Courtesy of the Salve Regina Sports Information Department.
BRISTOL, R.I. —Salve Regina University baseball (27-16) captured its third Commonwealth Coast Conference (CCC) Championship in the last four years by taking the second and third games of the best-of-three series today against Roger Williams University, 14-4 and 5-1, at Paolino Field. The Seahawks now have 10 titles in baseball and earn the league's automatic bid to the NCAA Division III Baseball Championships for the fifth time (2001, 2005, 2016, 2017, 2019).
The Hawks (21-19-1) had won the opener on Friday, 6-4, with a three-run rally in the bottom of the eighth inning.
Today, needing two wins, the Seahawks got six innings plus from both starting pitchers - junior lefty Patrick Maybach (Saunderstown, R.I.) and sophomore righty Michael Mathews (West Hartford, Conn.). Both got their second wins of the tournament and improved to 5-1 and 6-2, respectively, on the season.
GAME B (11:30 a.m. start)
Scoreless into the fifth inning, Salve Regina was also hitless against Roger Williams lefty Justin Garcia (Foxborough, Mass.) until just after scoring its first run on a wild pitch, junior catcher Dylan Ketch (Clinton, Conn.) singled in Anthony Cieszko (Woodcliff Lake, N.J.) and Zack Smith (New Canaan, Conn.) for a 3-0 edge.
Shortstop Tommy Hobin (Madison, Conn.) singled to left center to plate his middle infield mate Danny Roth (West Hartford, Conn.) with the first Hawk run off Maybach in the top of the sixth. Eli Camner (Hamden, Conn.) got Roger Williams one run closer by driving in Joey Gulino (Meriden, Conn.) in the seventh off reliever Brett Wilkes (Franklin Lakes, N.J).
Salve Regina broke the game open with five in its seventh, and six more runs in its eighth inning. Ketch and Michael DeFusco (East Greenwich, R.I.) both had two-run singles in the seventh, and Sean O'Malley (Darien, Conn.) made it a six-run cushion with his RBI single. After two unearned runs for Roger Williams brought the Hawks to an 8-4 deficit, Smith crossed the plate on DeFusco's RBI fielder's choice grounder and Dustin Siqueira (Trumbull, Conn.) doubled down the left field line for double-digit runs, 10-4. Colton Eremian (Boca Raton, Fla.) and Cieszko added a pair of two-run singles to complete the scoring, 14-4.
Maybach finished with nine Ks and was succeeded by relievers Wilkes, Colin Trahon (Ryanham, Mass.), Andrew Roman (Monson, Mass.), and Dean Borders (Danvers, Mass.).
GAME C (3:30 p.m. start)
In its sixth elimination game of the tournament, Salve Regina responded with another outstanding starting performance from its pitcher (Mathews) who held the Hawks scoreless through the first four frames and departed in the seventh with a 5-1 lead after striking out nine.
Eremian's two-out, 0-2 pitch single up the middle scored Cieszko from second for the first run of the game in the top of the fifth. The Hawks tied the game 1-1 with their own two-out hit to right field by Camner that delivered Gulino, but Mathews stranded three on base getting the final out on a fly to Smith in right field.
O'Malley's two-run double to right field one-hopped the wall and gave Salve Regina the lead for good, 3-1. Eremian had his fourth RBI of the day with a sacrifice to left later in the sixth. Cieszko's long at bat with two outs and the bases loaded in the seventh produced the final run on ball four.
Andrew Roman (Monson, Mass.) had pitched the seventh and eighth innings with runners on base and struck out three batters. Zach Lopez (New Canaan, Conn.) closed out the ninth with three groundouts to Madden Ward (Clinton, Conn.) at shortstop; O'Malley made a fine pick at first on the very first out of the inning.
Roger Williams stranded a dozen runners in both games.
Salve Regina will find its next destination on Monday at noon during the Division III Baseball Selection Show on NCAA.com.
2019 CCC Baseball Tournament Schedule
Thursday, May 2
(Hosted by higher seed)
Friday, May 3
(Hosted by higher seed)
Saturday, May 4
Game 7B - #2 Roger Williams def. #3 Endicott, 11-10 (12 innings) | BOX
Monday, May 6
Game 8A - #4 Salve Regina def. #1 Western New England, 5-3 | BOX
The two remaining teams will play a best-of-three series hosted by the higher remaining seed
Friday, May 10
(Hosted by higher seed)
Game A - #2 Roger Williams def. #4 Salve Regina, 6-4 | BOX
Saturday, May 11
*NOTE: Game B will be hosted by the higher remaining seed, but the lower seed will be the "home" team and bat last.
ABOUT THE COMMONWEALTH COAST CONFERENCE
The Commonwealth Coast Conference (CCC), founded in 1984, is an NCAA Division III athletic conference comprised of nine full member and one 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 administers championships in 18 intercollegiate sports.