Southern Conn. St. captures title
Owls sweep a pair of games from Adelphi to advance on
RINDGE, N.H. -- Senior right-hander Kevin Pettine tossed a complete-game six-hitter in the final game of the NCAA East Regional Championship to lead Southern Connecticut State to the title with a 2-1 victory against Adelphi on Sunday afternoon at Dr. Arthur and Martha Pappas Field. In the first game of the day, junior left-hander Chris Zbin threw eight innings of three-hit ball to pick up the win for SCSU, 9-1, and force the winner-take-all final game.
With the wins, SCSU claims its second NCAA regional title (2005), with both of them coming at Pappas Field. The Owls advance to the NCAA Championship National Finals, hosted by Mount Olive in Cary, N.C. at the USA Baseball National Training Complex. SCSU will open play at 5 p.m. on Sunday, May 29 against the winner of the South Region, which concludes play on Monday.
In the title game, Adelphi jumped out front with a run in the bottom of the second when junior left fielder Justin Farnum singled off the glove of the first baseman and later scored on a single to right by junior shortstop Lucas Romeo.
However, SCSU answered in the top of the third with back-to-back solo home runs down the left-field line by junior shortstop Kyle Cummings and senior catcher Nick DeProspo. The remainder of the game went without another run as the Owls won, 2-1.
Working on two days’ rest after throwing eight shutout innings on Thursday, Pettine took the ball again and fired a six-hit shutout to earn the win (10-0) for SCSU. He allowed one run, walked run and struck out six. His performances earned him Most Outstanding Player honors for the tournament.
Not to be overlooked, Adelphi senior right-hander Robert Nixon took the ball on two days’ rest as well, after throwing a four-hit shutout with nine strikeouts on Thursday. He threw 8.1 innings, allowed two runs on six hits, walked one and struck out 10, but took the hard-luck loss (11-2).
In the first game, the Owls did most of their damage in two innings, as they scored three times in the fourth and five times in the seventh on their way to the 9-1 win. In the fourth, junior third baseman A.J. Rouleau and sophomore center fielder Mike Cleary had RBI singles, with the latter coming on a suicide squeeze. In the seventh, junior right fielder Bryan Dorsey had the big blow with a two-run single down the right-field line.
Zbin took the ball for the first time in the tournament and fired eight innings of three-hit ball while allowed one run, walking three and striking out four to pick up the win (10-2) and force a decisive final game of the tournament.