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Archive for the ‘Postgame Journal’ Category

Postgame Journal: No miracle on the diamond; Spinners’ streak snapped in opener against ValleyCats

Posted by Joshua Kummins on August 31, 2010

Ryan Westmoreland chats with 2010 draft pick Bryce Brentz as he returned to Lowell last night. (John Corneau/Lowell Spinners)

LOWELL, Massachusetts (Tuesday, August 31, 2010) – With living proof of two miracles in attendance, the Lowell Spinners could not come up with one of their own. Olympic hockey hero Mike Eruzione and Red Sox prospect Ryan Westmoreland both watched the Lowell Spinners snap their four-game winning streak with a 4-0 loss to the Tri-City ValleyCats on Tuesday at LeLacheur Park.

Eruzione, the former Boston University hockey player, was the star of his own bobblehead that was given out to fans upon entrance. Westmoreland returned to his former team for the first of a series of workouts after recovering from surgery to remove a cavernous malformation in his brain just a mere six months ago. Just two prime examples that miracles do happen, although one could not be created on the diamond.

The ValleyCats jumped out to a 1-0 lead in the first inning against Spinners starter Madison Younginer as first baseman Marcus Nidiffer grounded a single into left field. Younginer issued two walks in the inning, including one to designated hitter Austin Wates, who scored the first run.

They extended the lead to 3-0 with one out in the third against Younginer. With Wates batting, second baseman Ben Orloff scored on a fielding error by Lowell third baseman David Renfroe. Catcher Josue Peley threw a pretty good caught stealing attempt down to third, but Renfroe could not make the play. The next batter was third baseman Tyler Burnett and he legged out an RBI single second base way, scoring Wates for the third run.

Madison Younginer uncorked a wild pitch with two out in the fifth, scoring Wates for the second time in the game. Left fielder Adam Bailey gets credit with an RBI as he was batting on the play.

Younginer exited the game after five innings, during which he allowed five hits and four runs (three earned), while walking three and fanning four. He suffered the loss and fell to 3-7 on the season.

Charlie Rosario played stopper for the Spinners, tossing four innings of three-hit ball. “I felt good with my pitch and count selection,” said the third-year Boston minor leaguer. “It’s really all about getting comfortable out on that mound.”

“Charlie had it all working for him,” Spinners manager Bruce Crabbe said. “If you control the zone, good things will happen.”

David Martinez was superb for the ValleyCats, striking out seven and scattering eight hits over seven innings for his fifth win. Joan Belliard threw two perfect innings to close the game for Tri-City in a non-save situation.

Crabbe said that the key to the loss was Younginer not controlling the running game. “That was the difference,” he said. “He didn’t control his pitches and wasn’t very consistent.”

The loss snaps the season-long four-game winning streak and Crabbe is “just looking for the same stuff” as the Spinners look for a strong finish.

The game took a brisk two hours and 13 minutes, in front of 4,888 fans.

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Posted in Lowell Spinners, Minors, Postgame Journal, Tri-City Valleycats | Leave a Comment »

Postgame Journal: Spinners make it fantastic four-in-a-row against Baby Bombers

Posted by Joshua Kummins on August 30, 2010

Tyler Lavigne earned his first win of the season for the Spinners. (John Corneau/Lowell Spinners)

LOWELL, Massachusetts (Monday, August 30, 2010) – The suddenly streaking Lowell Spinners made it four wins in a row with a 6-3 win over the Staten Island Yankees on Monday night at LeLacheur Park. Tonight’s win marks the first time in four tries that the Spinners were able to string together a winning streak of two or more games this season.

The Yankees jumped out to a 1-0 lead in the first inning against Spinners starter Keith Couch. After a single, a caught stealing and a flyout, third baseman Robert Segedin reached on a fielding error by shortstop Jose Garcia. First baseman Kyle Roller singled to right field and then advanced to second on another fielding error by right fielder Henry Ramos. Segedin came around to score from first on the play to give the Yanks the early advantage.

