Widener beats top seed Marietta to advance in Mideast Region
MARIETTA, Ohio -- Michael Elfreth had his first career four-hit game and Colin Weiss remained perfect on the mound for Widener, which notched a 5-4 triumph in the NCAA Mideast Regional.
The Pride (33-11) scored three first-inning runs and now have outscored their opponents 39-13 in the opening frame.
Elfreth started with a bunt single and was sacrificed to second by Bob Barnett. Michael Riverso extended his hitting streak to nine games with a double and Matt Scherer walked to load the bases.
Nicholas Enos followed with an infield single off the pitcher's glove and Justin Healey ripped a two-run double down the left-field line for a 3-0 Pride cushion.
The Pioneers got two runs back in the top of the second to make it a 3-2 deficit. Ryan Hanahan crushed a triple to right-center field, Chris Winpigler followed with an RBI double and, following a groundout, Tim McCoy lifted a sacrifice fly.
Widener bumped the lead to 4-2 in the bottom of the frame when Elfreth had a one-out single, took second on a error, reached third when Riverso's single hit the second-base umpire and crossed home on Scherer's sacrifice fly.
Marietta reduced the margin to 4-3 in the top of the fifth when McCoy was hit by a pitch, stole second, took third on a subsequent throwing error and scored on a single from Dylan Gracia. The Pioneers leveled the score, 4-4, in the sixth when Tyler Packanik doubled and Winpigler scored on a fielding error.
The Pride regained the lead for good, 5-4, in the last of the sixth inning. Healey singled, reached second on a sacrifice from senior Sam Christie and scored on Elfreth's single to right.
Elfreth went 4-for-4, Healey recorded three hits with Riverso and Enos getting two apiece for the Pride, which matched their season-best winning streak.
Weiss (8-0) posted three 1-2-3 frames to move into a tie for fourth for the most single-season wins in school history. He yielded four runs -- three earned -- and eight hits in 9.0 innings with six strikeouts for his sixth complete game of the season.
Hanahan rapped three hits and Winpigler added two for the Pioneers (30-15). Jason Byers was charged with five runs -- four earned -- and 13 hits over eight innings despite seven strikeouts.
It is the second time in program history and first since 1982 the Pride have won their first two NCAA tournament games.