SPRINGFIELD, Mass. – The higher seeds all earned victories on day two of the double-elimination Commonwealth Coast Conference (CCC) Baseball Tournament. No. 1 seed Western New England and No. 2 seed Roger Williams both won their tournament openers to advance to their respective pod finals, while No. 4 seed Salve Regina staved off elimination with its victory.
The Golden Bears matched up against No. 5 seed Nichols, coming away with a 6-2 win. Meanwhile, the Hawks bested No. 3 seed Endicott, 8-5. The Seahawks defeated No. 6 seed Gordon, 8-2, in Friday's elimination game.
As the winner of the elimination game, Salve returns to its pod to play No. 5 seed Nichols at Western New England. That game is scheduled for 11:30 a.m. with the winner advancing to the pod final to play WNE at 2:30 p.m. If WNE loses that game, the "if necessary" game will take place on Sunday, May 5.
On the other side of the bracket, RWU and Endicott will play in their pod final. Having lost on Friday, the Gulls will need two wins to earn a spot in the CCC Championship series. First pitch in Bristol, R.I. is scheduled for noon with the "if necessary" game to follow if needed.
The winners of the two pods will advance to the CCC Championship Series, which is scheduled for Friday and Saturday, May 10-11. The championship will be a best-of-three series hosted by the top seed. The teams will play one game on Friday before returning to conclude the series on Saturday. Though all games will be hosted by the higher seed, the lower seed will serve as the "home" team for game two of the series and bat second.
The winner of the CCC Championship Series will be named the CCC Tournament Champion and will earn the league's automatic qualifier into the 2019 NCAA Division III Baseball Championship Tournament.
#4 Salve Regina 8, #6 Gordon 2
NEWPORT, R.I. – Zack Smith's (New Canaan, Conn.) solo homer to lead off the bottom of the sixth sparked a six-run inning for the Salve Regina baseball team as it defeated Gordon 8-2, eliminating the Scots, and advancing to the next round of the Commonwealth Coast Conference (CCC) tournament.
Gordon led at two different points in the game. First when John Lagerfeld (Stratford, Conn.) hit a solo home run in the top of the first and then in the third when an RBI groundout for Daniel Quint (Wells, Maine.) gave the visitors a 2-1 lead.
An Anthony Cieszko (Woodcliff Lake, N.J.) single in the bottom of the fourth evened the score before the Seahawks exploded for six runs in the bottom of the sixth to break the game open.
Smith led off the inning with a solo homer to break the tie which woke up the Seahawks bats. With bases loaded the Seahawks struck for four separate singles collectively driving in five more runs and chasing Scots starting pitcher Derek Hudson (Hudson, N.H.) who finished the day with five strikeouts on 118 pitches through five and a third innings of work.
Seahawks starter Zach Lopez (New Caanan, Conn.) went the distance, slinging 105 pitches, collecting six strikeouts, and his first collegiate victory.
Salve Regina (22-15) will travel to Springfield, Mass., for a rematch with Nichols in another elimination game for both teams. Gordon (10-28) sees its season come to a close.
Game recap courtesy of the Salve Regina Sports Information Department.
#1 Western New England 6, #5 Nichols 2
SPRINGFIELD, Mass. – The top-seeded Western New England baseball team opened the Commonwealth Coast Conference (CCC) Tournament with a 6-2, comeback victory over fifth-seeded Nichols on Friday afternoon at Archie Allen Field on the campus of Springfield College.
When play resumes tomorrow, Nichols (21-19) will take on Salve Regina in an elimination game at Trelease Park, with first pitch scheduled for 11:30 a.m. Western New England (23-12) will face the winner of that contest, needing just one victory to advance to the CCC Tournament Championship Series.
Senior catcher Brian Valeriano (Stratford, Conn.) went 1-for-4 at the plate and provided the key hit with his two-run double that broke a 2-2 tie in the bottom of the eighth inning.
Senior third baseman Aaron Rios (Stratford, Conn.) and senior outfielder Ben LaCroix (Branford, Conn.) both went 2-for-4 and were instrumental in Western New England's eighth-inning rally.
Senior lefthander Bob Hamel (Southwick, Mass.) was impressive on the mound, striking out six batters and allowing just one earned run while scattering nine hits over a complete game performance.
Nichols sophomore Nathaniel Cormier (Sandisfield, Mass.) and junior Kyle Bouchard (Fall River, Mass.) had two hits each for the Bison, while junior pitcher Jack Dicenso (Norfolk, Mass.) surrendered just one unearned run on seven hits over his six innings of work.
