OLD ORCHARD BEACH, Me. — By no means should Navigant Credit Union Post 85 feel blue after the local ball club saw its season come to an end Saturday in the Northeast Regional American Legion Baseball Tournament.
Sure, no one wants to lose, but even after a 4-2 setback to Barnstable, Mass., Navigant has much to celebrate. For a team that a week ago came out of nowhere to capture the R.I. Senior Division championship, the local lads enjoyed a storybook ride that saw them put forth quite the fight right up to the bitter end.
Facing the Massachusetts champion in a losers’ bracket contest, Navigant fell behind 2-0 in the first inning, the big hit a run-scoring double off the bat of Alex Pernick. Navigant loaded the bases in home portion of the first but couldn’t make a dent.
Post 85 got a run back in the fourth inning without the benefit of a hit. A sacrifice fly Kevin Reyes scored Kory “Skip” Lawrence, who was hit by a pitch. Again, Navigant had a prime chance to do damage but ended the fourth with runners left on first and second.
Barnstable struck for two additional runs in the fifth as Dylan Morri’s two-run single pinned Navigant in a 4-1 hole. Brandon Perrico stroked a two-out double in the seventh to chase home Tyler Geffert, making it a 4-2 ballgame heading into the final two frames.
Post 85 was unable to draw any closer. After getting out of a bases-loaded jam in the ninth, Navigant brought the potential game-tying run to the plate with two down in the ninth. A swinging strikeout ended the game as Barnstable lives to see another day.
Brandon Rainville provided Navigant (20-15) with eight innings of four-run ball with two strikeouts and three walks. E.J. Torres pitched his way out of tight spot in the ninth on his way to tossing a scoreless inning with two strikeouts.
Despite getting multi-hit games from Torres (three hits), Geffert (two hits) and Perrico (two hits), Navigant wound up stranding 10 baserunners.