STANDISH, Maine – Fourth-seeded Johnson & Wales University (22-17) stunned #1 Saint Joseph's College (31-7), 6-3, in a Great Northeast Athletic Conference (GNAC) Baseball Tournament Quarterfinal at Larry Mahaney Diamond on Thursday afternoon.
With the victory, Johnson & Wales advances to winners' bracket and will face the winner of the other quarterfinal, #2 Suffolk University versus #3 Lasell College, in a semifinal game at 3:00 PM Saturday at Fraser Field in Lynn, Massachusetts. With the loss, Saint Joseph's remains in the double-elimination tourney and will face the loser of the Suffolk/Lasell matchup at 12:00 PM at Fraser Field.
The Suffolk/Lasell game starts at 7:00 PM tonight.
HOW IT HAPPENED:
Saint Joseph's faced an early deficit, as Johnson & Wales sophomore right fielder Dave Matthews (Newtown, Conn.) lofted a two-run homer just beyond the right field wall in the top of the first. The Wildcats tacked on a run in the fifth, two in the sixth, and another in the seventh to secure a 6-0 advantage.
The Monks' bats finally showed signs of life in the bottom of the eighth with two runs off three hits, as senior shortstop Max McCoomb (South Berwick, Maine) knocked in Chris Gerossie (Chester, N.H.) with a double to left and sophomore second baseman Joey Murphy (Derry, N.H.) scored on a fielder's choice.
Senior right fielder Dennis Meehan (Gardiner, Maine) led off the bottom of the ninth with a double to right field and later scored on a sac fly off the bat of sophomore Greg Emanuelson (Hudson, N.H.) to make it a 6-2 game. With two out, the Monks had runners on second and third, as Gerossie walked and Murphy singled with both moving up a base on a passed ball, but the rally effort ended with two in scoring position.
ON THE MOUND:
SJC freshman starter Matt Demma (Worcester, Mass.) falls to 2-1 on the season after allowing three runs off four hits and a walk with three strikeouts in 4.1 innings. Junior Philip LeVangie (Hanover, Mass.) yielded two runs off three hits in 1.2 frames of relief while junior Travis Godbout (Portland, Maine) allowed a solo home run with a punch-out in one inning. Junior southpaw Josh Partridge (Deerfield, N.H.) tossed two perfect innings with a pair of K's.
Johnson & Wales sophomore starter Brandon Budlong (Cranston, R.I.), who threw 141 pitches in a complete-game performance, kept the Monks off balance all game, as the crafty lefthander allowed three runs off 10 hits and a walk with five punch-outs to improve to 6-3 on the year.
OFF THE BAT – SAINT JOSEPH'S:
- Murphy was 4-4 with a run and a double
- McCoomb went 2-5 with a pair of two-baggers and an RBI
- Meehan and Gerossie notched a double apiece
OFF THE BAT – JOHNSON & WALES:
- Matthews was 3-5 with a run, a homer, and three RBI
- Junior center fielder Rob Ballinger (South Kingstown, R.I.) was 1-4 with a pair of runs scored
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 474-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, visit www.sjcme.edu.