NCAA Regional Tournament - Game 14
Endicott Hangs on to Down Southern Maine 7-6
Two Teams Meet Again Sunday for Regional Title
HARWICH, Mass. -- The University of Southern Maine Huskies ninth-inning rally fell one run short as Endicott College sophomore reliever Davarn Nova (Wareham, Mass./Coyle Cassidy) struck out the final two batters to save the Gulls' 7-6 victory in Game 14 of the NCAA Division III New England Regional Tournament at Whitehouse Field Saturday evening.
The Gulls' (34-13) win sends the teams into a one-game, winner-take-all showdown Sunday afternoon (12:00 p.m.) with a trip to the NCAA Division III World Series on the line. The Gulls defeated M.I.T., 7-3, earlier in the afternoon for the chance to face the Huskies (34-13).
Endicott picked up what appeared to be an insurance run in the top of the ninth inning, but that run proved to be the difference as USM scored twice and left the bases loaded as Nova recorded the final two outs via strikeouts. Senior Tad Gold (Martha's Vineyard, Mass.) led off the ninth with a single and scored all the way from first on a single by senior EJ Martinez (Brooklyn, N.Y./Poly Prep) to make it 7-4.
The Huskies loaded the bases in their half of the inning against freshman Colby Morris (Newburyport, Mass.) on singles by senior Forrest Chadwick (Gardiner, Maine) and sophomore Nick DiBiase (Portland, Maine/Deering), and a walk to rookie Paul McDonough (Wells, Maine).
Senior John Carey (South Portland, Maine) greeted Nova with a single that brought home rookie Jake Welch (Londonderry, N.H.) who pinch ran for Chadwick. Nova plunked sophomore Sam Dexter (Oakland, Maine/Messalonskee) with a pitch to force in DiBiase, but Nova rebounded to strike out the next two batters to preserved the Gulls win.
Gold and Martinez had three hits to pace the Gulls' 16-hit attack. Junior Harry Oringer (Dartmouth, Mass./Coyle Cassidy) had a three-run homer and a single. Rookie Cam Farnham (Andover, Mass.), and sophomores Steve Morganelli (Milford, Mass.) and Cody Hall (Rutland, Mass./Wachusett Regional) all had two hits.
Morris, the third of four hurlers used by Endicott, picked up his first win of the season working 4.1 innings. Nova earned his fourth save of the season.
McDonough had a solo home run and a single for the Huskies. Chadwick, who entered the game as a pinch hitter in the fourth inning, and seniors Matt Verrier (Norway, Maine/Oxford Hills) and Troy Thibodeau (Danvers, Mass./New Hampton) each had two hits for the Huskies. Junior Jake Glauser (Goffstown, N.H.) had a two-run homer.
Rookie starter Zack Bean (Westbrook, Maine), the first of five USM hurlers, was tagged with his first loss of the season. Bean gave up four runs in 2 1/3 innings on the hill.
Glauser's two-run homer to left field in the second inning gave USM a 2-0 lead.
Endicott responded with four runs in the third inning to take the lead. Oringer hit a three-run home run to put the first three runs on the board. Senior Brett Holmgren (Middleboro, Mass./Coyle Cassidy) followed with a double and scored on a Gold single that ended Bean's night.
Morganelli tacked on another run in the fifth to make it 5-2 before McDonough led off the bottom half of the frame with a solo shot over the left-field fence.
USM closed to within one run (5-4) on Chadwick's RBI single in the sixth. Morganelli restored the Gulls' two-run lead with an RBI single in the seventh to set the stage for the ninth inning.