In the third, the Spinners evened the score with two outs on an RBI single by shortstop Jose Garcia. Second baseman Joantoni Garcia, who doubled, scored from second base. The next batter, designated hitter Bryce Brentz singled to right field, scoring center fielder Felix Sanchez to give Lowell a 2-1 lead. Yankee starter Dustin Hobbs retired the first two batters of the inning, before allowing four straight baserunners. Jose Garcia was gunned down at third base after Sanchez scored to end the inning.

First baseman Miles Head singled to leadoff the fourth inning and came around to score on an RBI groundout by right fielder Henry Ramos for the second out of the frame. Ramos was promoted from the GCL Red Sox prior to the game, where he hit .309 in 43 games.

Staten Island made it a 3-2 game in the fifth as left fielder Shane Brown drove in shortstop Jose Mojica on an RBI 6-3-5 double play ball. After Jose Garcia threw out Brown, first baseman Miles Head gunned out center fielder Kelvin Duran for the heads-up second out.

In the fifth, the Spinners got off to a fast start against Hobbs with nobody out. Left fielder Seth Schwindenhammer walked and came around from first on an RBI double down the left field line by Joantoni Garcia. With two outs, he came around to score on a passed ball that bounced by Staten Island catcher Gary Sanchez.

Third baseman David Renfroe made it a 6-2 game as he singled to on a high chopper to his third base counterpart Segedin. Segedin made a wide throw, allowing Renfroe to take second and Ramos to score from first base.

The Yankees cut the lead to 6-3 with two outs as Duran belted an RBI single to right field, scoring second baseman Casey Stevenson and that would turn out to be the end of the scoring.

Spinners starter Keith Couch lasted just three innings and allowed two hits and an unearned run for a no-decision. Tyler Lavigne earned his first win of the season, allowing seven hits and two runs over the minimum five innings.

Lavigne had much praise on the team’s recent success and was pleased that he is getting a small taste of winning late in the season. “We’re getting a lot better overall,” said the first-year Spinner, who came to the Sox from the Cardinals. “The defense is improving and our pitching is stronger now.”

Spinners manager Bruce Crabbe was very pleased with the outing. “It’s great,” Crabbe said. “We’re getting a little taste of greatness and it’s finally good to be on the winning end!”

The game was played in front of 4,941 fans in a brisk two hours and 21 minutes.

Posted in Lowell Spinners, Minors, Postgame Journal, Staten Island Yankees | Leave a Comment »

Postgame Journal: Sea Dogs make Fisher Cat clinch bitter-sweet

Posted by Joshua Kummins on August 28, 2010

MANCHESTER, New Hampshire (Saturday, August 28, 2010) – In a game featuring the Eastern League Pitcher of the Year and an unbeaten starter, you would expect a low-scoring affair. That was not the case on Saturday at Merchantsauto.com Stadium as Blake Maxwell and the Portland Sea Dogs out dueled the New Hampshire Fisher Cats, 5-2.

Maxwell remained unblemished at Double-A this season, allowing five hits and two runs over 5.2 innings.

Both pitchers got off to strong starts in the first inning as Drabek threw a 1-2-3 first inning for the Fisher Cats, while Maxwell got out of the first on just one hit. New Hampshire shortstop Adeiny Hechavarria lined a single off the glove of third baseman Ray Chang for a one-out single.

Drabek allowed a leadoff walk to designated hitter Ryan Lavarnway, but settled in and a flyout and a double play ball by catcher Luis Exposito to end the threat. Maxwell allowed just a two-out walk to left fielder Callix Crabbe in the bottom of the second.

In the third, Portland left fielder Jorge Padron singled to center and the two runners were cut down behind Drabek, the recently named Eastern League Pitcher of the Year, to end the inning. Maxwell worked around a single to Hechavarria and hitting right fielder Adam Calderone as he got a little help from his defense in the bottom of the third. Right fielder Chih-Hsien Chiang made a great play, running at least ten feet to his left to track down a sure hit from center fielder Darin Mastroianni for the second out.

