Zander Kean, Navigators Sports Information Department
Before the start of Thursday’s game, the North Shore Navigators stood a half-game ahead of the Keene Swamp Bats in the NECBL North standings. And the Navs were out for revenge, having dropped their first two meetings with the Swamp Bats.
Down 11-1 in the eighth, the Navs (13-7) mounted a furious rally to cut the deficit to four. After Provencher doubled and Derek Trent walked, Matt Costello bombed a Ryan Boden pitch off the Alumni Field scoreboard. It was the first home run of the season for a Navigator other than Provencher.
Tyler Kuehl, Nick Belcher and Jay McConnell also crossed home in the inning as Matt Costello came up again with the bases loaded, representing the tying run in an 11-7 game. But Costello struck out, ending the
The Swamp Bats (13-6) drew first blood in the bottom of the second off
The Navigators had a chance to bounce back in the top of the third. Kyle Geason continued his recent hot hitting with a double in the third inning, but was stranded at third when Mike Provencher popped out to right with two out.
The Swamp Bats weren’t done in the inning, as Franco Valdes made the score 7-0 with a 2-run double that landed on the chalk of the right field foul line. That chased Herter from the game.
Mike Adams relieved Herter and got the final out of the inning, but gave up a three-run homer to Josh Chester that gave the Swamp Bats a double-digit lead in the fourth. But the Navs turned their third double play of the night to prevent any further damage.
On the bright side for the Navigators, Kent Graham took advantage of Alumni Field’s spacious right field as he launched a triple in the top of the fifth. It was his first hit since returning from a back injury that kept him out of action for two weeks.
In the end,
The Navs were able to put up a crooked number in the sixth as Tom Cote relieved McDermott with two out and runners on first and second. Nick Belcher gave
With the win, Keene moved a half-game ahead of North Shore in the North Division, though the Sanford Mainers can hang on to the division lead with a win in Holyoke tonight The Navigators continue their road trip tomorrow in Holyoke as they take on the Blue Sox.