Sunday, June 8, 2008

Navs Take First Loss, 2-0

Steve DelVecchio, Navigators Sports Information Department

A look at the box score of Sunday evening’s NECBL game between the North Shore Navigators and the Keene Swamp bats will provide you with the game’s story line - pitcher’s duel.

Moving forward at a torrid pace, starting pitchers Mike Adams (North Shore) and Tommy Meagher controlled the game from the start. What was particularly interesting about this matchup was the contrasting styles with which the two pitchers were able to effectively pile up outs. Adams, who was 11-1 with an impressive 1.36 ERA at Franklin Pierce University, got the bulk of his outs on the ground while Meagher retired the majority of batters he faced by inducing fly ball outs.

While the Navigators struggled to put pressure on Meagher as he cruised through seven innings, giving up no runs on three hits and striking out three batters while walking none, Mike Adams was forced to battle his way out of a couple of difficult innings.

To begin the sixth, Swamp Bats’ outfielder Alex Lee dropped a bunt down between the pitcher’s mound and third base and reached safely when Adams and third baseman Ryan McCrann collided and neither was able to make a play. However, just when it appeared the Swamp Bats may be threatening to push a run across, Lee made a critical base running error and was thrown out attempting to go from first to third on a single. Adams was able to hold off any further threat and keep the game scoreless.

“There was only one inning where I didn’t put somebody on base, the fourth,” Adams said of his performance. “Every other inning I was working out of jams. It’s nothing new – I did it a lot at school, too. You just have to bear down.”

Although he pitched an outstanding game by most standards, Adams was not overly thrilled with his performance.

“It wasn’t my best stuff, but I was getting by,” he said. “I posted a bunch of zeroes and was waiting for us to strike, but it didn’t happen. I just wanted to give us a chance to win the game.”

Unfortunately for Adams and the Navs, the Swamp Bats were able to apply more pressure in the seventh inning, this time with improved results. Keene catcher Dan Petro led off the inning with a double and reached third on a passed ball. After hitting a batter to put runners at the corners, Adams was able to induce a ground ball double play, allowing Petro to score from third. That was all the Swamp Bats would need to pick up their first win of the season.

Although only needing the one run to win the game, the Swamp Bats were able to push two runs across in the seventh and Navigators coach Jason Falcon believed the second run was the real difference maker.

“We got what we wanted. We got the double play. The run scored, but we were playing for the one run,” he said in reference to the seventh frame. “I think the second run kind of deflated us. It’s a new season; the guys are still all getting used to each other. But like I told them afterward, we’ve given up 9 hits in 18 innings – I think we’re going to win some games.”

Swamp Bats pitcher David Colvin, from Pomona-Pitzer college, came on in the eighth inning and shut down the Navigators to preserve the win for Tommy Meagher. Colvin threw two perfect innings striking out two and picking up his first save of the year.


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