Drabek retired the top three batters in Portland’s order to begin the fifth inning, including striking out two of the Red Sox’ top young prospects: shortstop Jose Iglesias and first baseman Anthony Rizzo to end the inning. Catcher Matt Liuzza hit a one-out single, but was caught stealing on an inning-ending strikeout double play.

The first sign of trouble for the Fisher Cats came in the top of the fifth inning when Drabek walked the first two batters of the inning, Lavarnway and Chang, before inducing another double play ball to Exposito. With two out, Padron walked and center fielder Che-Hsuan Lin struck out to end the threat. Maxwell came back with a very brisk 1-2-3 inning on two groundouts and a strikeout.

Drabek had some constructive criticism for his game, saying “It’s no fun walking people, so it could have been a lot better and I’ll have to work on it.”

David Purcey came in to relieve Drabek after five, one-hit innings. Purcey is currently on a rehab assignment from Toronto and has been sidelined since August 12 with a sprained right foot.

Things unraveled for the Fisher Cats in the sixth inning as they scored four runs off relievers Purcey and Trystan Magnuson. Purcey loaded the bases with two outs on singles by Chiang and second baseman Nate Spears and a walk to Lavarnway. Chiang and Spears scored on a two-run single to right field by Chang, while Exposito drove in two on a single to left field. Padron ended the inning with a fielder’s choice.

Maxwell came into the sixth inning with a large cushion behind him and struggled as well. After striking out Hechavarria, he allowed a single to Calderone and then he came around to score on a two-run home run to right-center field (20) by first baseman David Cooper. Manager Arnie Beyeler booted him with two outs in the inning after 5.2 innings. Eammon Portice came in and struck out catcher Matt Liuzza to end the inning.

Radio voice Bob Lipman noted to reporters in the press box that with Cooper’s 20th home run, the Fisher Cats have three 20-home run hitters for the first time in franchise history (joining outfielder Eric Thames and infielder Shawn Bowman).

Portland came back with another run in the seventh inning on a Nate Spears one-out RBI double to left field. Chiang, who singled, came home to score on the play. Fisher Cats left fielder Callix Crabbe robbed another hit and run from Rizzo on a diving catch to end the inning. Portice came back on to pitch for the ‘Dogs, allowing a one-out single to second baseman Jonathan Diaz and a two-out knock to Mastroianni.

Magnuson came back in to retire the heart of the Sea Dog lineup on a groundout, flyout, and strikeout. Portice came back with a 1-2-3 inning of his own, recording flyout between two whiffs.

Alan Farina came in to pitch the ninth for the Fisher Cats and induced groundouts to the bottom of the Portland order, each to a different infield position. Daniel Turpen relieved Portice and earned his first save of the season, retiring the first three batters he faced.

During the game, the Fisher Cats clinched a playoff spot as Reading lost their game against Binghamton. “They’ve played hard all year,” said manager Luis Rivera. “We’ll celebrate when we win and when the time is right.”

The game was played in front of a crowd of 8,476 fans, which ranks third all-time in Fisher Cats history. A John Smoltz rehab in May 2009 and the 2008 Eastern League All-Star Game hold the top two slots in franchise records.

Posted in Minors, New Hampshire Fisher Cats, Portland Sea Dogs, Postgame Journal | 1 Comment »

Postgame Journal: Oldtime Baseball Game successful again

Posted by Joshua Kummins on August 27, 2010

CAMBRIDGE, Massachusetts (Thursday, August 26, 2010) – The 17th annual Oldtime Baseball Game was a rousing success again as hundreds of fans packed St. Peter’s Field in Cambridge for a glimpse of local college players wearing old-fashioned woolen uniforms.

It was a great night for baseball dedicated to a worthy cause, the Marley Jaye Cherella Memorial Fund for Sudden Infant Death Syndrome. Proceeds from the game will be used to support the research of Dr. Hannah Kinney at Boston Children’s Hospital, while another part of the donation will go to the C2 Mission, which benefits children and families affected by cerebral palsy and cystic fibrosis.
 
