Top-seeded Southern Maine rallies to beat Western New England 6-5
HARWICH, Mass. -- Down 5-0 after five innings, top-seeded Southern Maine rallied for four runs in the sixth inning and two more in the seventh to defeat fourth-seeded Western New England 6-5 in the Division III New England Regional Tournament being played at Whitehouse Field.
The victory was the 39th of the season for the Huskies, tying the school record for wins in a season set by the 1997 team that won the national title. The Huskies move into a winners' bracket game (Game 11) on Friday against the winner of the final game Thursday night between second-seeded Wheaton (Mass.) and third-seeded Endicott.
The Golden Bears, now 32-12 on the season, will face an elimination game against Saint Joseph's (Maine) Friday morning in the eight-team, double-elimination tournament.
The Huskies picked up four runs in the sixth inning on an RBI single from junior Chris Bernard, a two-run single by junior Matt Verrier and an RBI fielder's choice from senior Anthony Pisani to get back into the game.
In the seventh, senior Nick Grady reached on a fielder's choice and scored on Bernard's double to center field. After a ground out, Bernard scored when Verrier's ground ball was misplayed for an error to give the Huskies the lead.
Sophomore right-handed relief pitcher Andrew Richards made the lead stand up over the final three WNEU turns at bat. Richards came on in relief of senior starter Ryan Yates in the sixth inning and hurled four innings of three-hit, shutout relief to earn his seventh win of the season. Richards gave up three singles and did not walk a batter while striking out one.
Western New England took a 1-0 lead in the first inning stringing three consecutive singles together after two outs. Senior Kyle McKelvey drove in classmate Mike Rubino.
Rubino scored the Golden Bears second run in the third to make it 2-0. Rubino singled with two outs and came around to score on a double by sophomore Stephen Buckley.
The Golden Bears had four consecutive two-out hits in the fourth to score two more runs increasing their lead to 4-0. Freshman Tim Budd brought home the first run with a triple, and scored on a single by junior Jeff Schult.
McKelvey put up the Golden Bears' final run when he hit a solo home run in the fifth inning. The round tripper was the third of the season for McKelvey.
Bernard, Verrier and senior Tucker White had two hits apiece for the Huskies. Bernard and Verrier also had two RBI.
The Golden Bears outhit the Huskies 13-10. Schult, Rubino, Buckley, McKelvey and senior Taylor Perun all had two hits. Senior pitcher Mike Lospinuso, who came on in relief in the sixth inning, was tagged with his third loss of the season against eight wins.