MANSFIELD, Conn. -- Junior designated hitter Joe Papa (Stoneham, Mass.) had a double and home run, score three runs and drove in four as the Trinity College Bantams outslugged the University of Southern Maine Huskies 13-8 in a first-round game of the NCAA Division III Mansfield Regional Tournament being played at the ECSU Baseball Stadium.
The Bantams, champions of the NESCAC, have won 10 straight games and are 33-9 on the season. They will take on Saint Joseph's College Thursday (7:45 p.m.) in a winner's bracket game. The Huskies, the Little East Conference champions, had their four-game winning streak snapped and slip to 27-18. The Huskies will play Bowdoin in an elimination game (1:15 p.m.) of the eight-team, double-elimination tournament.
Every member of Trinity's starting lineup had at least one hit. Junior Stephen Rogers (Watertown, Mass.) led the hit parade with a single, double and a triple. He also scored three times and had two RBI. Junior Michael Rueger (Teaneck, N.J.), rookie Adam Moossmann (East Northport, N.Y.), and Papa each had two hits. Papa junior Bryan Ginsburg (Westwood, Mass.) and senior Kevin Mortimer (Spencer, Mass.) hit home runs for the Bantams.
Juniors Tucker White (Deerfield, N.H./Coe-Brown Northwood) and Nick Grady (Whitefield, Maine/Erskine) had a pair of hits for the Huskies. White had a home run and a triple, scored three times and was robbed of another extra-base hit in the eighth inning on a diving catch in the outfield. Grady had two singles and scored twice. Sophomore Troy Thibodeau (Danvers, Mass.) had three RBI on a bases loaded walk and a two-run single.
Junior Ben Goldberg (Plainview, N.Y.) was the winning pitcher for the Bantams. The second of three Bantam hurlers, Goldberg went 3.1 innings allowing three runs on three hits and five walks. Freshman Sean Meekins (Rockville Centre, N.Y.) picked up his first save of the season working the final 2.1 innings.
Senior Greg Holmes (West Newbury, Mass./Central Catholic), the second of six pitchers used by the Huskies, was saddled with the loss.
White gave the Huskies a 2-0 lead in the first with his two-run homer to left. Papa answered for the Bantams in their half of the inning with a three-run shot to left.
Trinity extended its lead with two runs in the third on Rogers RBI doubles and an RBI single by Moossmann.
Southern Maine tied the score in the fourth as Trinity starting pitcher Ryan Carr (Cos Cob, Conn.) gave up a lead off walk to White and three straight singles before departing in favor of Goldberg. Goldberg walked Thibodeau to force in a run, and later hit senior David Ricker (Winthrop, Maine) to force in the third run of the inning.
The Huskies grabbed their only lead in the game in the fifth inning as White tripled to center field and came home when Grady followed with a single.
Again the Bantams responded, this time with five runs on four hits and a hit batsman. Papa plated the first run with an RBI double off Holmes, and scored when Rogers greeted senior reliever Dustin Stanton (Cornish, Maine/Sacopee Valley) with a single. Ginsberg would take Stanton deep for a three-run homer to cap off the rally.
The Huskies closed to within two (10-8) in the seventh inning when Thibodeau slapped a two-run single to right center of Meekins. That would be the Huskies last base hit as Meekins retired six straight batters before sophomore John Carey (South Portland, Maine) reached on an error. Meekins finished the game off getting the next batter to hit into a double play.