Navigators Jump to 1-0 Lead in Playoffs
The East Longmeadow Navigators completed the regular season with a record of 11-5 and claimed the #1 seed for the FCL playoffs. That pitted them against the #4 seed Easthampton Bulldawgs in a best-of-3 series that began on Sunday at ELHS.
The ‘Dawgs pounced on Navigator starter Todd Ashford early in the first, plating 4 runs on timely hitting with 2 outs. East Longmeadow battled back for a run in the first and two more in the third to make it 4-3 Dawgs, which afforded Ashford the chance to settle down. The lefty then cruised through the lineup the rest of the way as the Navigators bats chipped away, ultimately taking the lead 5-4 in the 5th on a Jeff Beturne groundout.
The Navs added to their lead in the 6th as C Nick Kurty and SS Dave Rist continued their hot hitting. E.L. scored 3 more runs, pushing the lead to 9-4. Easthampton scratched one more across, but could not solve the crafty Ashford, as he finished with a complete game win.
GAME NOTES: Dave Rist was red-hot, going 4-4 with an RBI double. C Nick Kurty was 3-4 with 3 RBI. Brandon Marcoux started for EH and pitched well, going the distance but taking the loss. EH DH Brian Hayes has a bases clearing triple in the 1st. The series shifts to Granby HS Monday as the Navigators hope to close out the best-of-3 series and advance to the championship round.