Fans were also treated to a pre-game ceremony celebrating the life of former Red Sox minor league pitcher Greg Montalbano, who played at Northeastern and played in the Oldtime Baseball Game in 1997 and 1998. Montalbano, a Westborough native who was named Red Sox Minor League Pitcher of the Year in 2001, died of cancer last summer at the age of 31.
 
The first Greg Montalbano Award was also presented prior to Thursday night’s game. The award will be given to a former player in the Oldtime Baseball Game who best exemplifies Montalbano’s spirit, competitiveness and good nature.
 
It was only fitting that one his Huskies teammates and fellow Game participants was chosen for the first award in his honor. Todd Korchin was presented with the first-ever Greg Montalbano Award by Game committee member and Northeastern alum Ben Weiss. A Stoughton native, Korchin, played with Montalbano at Northeastern for three spring seasons and played in the Oldtime Baseball Game from 1997-2001, earning MVP honors in 2000. Korchin honored his late friend by wearing the 1926 St. Louis Cardinals uniform that Montalbano wore in the 1998 game.
 
Former Major League third baseman Mike Pagliarulo and Red Sox pitcher Bill Monbouquette were guest managers for the contest, while former Oldtime Game skippers, Red Sox legend Johnny Pesky and former Cubs shortstop Lennie Merullo, a Boston native, were on hand.
 
“Framingham Lou” Merloni had two hits, including an RBI single in the fourth inning to lead the home team, sponsored by Bejoian Family Trust, to a 9-2 win over the away team, sponsored by Abbott Financial.
 
James Greeley (Mass. College of Liberal Arts) started for the home team, pitching three shutout innings and hitting a two-run single in the first inning. He became the first player in The Game’s history to win the MVP award twice as he won the award in 2006 while playing at Newton North.
 
There were two home runs hit in the game, one by each team. In the seventh inning, catcher Ben Lima (Quinsigamond C.C.) hit a two-run home run to center field as the final scoring for the home squad. Pitcher Alex Torres (Suffolk) led off the ninth inning with a solo home run to right-center field for the second away team run.
 
A little taste of the old days was on display in Cambridge and a great time was had by all. Don’t forget to mark the date on your calendars for 2011!

Posted in Oldtime Baseball Game, Postgame Journal | 1 Comment »

Postgame Journal: Spinners paced by three-run eighth in series opener against ‘Gades

Posted by Joshua Kummins on August 20, 2010

Brandon Jacobs hit an RBI double in the eighth inning. (John Corneau/Lowell Spinners)

LOWELL, Massachusetts (Friday, August 20, 2010) – The Lowell Spinners scored three runs in the eighth inning to top the Hudson Valley Renegades, 5-2, on Friday night at LeLacheur Park. Lowell has won two of the last three games.

Spinners starter Madison Younginer struck out the side in order to open the game in the first inning. Shortstop Dio Luis and first baseman Phil Wunderlich, the first and third batters, struck out looking, while the middle batter of the inning, second baseman Elias Otero swung and missed.

Hudson Valley’s Wilmer Almonte allowed a leadoff single to center fielder Felix Sanchez, but he was caught stealing. The next two batters in second baseman James Kang and third baseman Kolbrin Vitek struck out swinging to end the inning.

Younginer walked two in the second, but was able to endue three outs without any runs or hits.

Right fielder Bryce Brentz gave the Spinners the lead on an RBI triple to right-center field with one out in the bottom of the inning. Left fielder Brandon Jacobs scored all the way from first on a ball that had a wicked ricochet off the base of the wall. Brentz came in from third on a line single into right field by the next batter, designated hitter David Renfroe.

The Renegades cut the lead in half on a one-out single in the third by Otero that was out of reach diving first baseman Miles Head. Center fielder Chris Winder came in easily from third on the hit that rolled down the right field line.

Second baseman James Kang doubled to leadoff the bottom of the third inning, but Almonte forced two fly outs and a groundout to strand Kang halfway home.

