Andreas Brackett and his Navigant Post saw plenty of chances go by the board Thursday in the team's 9-2 loss in the opening game of the Northeast Regionals. PHOTO BY ERNEST A. BROWN
MIDDLETOWN, Conn. â Navigant Post 85 produced several opportunities to capture its U.S. American Legion Northeast Regional Tournament opener at Palmer Field on Thursday morning.
It failed on most, and thatâs why the Rhode Island champions suffered a lopsided 9-2 defeat to Barnstable, Mass.
For those who reigned from the Bay State, George Bent hurled a complete-game nine-hitter while his offense ânickel-and-dimedâ their way to eight runs in the fourth, fifth and sixth frames.
Righty starter Kory âSkipâ Lawrence took the loss after yielding six hits in four-plus innings.
âSkip just didnât have it (Thursday),â noted co-skipper Jim Gauthier after the tilt. âWe ended up walking nine guys, and Skip had six of them. He wasnât on.
âThe problem was we loaded the bases four times, including two with nobody out, and scored only one run,â he added. âWe just couldnât get the key hit. We were only down a run or two at those times, but it didnât come.
âWe ended up stranding 14 in scoring position, and you just canât have that in a tournament this big. We left just one on first base. We can accept losing to a better team, but that team isnât better than we are. We gave it away, and itâs because we didnât play our game.
âIt wouldâve helped if we played the way weâre capable.â
Barnstable notched a run in the first, and it remained that way until they erupted for three more in the fourth. Navigant sliced the gap to 4-1 in the fifth after Aaron Catarina walked and eventually scored on Matt Bareâs single, but the home squad added two more in the fifth.
Post 85 again knifed into the lead, plating a run in the top of the sixth when Victor Hunt ripped a leadoff triple to right and Andreas Brackett doubled him home, but those were the lone sources of the stale offense.
âThe hits were only at 10-9 (for Barnstable), and they made three errors while we only committed one,â Gauthier lamented.
âThen again, we made a lot of sloppy mental errors, like throwing to the wrong bag, missing the cutoff, etc. Weâre definitely better than this. Like I said, the kids just didnât have it.â
The good news: Navigant is still alive in this double-elimination event. It now will face Rochester, N.H., which dropped an 18-8 âmercy ruleâ verdict to Branford, Conn., at 9:30 a.m. today back at Palmer Field.
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