Wednesday, June 18, 2008

Navs suffer first road loss of season, 8-4

***Sorry for posting this so late, but not only did the bus not arrive in Lynn until 12:30 AM (with my 45-minute drive home on top of that), apparently some local team had a basketball game tonight. But hey, at least you'll have something to read at work!

Noblit, Silkworms Cool Navigator Bats

Zander Kean, Navigators Sports Information Department

The North Shore Navigators looked to ride the momentum of their four-game winning streak Wednesday as they opened a six-day road trip against the Manchester Silkworms.

But Manchester starter Nick Noblit gave up just one run as the Silkworms took Tuesday night’s game, 8-4. Noblit commanded his fastball and effectively mixed in his off-speed pitches, striking out seven Navigators over six innings.

North Shore (5-3) had its opportunities – battling back from a six-run deficit to send the tying run to the plate in the top of the seventh inning – but left nine men on base, several in scoring position.

“We had runners on base every inning, but we just didn’t execute by moving runners along and chipping away,” head coach Jason Falcon said following the game. “Had it been 5-3 and we came through with those big runs later in the game – different story.”

Manchester (5-4) opened the scoring in the top of the first inning. After A.J. Rusbarsky grounded out to short, Jeff Cammans blasted a triple to left-center that deflected off the glove of Navs’ centerfielder Sean McNaughton. Matt Grosso followed with a grounder to second, sending in Cammans to give the Silkworms an early 1-0 lead.

But the Navs answered in the top of the second. Nick Belcher led off the inning with a broken-bat single up the middle, and Mike Provencher moved him to second with a single of his own.

Designated hitter Ryan McCrann then placed an outside pitch down the third base line, scoring Belcher and tying the score at 1.

The Silkworms regained the lead in the bottom of the third off Navigator starter Mike Adams. After Cammans knocked in a run with a single, Grosso delivered again, this time with a double to left-center that put Manchester ahead by two. Zach Hudson followed with a double of his own, scoring Cammans and Grosso and extending the lead to 5-1.

Adams was around the plate all night – he walked just one batter – but Manchester’s hitters connected more often than not. In 5-plus innings, Adams gave up seven runs on nine hits, striking out four Silkworm batters.

Falcon said that Manchester’s approach at the plate allowed them to capitalize on Adams’ offerings.

“I think [Adams] was a little tired from his two innings in the USA game. You could tell their plan of attack was to go right at him, and they executed pretty well. They went after his first pitch a lot, and then they got and got guys on base and drove the ball well.”

Ryan Krull relieved Adams with the bases loaded in the bottom of the sixth. Though Krull struck out three batters in the inning, he also walked in two runs to give Manchester a 7-1 lead.

In the top of the seventh, the Navs mounted a rally against Manchester southpaw Jordan Wolfe. With two runners on and one out, catcher Jay McConnell lined a 2-run double to right, his first hit in a Navigator uniform. Belcher then drove a two-bagger to left-center to bring in McConnell and cut the deficit to 7-4.

With two on and two out in the inning, J.J. Potrikus relieved Wolfe and got Provencher to ground into a fielder’s choice to second, ending the North Shore rally. Potrikus then retired the side in order in the eighth.

A.J. Rusbarsky accounted for the last run of the game with an RBI single off North Shore reliever Chris Prescott. Brandon Otto finished the job for Manchester, retiring Nick Belcher for the game's final out.

On the bright side for the Navigators, outfielder Justin Little saw significant playing time for the first time since injuring his bicep last week. Little pinch ran for McNaughton, played the last two innings in center and picked up an infield single and a stolen base in his lone at bat.

“I feel like I’m getting back into it,” he said. “My arm feels good and everything like that. It’s good to be back out here for an at bat or two.”

With their opening-day leadoff man healthy again, the Navigators will continue their six-game road trip Wednesday against the Holyoke Sox. Adam Herter, who won his first start of the season against the Sanford Mainers, gets the ball for the Navs.

1 comment:

Joe Grav said...

Good article bro. See you for tomorrow night's game.

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