Younginer worked his second 1-2-3 inning in the top of the fourth as he struck out the final two. Almonte worked his first perfect inning in the fourth as well as he educed a strikeout, groundout and popout.

Chez Angeloni came in for the Spinners, replacing starter Younginer after just four innings of one-hit ball. Left fielder Steve Tinoco tied the game with two outs as he hit an RBI double into deep left field to bring home Luis, who singled.

Younginer was happy, despite getting a no-decision. “The offense helped me out,” said the Sox rookie. “Lockwood did a good job to close it out.”

Almonte made way for Omar Bencomo in the bottom of the frame and allowed Sanchez to reach first base on an error by the shortstop Luis with one out. Almonte lasted four innings, allowing six hits and two runs, while fanning four.

Angeloni allowed singles to the first two batters of the sixth inning, catcher Mayo Acosta and designated hitter Junior Rodriguez, but retired the 9-1-2 batters in succession to send the threat by the boards. Bencomo retired the first two batters of the sixth, before allowing a walk to Brentz, but he was caught leaning off first base and was picked off to end the inning.

Tyler Lockwood came in for Angeloni in the seventh and retired his first three batters. He received some help from his defense, particularly second baseman James Kang, who robbed Wunderlich of a base hit on an impressive diving catch several feet to his right for the second out.

The Spinners were retired 1-2-3 by Bencomo in the seventh, including two strikeouts for the first and third outs of the frame to Renfroe and shortstop Joantoni Garcia.

In the eighth, Lockwood allowed three straight baserunners, but Acosta was forced out on a fielder’s choice and two batters struck out to end the threat.

Kolbrin Vitek sent home the go-ahead run in the bottom of the eighth as he hit an RBI double to right field to score Kang.

Jacobs gave the Spinners a 4-2 lead on an RBI double of his own to right field. Stephen Hiscock came in after the Spinners took the lead against Bencomo. Two batters later, he came around on a single through the infield by Brentz.

Lockwood walked Luis to lead off the ninth, but he then retired the final three batters for the win. He allowed just two hits and a walk over three innings for his first win. Bencomo fell to 1-3 as he allowed two hits and three unearned runs over 3.1 innings.

Manager Bruce Crabbe was pleased with his pitching during the game. “He had really good life on his fastball, which picked up his breaking ball,” he said of Lockwood. “That’s really how he needs to pitch…It was a real good night for all the pitchers. I’m proud of them.”

The Spinners and Renegades play the middle game of the series Saturday at 5:05. Tyler Wilson (2-3) starts for the Spinners, while James Patterson (2-1) is the likely starter for Hudson Valley.

Posted in Hudson Valley Renegades, Lowell Spinners, Minors, Postgame Journal | 2 Comments »

Postgame Journal: Vitek leads Spinners to win over Scrappers

Posted by Joshua Kummins on August 14, 2010

LOWELL, Massachusetts (Saturday, August 14, 2010) – Designated hitter Kolbrin Vitek went 3-for-4 with a home run and two RBI as the Lowell Spinners broke a two-game losing streak with a 4-3 win over the Mahoning Valley Scrappers (CLE) at LeLacheur Park. He also drove home the game-winning run on an eighth-inning single.

“I’m a lot more comfortable,” said Vitek, the Sox’ first round draft pick in June. “I know how the days go now…I got my feet wet and it’s just great to be here.”

Spinners starter Keith Couch got center fielder Carlos Moncrief and shortstop Nick Bartolone to groundout on the infield, but he allowed three singles and a walk, allowing the first Scrapper run to score. With two outs in the first inning, catcher Diego Seastrunk singled into shallow right-center field to score first baseman Chase Burnette.

The Spinners struck right back with one out in the bottom of the inning as designated hitter Kolbrin Vitek lined a solo home run just inside the left field line (7) to square the score at 1-1. First baseman Miles Head doubled into left field with two outs, but he was stranded at second base.

