NEWPORT, R.I. - Starting pitchers Patrick Maybach (No. Kingstown, R.I.) and Cory Poplawski (Syracuse, N.Y.) did their jobs on the mound and the Salve Regina University baseball offense pounded out 28 hits and scored 20 runs in two games to sweep Endicott College in the Commonwealth Coast Conference (CCC) Championship Series.
Salve Regina (34-10), the tournament's top seed, won 12-2 and 8-2 in the first two games of the series, relegating a third game scheduled for Saturday as unnecessary. Second straight conference crown for the Seahawks and the second straight year they have taken two in one day from the Gulls (25-19) to complete the title run.
The No. 20/23 Seahawks earn the conference's automatic bid to the NCAA Division III Baseball Championships and will start their next tournament next week.
#1 Salve Regina 12, #2 Endicott 2
Maybach remained undefeated on the season (7-0) over seven innings of work, alongside seven hits, one run (earned), one walk, and a game-high nine strikeouts (four looking).
Meanwhile, Endicott starter Kevin Gould (Rollinsford, N.H.) received his first loss of the year (6-1) on three innings pitched, eight hits, six runs (all earned), one free pass, and a punchout.
The Seahawks went ahead 1-0 in the first with a sacrifice fly to left field, but broke the game wide open over the next three frames with a four-run second and a six-run fourth, and never looked back.
#1 Salve Regina 8, #2 Endicott 2
Poplawski went the distance for Salve Regina, as the senior starter scattered six hits, and allowed just two runs (both earned), alongside no walks, and four strikeouts. Poplawski is now 5-3 overall on the year.
Meanwhile, Nick Quattro (Canton, Conn.) took the loss (7-4) on 4 2/3 innings, eight hits, eight runs (three earned), three walks, and five strikeouts.
Tied 0-0 in the second, Salve Regina jumped out to a 5-0 lead highlighted by an Alex Perry (North Attleboro, Mass.) three-run double to left-center and maintained that advantage the rest of the way.
- All-CCC second baseman John Militano (Miller Place, N.Y.) led off the first game with a double down the left field line and finished with seven hits in 10 at bats while scoring three runs on the day.
- All-CCC catcher Christian Vargas (Melbourne, Fla.) got a surprise visit from his dad, up from Florida, and produced two RBI on a pair of basehits in the opener.
- All-CCC shortstop Hunter Sleeper (Arlington, Mass.) collected four hits and drove in five runs during the sweep.
- All-CCC outfielder Brody Santilli (Lincoln, R.I.) drove in three runs in the opener and finished with four hits on the day.
- Salve Regina has now won CCC titles in following years: 1985, 1991-1994, 2001, 2005, 2016, and 2017.
- The Seahawks are 19-3 at home this season (Brother Michael Reynolds Field).
"Pops had a special day for a senior - to pitch a complete-game victory in the title-clincher, it's a crowning touch to a great collegiate career." - fourth-year head coach Eric Cirella, who was voted as the CCC Coach of the Year
No. 20/23 Salve Regina (34-10) will represent the Commonwealth Coast Conference in the NCAA Championships next week. Endicott sees its 2017 season come to a close at 25-19 overall.
Game recap courtesy of the Salve Regina Sports Information Department.
(NOTE: Game numbers reflect original game numbers before rescheduling, so games may be played "out of order")
Day 1 – Thursday, May 4
(Games 1-2, Hosted by higher seeds)
Day 2 – Saturday, May 6
Day 3 – Sunday, May 7
Day 4 – Monday, May 8
CCC Championship Series
(Hosted by highest remaining seed)
Friday, May 12
ABOUT THE COMMONWEALTH COAST CONFERENCE
The Commonwealth Coast Conference (CCC), founded in 1984, is an NCAA Division III athletic conference comprised of ten full member and three associate member institutions throughout the New England region. Its membership aims to provide student-athletes with a positive experience in their pursuit of excellence through high academic standards, quality competition, and a meaningful student life. The conference currently administers championships in 16 intercollegiate sports with that number set to increase next year with the addition of football.