HARWICH, MA - #6 Saint Joseph's College (29-14) defeated #7 Worcester State University (25-17), 4-2, in an elimination game of the 2014 NCAA DIII New England Baseball Regional Tournament at Whitehouse Field on Thursday afternoon. Senior starter Lincoln Sanborn (Standish, Maine) allowed two runs off nine hits with three strikeouts over 7.2 innings to pick up the win and improve to 7-1 on the season.
With the triumph, Saint Joseph's remains in contention and faces #8 Mitchell College in another elimination contest at 9:30 AM on Friday. The Mariners, who stunned top-seeded Eastern Connecticut in 11 innings yesterday, fell into the losers' bracket after suffering a 4-2 loss at the hands of #4 Endicott College this afternoon. For Worcester State, the loss to the Monks signals the end of the 2014 campaign.
The Monks used a little small ball to break a scoreless tie in the bottom of the third inning.
Freshman Max McCoomb (South Berwick, ME) singled to right with one out and advanced to third on a perfectly executed hit-and-run with senior Louie Vigars (Stratham, NH) to place runners at the corners.
Vigars then darted toward second and McCoomb raced home on a double-steal. Vigars continued to third on an errant throw by the shortstop and came around to score on an RBI base-knock from junior Nic Lops (South Portland, ME) for the 2-0 advantage.
The Blue and Gold threatened with two down in the top of the sixth after back-to-back singles from junior classmates Zach George (Attleboro, MA) and Cody Osburn (Fair Oaks, CA) put runners on first and second.
Junior Jeff Bolio (Oxford, MA) followed with a shot down the first-base line, but was turned away when freshman Brett Barbati (Melrose, MA) made a diving stop and won the race to the bag to retire the side and preserve the two-run lead.
Worcester State continued the pressure in the seventh to cut the deficit in half.
After loading the bases on a pair of singles and a walk with no outs sophomore Steve Wallace (Auburn, MA) grounded into a fielder's choice to produce a run, and after stealing second the Lancers had runners on first and second with one out.
However, that was all the offense Worcester could manage as Sanborn settled down to induce a pair of pop outs to end the threat and preserve the one-score contest.
The Monks answered with a tally of their own in the bottom half of the frame on an RBI single through the left side from freshman Taylor Black (Cardiff By The Sea, CA) for the 3-1 edge.
WSU worked a little two-out magic in the top of the eighth to inch closer after Bolio laced a two-bagger deep into the right center gap and touched home on an RBI single to left from freshman Jake Ryan (Whitinsville, MA) to inch one run closer.
But Saint Joseph's grabbed an insurance run in the bottom of the eighth when junior Joe Coyne (Duxbury, MA) ripped a run producing double off the left field fence for the 4-2 margin.
Monks' sophomore Corey McNamara (West Newbury, MA) then tossed a 1-2-3 ninth after registering the final out of the eighth inning to close things out and obtain his fifth save on the year.
Sanborn improved to 7-1 on the year registering a trio of strikeouts with one walk on the day
Freshman Kris Doyle (Millbury, MA) was dealt the loss after tossing all eight innings surrendering four runs (three earned) on 11 hits with one free pass and three strikeouts and falls to 6-4 in the setback.
Saint Joseph's outhit the Lancers, 11-10, on the afternoon as Bolio and Coyne had the only extra base-knocks in the contest.
McComb, Vigars, Lops, Coyne, and sophomore Taylor Reuillard (Biddeford, ME) all registered two hits a piece to pace the Monk attack.
Ryan ended the game 3-for-4 with a run scored and an RBI while George, Osburn, and freshman Dan McGuill (E. Longmeadow, MA) rounded out the offense for the Blue and Gold with two hits each.
Saint Joseph's College is Maine's only Catholic liberal arts college, providing a supportive, personalized and career-focused education for more than 100 years. From its 430-acre campus on the shores of Sebago Lake, the College offers more than 40 undergraduate programs to a population of approximately 1,000 students. Saint Joseph's College Online provides certificates, undergraduate and advanced degrees for working adults through an online learning program. For more, visitwww.sjcme.edu.