Mahoning Valley jumped back in front in the third on an RBI triple to the right field wall by designated hitter Tyler Cannon. He was gunned out at home for the second out when third baseman Randy Fontanez reached on a fielder’s choice. Vitek singled with two outs in the bottom of the frame for Lowell, but he was then quickly stranded as shortstop Jose Iglesias grounded back to the mound.

Couch retired the Scrappers 1-2-3 in the top of the fourth and fifth innings, while their starter Casey Gaynor did the same in the fourth. Gaynor struggled in the fifth by allowing two singles and a walk, but Iglesias flew out to shallow center to end the bases-loaded threat.

In the top of the sixth, Chez Angeloni replaced Keith Couch for the Spinners. Angeloni allowed a leadoff single to left fielder Brian Heere in the sixth, but he was stranded at third after a strikeout, groundout, and popout.

Couch was happy with his performance as he allowed six hits and two runs, while walking two and fanning two over five innings. “I felt good,” said the former Adelphi pitcher. “Thank goodness [the offense] helped me.”

Gaynor was also replaced in the sixth to make way for Kyle Smith. He out dueled Couch as he allowed five hits and a run over his five innings, while walking just one and fanning three.

The Spinners greeted Smith rudely as second baseman Joantoni Garcia hit a two-run double to center with two out, scoring the go-ahead runs in left fielder Brandon Jacobs and catcher Chia-Chu Chen. He skimmed center fielder Felix Sanchez across the uniform and then struck out Vitek with the bases loaded to end the inning.

Wilson Matos replaced Angeloni with two outs in the top of the seventh and he surrendered a pop out by right fielder Kevin Rucker to end the frame. In the bottom of the seventh, Iglesias singled against J.D. Goryl, but was cut down on a fielder’s choice by Chen to end the threat.

Seastrunk and Heere singled to leadoff the eighth inning against Matos and scored on a sacrifice fly by Fontanez. Heere was doubled out at third on the relay throw from Peterson.

J.D. Reichenbach came in for the eighth inning and allowed a single to replacement right fielder Bryce Brentz, as well as walks to Garcia and Sanchez. Vitek came through again with one out as he singled on a ground ball into right field to score Brentz. Garcia was cut down at home on a fielder’s choice to right field by replacement shortstop James Kang. Head grounded into a 5-4 fielder’s choice to end the inning with just one run scored.

Michael Hacker came in to close the game for the Spinners and retired the 9-1-2 batters for the Scrappers in succession to earn his second save of the season.

Despite strong outings from both starters neither earned the decision. Matos pitched 1.1 innings and allowed two hits and a run to improve to 1-4. Reichenbach took the loss and fell to 1-2. He allowed two hits and a run over the eighth inning, while walking two.

The Spinners had been struggling and are starting to show some promise in terms of results with three wins in five games. “We just need to keep putting together good games,” Vitek said. “We’re in every game. Even the ones we lose are close. We’re going to keep battling and striving forward.”

Lowell and Mahoning Valley return to action in the final game before the All-Star Break. Madison Younginer and Cole Cook will toe the rubber for their respective teams at 1:35 on Sunday.

Posted in Lowell Spinners, Mahoning Valley Scrappers, Minors, Postgame Journal | 1 Comment »

Postgame Journal: Navs come-from-behind to win 2010 NECBL crown

Posted by Joshua Kummins on August 10, 2010

LYNN, Massachusetts (Tuesday, August 10, 2010) – Catcher Garret Smith (Boston College) delivered a two-out, two-run title-clinching double to lift the North Shore Navigators to a 5-4 come-from-behind win over the Danbury Westerners in the third game of the NECBL Championship Series.

The win gives the Navs their first NECBL championship in franchise history, despite starting the season winless through six games.

Danbury actually took a lead over the first two innings thanks to a solo home run to right field by the second batter of the game in right fielder Brandon Boudreaux (Tulane). In the second, a sacrifice fly to center field by shortstop Alfredo Rodriguez (Maryland) made it 2-0.

North Shore tied the game at 2-2 with a pair of runs in the third on singles to the outfield by second baseman Matt Hamlet (Boston College) and center fielder Braxton Graven (Bellarmine). Both were hit with two outs with Hamlet’s going to straight-away center and Graven’s to left-center field.