Nichols struck first with one run on three hits in the top of the first inning. Senior Joe Assenza (Poughkeepsie, N.Y.) led off with a single to left center, before advancing to second on a groundout and coming all the way around to score when Bouchard beat out an infield single with two outs in the frame.
The Golden Bears responded with a sacrifice fly by sophomore Joe Webber (Marshfield, Mass.) in the bottom of the second, but the Bison regained the lead in the top of the fourth with the help of a pair of Western New England errors and a sac fly off the bat of graduate student Chris Anderson (Naugatuck, Conn.).
Western New England was unable to capitalize on a pair of scoring opportunities later in the game, included a bases-loaded situation in the seventh that resulted in an inning-ending double play.
The Golden Bears mounted the game-winning rally in the eighth, however, with five runs on three hits and one error. LaCroix led off with a double to right center, and Rios followed with a clutch RBI single up the middle that tied the contest. Following a Nichols pitching change, the next two batters reached on a walk and a hit by pitch, respectively. Valeriano then came up with one out and the bases loaded and delivered a two-run double down the left field line, putting the Golden Bears ahead for good. Western New England added two more runs to extend the lead to 6-2, and Hamel worked around a leadoff single in the top of the ninth to seal the win.
• With a career record of 26-4, Hamel is now tied for third place in program history in wins.
• Eight of Western New England's nine starters had a hit in the contest.
Game recap courtesy of the Western New England Sports Information Department.
#2 Roger Williams 8, #3 Endicott 5
BRISTOL, R.I. — The Roger Williams Baseball Team defeated Endicott in the CCC Tournament this Friday, 8-5.
Danny Roth (West Hartford, Conn.) started off the game for the Hawks in the bottom of the first inning with a double to left field to bring Chris Bosco (North Andover, Mass.) home. Anthony Dominguez (Chester, N.J.) then singled through the right side in a two RBI double to plate Roth and Eli Camner (Hamden, Conn.) and to give RWU the lead at 3-0.
The Hawks did not stop there, with a home run from Ben Bonavita (East Longmeadow, Mass.) to bring him and Dominguez home to increase their lead to five.
Despite two hits from Brendan McDonald (Quincy, Mass.) and Dan Cacciola (Saugus, Mass.), the Gulls did not reach home in the top of the second.
In the top of the third, Nickolas Perkins (Nashua, N.H.) doubled to left center to advance Matt Bald (De Pere, Wisc.) to third and Christian Allaire (Sandown, N.H.) home to give Endicott its first run.
The score froze at 5-1 with both teams playing strong defense. In the top of the fourth, Ryan Prosser (Holden, Mass.) crushed the ball to deep right but Justin Stone (Blackstone, Mass.) made an incredible diving catch for the final out of the inning.
Neither team could find home until the bottom of the seventh inning. With Bosco on second and Stone on third, Roth hit a homerun to increase the Hawks lead to 8-1.
In the top of the eighth inning, the Gulls cut RWU's lead to three. McDonald singled to the pitcher for Bald to score. Kyle Brennan (Wallingford, Conn.) then scored on a passed ball while McDonald advanced to second. With a single up the middle from Prosser, John Duffy (Stratford, Conn.) advanced to third and McDonald scored. Allaire then singled through the left side to bring Duffy home. The teams went into the ninth inning with a score of 8-5.
Perkins singled through the right side in the top of the ninth, but never advanced home. The Hawks took the win with a final score of 8-5.
Roth led the Hawks with two runs and four RBI. Connor Hewlette (Deer Park, N.Y.) took the win with six strikeouts and three runs allowed.
Both Allaire and McDonald led the Hawks with one run and one RBI each. Brennan contributed with nine putouts. Anibal took the loss with four strikeouts and five runs allowed.
Game recap courtesy of the Roger Williams Sports Information Department.
2019 CCC Baseball Tournament Schedule
Thursday, May 2
(Hosted by higher seed)
Friday, May 3
(Hosted by higher seed)
Saturday, May 4
Game 6 - #4 Salve Regina vs. #5 Nichols, 11:30 a.m. (at Western New England)
Game 7A - Game 6 Winner at #1 Western New England, 2:30 p.m.
Game 7B - #3 Endicott at #2 Roger Williams, Noon
Game 8B - Game 7B Opponents (if necessary), 3 p.m.
Sunday, May 5
Game 8A - Game 7A Opponents (if necessary), TBD
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 - Winner of Game 7A/8A vs. Winner of Game 7B/8B, TBD
Saturday, May 11
Game B* - Game A Opponents, TBD
Game C - Game B Opponents (if necessary), TBD
*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.