Weekend in review
Notes: Wheaton (Mass.) takes 11th NEWMAC title in 13 years
North Coast Athletic Conference Tournament
Wabash won a conference tournament championship for the first time since 1998, defeating Ohio Wesleyan 5-2 in the North Coast Athletic Conference tournament on Saturday afternoon at VA Memorial Stadium in Chillicothe, Ohio.
The Little Giants (21-20) were in the Heartland Conference the last time they won a league tourney title and used a strong pitching performance by Chris Widup to win their first NCAC title since joining the league in 2000 and punch a ticket to the NCAA tournament.
Widup, a sophomore, worked 8.1 innings, allowing two runs on seven hits while striking out eight, including the first three batters he faced. He earned a spot on the all-tournament team.
John Holm was named the MVP of the tournament and rose to the occasion in the 3-2 win against top-seeded Wooster in the semifinal round. Holm came through with three hits, including a solo home run, as the Little Giants knocked off the Fighting Scots, the two-time defending champions. Wooster has won 13 titles in all.
But this tournament belonged to the Little Giants, and in some ways, head coach Chris Stevens isn’t surprised.
“Everything came together at the right time. We’ve peaked at the right time,” Stevens said. “We’ve tried to stack our schedule with great competition, from the beginning of the schedule to the end, and it’s really paid off.”
New England Men’s and Women’s Athletic Conference Tournament
Wheaton (Mass.) College is used to winning championships. The 16th-ranked Lyons won another on Saturday afternoon, edging MIT 4-3 in the final of the NEWMAC tournament at Sidell Stadium.
Wheaton has now won 11 titles in the 13-year history of the tournament and will play in the NCAA tournament for the 10th time since 2000.
Hadi Raad played a pivotal role in helping the Lyons (27-8) secure the title. The Most Outstanding Player of the tourney hit .636 during the title run. Four of his seven hits were doubles. He also drove in three runs and had a 2 for 4 showing in the championship game.
Seven other Lyons racked up hits in the title game and David Longley earned the win in one inning of relief work. He gave up two runs on two hits. Ryan Grant notched his eighth save of the season despite allowing his first run of the year. He had pitched 16 scoreless innings before Saturday.
With the score tied at 2-2, Dan Haugh tallied his 51st RBI of the season that put Wheaton ahead for good at 3-2. Tad Skelley drove in a run as well to push the Lyons in front 4-2.
American Southwest Tournament
One thing is for sure in the ACS tournament: Texas-Tyler won’t have a chance to win its third consecutive championship this weekend.
McMurry ended that dream this past weekend, stunning the fifth-ranked team in the nation with a two-game sweep in an opening-round series at Irwin Field.
The War Hawks (17-25) defeated the Patriots 6-4 in 13 innings on Friday before capping the series with a 5-4 win.
Bradd Baker hit a two-run double in the extra-inning thriller to secure the win, and Dylan DeLeon scored on an error in the second game to give the War Hawks the victory. McMurry had lost in the opening round in 2009 and 2010 and had lost eight of its last 11 against the Patriots before the weekend.
The championship round, which will also include host Texas-Dallas, Hardin-Simmons and Concordia-Texas, will be played this weekend.
While McMurry pulled off the biggest upset of the tournament, Hardin-Simmons and Mississippi College played a wild three-game series in the first round. The Cowboys (30-12) won the decisive game 12-11 in 14 innings versus the Choctaws when Troy Tarrant hit a double off of the top of the wall. Tarrant was named the MVP of the series.
The thrilling finale lasted four hours and 22 minutes and the two teams combined to use 37 players. A total of 500 pitches were thrown and the two teams combined for 33 hits. The 30 wins for the Cowboys is the most in the non-scholarship era of the school.
Great South Athletic Conference Tournament
Josh Bailey scored the game-winning run on an error and helped Piedmont College win its first Great South tournament title since 2008 with a 5-4, 11-inning win against Huntingdon at Scotland Yard in Maryville, Tenn.
The Lions (30-13), who secured their second 30-win season in the NCAA era of the school, rallied from a 4-0 deficit to claim the championship.
Bailey, a freshman, was named the MVP of the tournament in part because he hit a two-run single to the gap in left center in a 7-6 win against Maryville College a night earlier to put the Lions in the title game. He had one hit in the championship game.
Matt Collins nailed down the win, working three innings of shutout ball. He struck out three and walked one while David Bartek tallied two hits and scored a run in the finale. Piedmont racked up nine hits in all.
Johns Hopkins proved once again that it is still the team to beat in the Centennial Conference. The Blue Jays (25-11) overcame a 3-0 deficit and went on to win 10-6 against Haverford at the JHU Baseball Diamond on Sunday afternoon.
The title is the 12th overall for the Blue Jays, who scored seven runs in the first inning. Jeff Lynch fueled the game-changing inning, drilling a three-run homer to put JHU in front for good at 4-3. The sophomore standout finished with two hits and drove in three runs.
Mike Musary also knocked in three runs and tallied three hits to pace the offensive attack. Musary was one of 11 batters to step up the plate in the opening inning and his lead-off double ignited the inning.
Both teams finished with 12 hits. Sam Eagleson went 8.1 innings, giving up six runs on 12 hits. He finished with four strikeouts and improved to 5-1 on the season.
Skyline Conference Tournament
Farmingdale State ran its string of consecutive Skyline Conference tournament titles to four with a 10-1 drubbing of Old Westbury on Sunday afternoon.
Kevin Curtis earned MVP honors and his two-run triple in the first inning helped stake the Rams (22-12) to a 3-0 lead. Curtis actually finished his day with two triples and had three hits in all. He also scored three runs and drove in three runs.
Mike Dolce wasn’t bad either. The rookie pitcher improved to 4-2 on the year as he allowed only four hits in 6.2 innings of work. Dolce did not allow a run, hardly a surprise on a weekend where the Rams gave up three runs total en route to the championship.
Northeastern Athletic Conference Tournament
Nick Vitelli didn’t crumble under the pressure of playing in the championship game of the NEAC tournament. The Penn State-Berks sophomore shortstop tallied seven hits, drove in three runs and scored three runs as he helped lead the Nittany Lions (18-19) to a title.
PSU-Berks capped the run with a 10-1 drubbing of Penn-State Abington. The Nittany Lions outscored their opponents in the tournament 26-9. Vitelli had a hand in that stellar defensive effort. He finished with six putouts and assisted on 19 outs.
Vitelli went 3 of 5 in the win versus PSU-Abington. Kevin Heilman pitched a complete game, giving up five hits and struck out one.
The Nittany Lions will now play for the right to go to the national tournament when they take on Husson, the North Atlantic Conference champion, on May 7 at Castleton State College.
City University of New York Athletic Conference Tournament
Baruch and Staten Island will be in a winner-take-all situation for the second consecutive season. The two teams will meet for the CUNY tourney championship on Tuesday night at MCU Park in Coney Island.
A year ago, the Bearcats (16-18) lost 14-8 to the Dolphins (23-15).
Baruch forced the pressure-packed game with an 8-4 win against the Dolphins on Saturday. Staten Island hurt its cause with seven errors and saw its back-to-back championship hopes put on hold.
Baruch led 6-1 after four innings, scoring four of those runs in the third, and used a consistent offensive attack to secure the win. The top-five hitters for Baruch combined to go 11-of-24 with five RBIs and seven runs.
Thomas Daly and Alvin Mata led the way. Both players finished with three hits and two RBIs. The Bearcats will be seeking their first championship since 2009.