The Navs took the lead again in the fifth inning when third baseman Jack Mayfield (Oklahoma) drew a bases-loaded walk with two outs, scoring shortstop Cody Dent (Florida) for the go-ahead score.

In the seventh, the Westerners made things interesting with a pair of runs to tie the game at 4-4. The second batter of the inning, left fielder Brett Knief (North Carolina) delivered an RBI double to left-center field bringing Danbury within one. Two batters later, Boudreaux singled to left field bringing home Knief as the tying run.

Smith came through in the clutch with a his two-out, two-run double that was lined into deep right field, scoring third baseman Anthony Melchionda (Boston College) and Mayfield for the title-winning runs.

Nolan Corr (Wheaton) was the Navigators’ starter, allowing nine hits and four runs over six innings, which did not credit him for a win. It marked the first instance that a North Shore starter did not earn the win during the playoff run. Daniel Duval (RPI) earned the win as he allowed two baserunners in the seventh inning, but escaped the jam.

Bryant Gauthier (Southern New Hampshire) came in for the eighth, allowing just one hit. Closer Hunter Rivers (Jacksonville State) retired the final three batters for Danbury in succession, ending with a line shot right to left fielder Jason Banos (Columbia) for the final out.

Westerner starter Michael Anarumo (LeMoyne) lasted just three innings, allowing four hits and two runs for a no-decision. Matt Alvarez (Boston College) allowed a hit and two runs in 1.1 innings to take the loss.

Following the final out, the celebration began with fans jumping out onto the field to congratulate the team and ending with a dinner that was enjoyed by all of the players and fans in attendance.

The teams ended the season separated by one game, with the Navs finishing at 31-20 overall.

Posted in Danbury Westerners, NECBL, NECBL Playoffs, North Shore Navigators, Postgame Journal | Leave a Comment »

Postgame Journal: Mowing ’em down; Kyle leads Navs to win in Finals opener

Posted by Joshua Kummins on August 8, 2010

Kevin Kyle (left) struck out 12 Westerners in a 2-0 win on Sunday.

LYNN, Massachusetts (Sunday, August 8, 2010) – Starter Kevin Kyle (Clemson) struck out 12 over seven-plus innings as the North Shore Navigators were 2-0 winners over the Danbury Westerners in the opening game of the NECBL Championship Series on Sunday night at Fraser Field.

The Navs improved to 5-2 this postseason and are now one win away from their first-ever league title, while the Westerners fell to 4-3.

The only scoring in the game came in the bottom of the first inning as the Navs got the only two runs they needed. The second batter of the game in second baseman Matt Hamlet (Boston College) doubled to deep right-center field, scoring left fielder Jason Banos (Columbia) for a 1-0 lead. With one out, third baseman Anthony Melchionda (Boston College) plated his Eagle teammate Hamlet on a single to right field.

Westerner starter Kevin Kilpatrick (St. John’s) was able to shake off the rough start keeping his team in the game, but six hits did not do the trick compared to North Shore’s eight.

Kyle walked surrendered just four hits and two walks en route to evening his record to 1-1. Hunter Rivers (Jacksonville State) came in for the ninth and allowed just one walk, earning his third consecutive save.

Kilpatrick fell to 1-1, despite throwing a complete-game eight innings and allowing eight hits and two earned runs, while walking one and fanning two.

The Navigators will look to sweep the series from Danbury two games straight on Monday night at Rogers Park. Daniel Patrick (Pepperdine) goes for North Shore, opposite Sean Hagan (St. John’s). Patrick earned the win in the deciding third game of the East Division Semifinals against Sanford on Wednesday, pitching a solid 6.1 innings, allowing six hits and four runs.

