Monday, June 9, 2008

Navs' Bats Silenced Again in 4-0 Loss

Joe Jasinski, Navigators Sports Information Department

Standing at an intimidating 6’5, 270 pounds, Navigators starting pitcher Wayde Kitchens stared down at Steve Lombardozzi, the Blue Sox leadoff hitter. After loading the count, Lombardozzi belted a single up the middle.

After that, Kitchens (Chapman Univ.) settled down, giving up two runs on five hits through six and two-thirds innings. He also struck out four batters and surrendered two walks.

However, the Navigators (1-2) failed to tally a run for the second straight night, losing 4-0 to the Holyoke Blue Sox (1-1) last night at Fraser Field.

Pretty much everything Kitchen brought to the table was on, Navigators catcher John Hill said.

“He looked pretty good … even his changeup, which he didn’t really have much confidence in before the game, he was throwing for strikes.”

The similarities to last night’s game were quite evident. Another pure pitchers duel, this time featuring Kitchens (0-1) and Holyoke south-paw Justin Albert (1-0). Albert threw seven innings of scoreless ball, yielding four hits and striking out five batters.

Albert’s success came from punishing the strike zone and the lack of aggressiveness from Navigator batters, Coach Falcon said.

“He was effective,” Falcon said. “I don’t think we ever really caught on to getting on him and getting on him early. I think one or two guys did but we really didn’t make many adjustments. Unfortunately we just didn’t get to him.”

For the second night in a row, the Navigators drew no walks.

The Blue Sox started the scoring in the sixth inning. After a lead-off single, a sacrifice bunt and a passed ball, right-fielder Allen Bolden dropped a bloop single into shallow-left field, scoring second baseman Kenny Socorro from third base.

In the seventh, Holyoke designated hitter Grant Allgire belted a single, scoring center-fielder Alex Hilliard from third, and ending Kitchens’ night.

Holyoke continued their hitting brigade in the eighth, scoring two runs off of reliever Ryan Krull (Bellarmine Univ.) behind back-to-back doubles from first-baseman Ken Gregory and Hilliard.

The Navigators used three relievers in the game, starting with Mike Gallo (1/3 IP, 0 R, 0 H), followed by Krull (2/3 IP, 2 R, 3 H) and ending with Chris Kowalski (1 1/3 IP, 0 R, 0 H). Charles Williams supplied two innings of relief for Holyoke, allowing no runs on two hits.

While the Navigators continue to struggle at the plate, Falcon assured that the hitting will come, and a lot of the struggles come from the adjustment to the league’s wood bat requirement.

“Everybody goes through that,” Falcon said. “You look at how they scored their runs tonight and they had a couple of singles to get some runs in but they had a bloop single to drive in one of them. That’s everybody … We built this team around guys who can swing the bat and I’m confident they will.”

Tyler Kuehl and Justin Little continued their good hitting, going 2-3 and 2-4, respectively, at the plate.

The Navigators’ next game is against the Sanford Mainers at 6:30 p.m. on Wednesday night. The game can be viewed on LynnCAM through the Navigators’ website. The Navigators return to Fraser Field on Thursday night to face the Mainers once again. First pitch is schedule for 7:00 p.m.


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