Christopher Newport holds off Rowan
Captains advance to face Shenandoah in regional final
NEWPORT NEWS, Va. -- Christopher Newport withstood two late Rowan runs to hold on for a 4-2 win in the 2012 NCAA tournament. The win advances CNU to Saturday's final day of action in the Newport News Regional where it will play USA South Conference rival, Shenandoah.
CNU, the first seed in the Newport News regional, improves to 2-1 in the NCAA tournament and 32-8 overall. The Captains built a 3-0 lead after sophomore starting pitcher Nick Santalucia worked through a couple of early jams and settled in to throw seven innings and giving up only one run.
“Nick has pitched a lot of big games for us this year,” head coach, John Harvell said. “We had just as much confidence in him today as we did sending Bryan Bierlein out yesterday.”
Santalucia improved to a perfect 6-0 on the season.
Shortstop Billy Steel scored in the first when Luke Saunders hit a fly ball to center field that Rowan's Felix Colarte could not handle. The Captains could not add any more runs as Saunders and left fielder Connor Madden were the first two of 12 Captains left on base during the game.
Madden scored in the third when Steven Lindemuth singled down the left field and CNU added another in the fourth when Shannon Mark hit a sacrifice fly to left field to score catcher, Ben Lenda.
Rowan was able to scratch a run across in the seventh when a Mark Benak ground out scored right fielder Matt Hill. While the Profs bats started to heat up, Harvell went to the bullpen. Rich Lindsay gave up a double to start the eighth inning to Nick Turano before relief specialist, Matt Verdillo came in to finish the eighth. While the Profs were able to scratch a run across to trim the lead to 4-2, it was the closest they would get.
Captains closer Ryan Fleischmann entered in the ninth and worked a perfect inning to earn his 10th save of the season and ensure the top seed, and host institution, CNU would play on the final day of the Newport News Regional.