OLD ORCHARD BEACH, Me. — The R.I. American Legion Senior Division champs from Navigant Credit Union/Fairmount Post 85 picked the wrong time to play kick the can.
Navigant committed six errors that led to three runs for the opposition in a disheartening 4-1 setback to Portland, Me. Thursday in the opening game of the double-elimination Northeast Regional tournament at The Ballpark.
Post 85 will look to remain alive when it faces Essex, Vt. Friday at 9:30 a.m.
Portland took full advantage of three Navigant errors in the first inning on its way to jumping out to a 2-0 lead. The advantage was extended to 3-0 an inning later as Post 85 committed two more errors.
“It was heart-wrenching to watch,” sighed Post 85 coach Jim Gauthier. “Hopefully we can bounce back (Friday).”
The shoddy defense overshadowed the strong outing turned in by Navigant starter Brandon Perrico, who tossed a complete-game five-hitter en route to allowing just one earned run. Perrico issued zero walks while fanning no one.
“He pitched a super game,” noted Gauthier about Perrico.
Navigant spoiled Portland’s shutout bid in the top of the ninth as Andreas Brackett led off with a single, stole second before coming around to score on a base hit by catcher Matt Bare. Navigant wound up out-hitting its foe, 8-5.