Sitarz's walk-off single gives Endicott 10th-inning win against Wheaton (Mass.)
HARWICH, Mass. -- Colin Sitarz singled up the middle in the bottom of the 10th inning to deliver a 3-2 victory for Endicott against Wheaton (Mass.) in the second day of the New England Regional tournament at Whitehouse Field.
This is the third win in NCAA history for the Gulls and the first time that they have advanced to play on the third day of the regional. It is the consecutive walk-off win, after they advanced past St. Joseph's (Maine) with a sacrifice fly in the ninth in their opening game on Wednesday.
Sitarz, who was 2-for-4 for the Gulls in a game in which each team had eight hits, drove home sophomore second baseman Harry Oringer, who reached on an infield single with one out in the 10th.
Junior right-handed starter Alec Palioca was sharp for the Lyons, setting a career high for strikeouts with 11 in 7.2 innings. Palioca allowed six hits, one earned run, five walks and did not figure into the decision.
Endicott senior Brendan Pittsley was equally effective and helped the Gulls match zeroes with the Lyons for six consecutive innings. Pittsley tossed 4.2 innings of relief, allowing just one hit and striking out a batter. Like Palioca, he also handed out five free passes.
Freshman Mike Walkowicz earned the win, improving to 2-1 on the season after pitching the final 1.2 innings and allowing just one walk and one hit. The loss went to Wheaton freshman reliever Eric Dumas, who fell to 2-1 after pitching the 10th and giving up two hits and one run.
Mike Nich worked the first three innings for Endicott, giving up six hits and two earned runs.
The only other scoring for each team came in the third inning, when the Lyons took a 2-0 lead, only to have the Gulls match their score in the bottom of the frame.
Senior Eric Jensen singled through the right side to score Justin Connor, who had led off the inning with a double down the right field line for Wheaton. Jensen stole second and eventually came across to score on a sacrifice fly by Apolinar De la Cruz. Sitarz made a diving catch to prevent extra bases.
Endicott wasted no time in tying the game, taking advantage of a Wheaton error in the bottom of the frame. Eric Lemke and EJ Martinez reached with a walk and a single and Lemke scored on a throwing error at the back end of a potential double play. Senior Brett Holmgren delivered an RBI single to left field to score leadoff man Conor Ressel, who also stole a base in the inning, as the Gulls knotted the game at two.
Wheaton threatened in the top of the ninth inning with two runners on and one out thanks to a walk and a hit batsmen. Walkowicz got De la Cruz to line a ball to shortstop that freshman shortstop Cody Hall turned into a double play.
The Lyons left 14 runners on base, while Endicott stranded seven.