Posted in Danbury Westerners, NECBL, NECBL Playoffs, North Shore Navigators, Postgame Journal | 1 Comment »

Postgame Journal: Derailing the champs

Posted by Joshua Kummins on August 7, 2010

NEWPORT, Rhode Island (Saturday, August 7, 2010) – The North Shore Navigators are headed to the NECBL Championship Series, thanks to a 5-2 win over the Newport Gulls on Saturday night at Cardines Field. Heading into Friday’s second game, the defending NECBL champion Gulls had won 11 straight games, but the Navigators broke that streak tonight to end their season.

The Navigators jumped out in the second inning with four runs on five hits against Gulls starter Geoff Brown (Washington), all with two outs. Brown was very successful against North Shore during the regular season as he threw a complete-game four-hitter at Fraser Field on July 31, but it was a whole different outcome this time around.

Third baseman Jack Mayfield (Oklahoma) doubled to center field and scored on an RBI single through the infield by designated hitter Garrett Smith (Boston College) two batters later. Shortstop Cody Dent (Florida) singled and then two runs came in on a double to right field by left fielder Jason Banos (Columbia). He came around on a perfectly placed single into left field by second baseman Matt Hamlet (Boston College) giving the Navs a 4-0 cushion that starter Crayton Bare (Baylor) had to work with.

The Gulls got one back in the third on an RBI single to right field by left fielder Brendan Kelliher (George Washington). The inning led off with shortstop David Bentrott (Washington) getting hit by a pitch and a single to left field by catcher Bryce Nugent (Marist).

In the top of the fourth, Banos connected for a towering home run over the 20-foot right field fence with two outs (1), giving the Navs a 5-1 lead.

Bentrott drove in Newport’s second and final run on a sacrifice fly to medium-depth right field for a sacrifice fly, driving in the final run of the game and eventually the Gulls’ season.

The Navs needed to play keep away and that they sure did. Bare earned his second win of the postseason, allowing six hits and a pair of earned runs over a solid six innings. Bryant Gauthier (Southern New Hampshire) and Dan Duval (RPI) held the lead for Hunter Rivers (Jacksonville State) to earn his second save of the playoffs.

Newport used five total pitchers against the Navs with starter Brown taking the final loss of their playoff run. Brown allowed five hits and four earned runs over just two innings, before going to the bullpen. The final four pitchers for the Gulls in John Farrell (William and Mary), Mark Appel (Washington), Mike Francisco (Villanova) and Seth Simmons (East Carolina) combined to allow just three hits and a run over the final eight innings.

This will be North Shore’s first trip to the NECBL Championship Series in their three-year franchise history. The opening game of the best-of-three clash against the Danbury Westerners will take place at Fraser Field on Sunday at 6:15.

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Postgame Journal: Johnson twirls gem to tie East finals

Posted by Joshua Kummins on August 7, 2010

LYNN, Massachusetts (Friday, August 6, 2010) – Lefty Michael Johnson (Dartmouth) spun a gem on Friday night, leading the the North Shore Navigators to a 2-0 win in the second game of the best-of-three Eastern Division Championship Series at Fraser Field.

Offense was hard to come by as two Ivies, in Johnson and Eric Eadington (Harvard) threw outstanding outings. Eadington took the loss despite allowing three hits and one earned run while pitching 6.2 innings. Both teams managed just three hits, so defensive miscues dumped the Gulls.

The Navs took a 1-0 lead in the first inning on an RBI double to right-center field by third baseman Anthony Melchionda (Boston College).

In the third, shortstop Cody Dent (Florida) walked and scored on a passed ball that went right through the legs of Newport’s Chris Forsten (William and Mary) for the second score.

Both pitchers received their first decisions of the postseason, while Hunter Rivers (Jacksonville State) earned the save.

The division title will be decided in Newport on Saturday at 6:35, where the Navs dropped the opening game on Thursday.

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In the Western Division Championship Series, Danbury’s Alfredo Rodriguez (Maryland) hit a sacrifice fly in the ninth inning to propel the Westerners to a 7-6 win over North Adams in game two at Rogers Park. The series will be decided in North Adams on Saturday.

Posted in NECBL, NECBL Playoffs, Newport Gulls, North Shore Navigators, Postgame Journal | Leave a Comment »