA in eight games (seven starts) in 2011 after being named a 2010 All-Star with the Navigators. He was especially good over his last five starts this season, going 1-1 with a 2.88 ERA in 25 innings pitched. He also pitched Game 1 of the semis against Sanford last year in a 1-0 victory, tossing a complete game five-hitter in a tidy one hour and 21 minutes, outdueling former Mainer Shane Davis in the process, who one-hit the Navigators.
Opposing Bare tonight will be righty A.J. Bazdanes from the University of Maine. The Nashua native represented the Mainers in this year’s All-Star Game at Fraser Field and went 2-1 with a 2.46 ERA on the year. In his only start against the Navs this year, Bazdanes received a no decision after he allowed two runs – just one earned – over 7.2 innings in a 6-5 loss back on July 1.