Franklin Pierce Claims 2013 NCAA Baseball East Regional Championship

Franklin Pierce Claims 2013 NCAA Baseball East Regional Championship


May 19, 2013


MANCHESTER, N.H. – Sixth-seeded Franklin Pierce cemented its spot in the Division II College World Series in Cary, N.C. with a 5-1 victory over top-seeded Wilmington (Del.) Sunday afternoon to win the 2013 NCAA Baseball East Regional on the campus of Southern New Hampshire University. 

The Ravens, who also blanked Wilmington, 7-0, on Thursday, suffered its first loss of the double-elimination tournament Friday against third-seeded University of New Haven. But they won twice on Saturday, including a thrilling 3-2, 13-inning win over So. New Hampshire, to stave off elimination en route to winning the regional championship. 

It marks the sixth regional championship in the last 11 years for the Franklin Pierce baseball program.

Wilmington had advanced to the title game by defeating host and fourth-seeded So. New Hampshire, 2-1, in 10 innings in the first of two games played at Penmen Field on Sunday. 

Franklin Pierce righthander Trevor Graham was named Most Valuable Player of the regional. He allowed no runs and just three hits with 10 strikeouts in 9.1 innings of work, which included a win and a save. 

#6 Franklin Pierce 5, #1 Wilmington (Del.) 1 - BOX
Franklin Pierce opened up the scoring with a pair in the fourth inning, as the Ravens loaded the bases with nobody out in the frame. Catcher Matt Walsh plated the game's first run with an RBI single, and another came in to score on Marty Dunlap's fielder's choice. 

Then in the sixth, Franklin Pierce added another when John Razzino scored on failed pickoff attempt. The Ravens then made it 4-0 later in the inning on an RBI triple by Justin Brock, and added another in the eighth on a suicide squeeze. 

Franklin Pierce, playing its fifth game in four days, turned to Kevin McGowan to start on Sunday, even after McGowan went nine innings on Saturday. He tossed two scoreless innings before righthander Ryan Leach came on for six innings of relief, allowing just one unearned run on three hits with three strikeouts. 

Wilmington scored its only run of the contest in the seventh on an RBI groundout by pinch hitter Mike Annone. The Wildcats used four different pitchers in the loss, with none of them going more than three innings.

#1 Wilmington (Del.) 2, #4 So. New Hampshire 1 – BOX (10)
So. New Hampshire designated hitterAl Stanton hit a one-out, opposite-field solo homer to tie the game at 1-1 in the ninth, but Wilmington (Del.) third baseman Josh Hampton led off the bottom of the 10th with a solo shot of his own to give the Wildcats the walk-off win. 

So. New Hampshire's season came to a close at 35-19 with the loss. The Penmen had entered play on Saturday night as the only team among the six without a loss at the regional.

Wilmington broke a scoreless tie on a two-out, RBI single by Sam Giones in the sixth off So. New Hampshire starter Tyler Gauthier, although the run was unearned after Hampton reached on a botched popup in the infield. 

Gauthier allowed just the one unearned on five hits with three strikeouts over 5.2 innings. 

The Penmen, who struggled at the plate on the whole this weekend, were unable to capitalize on its offensive opportunities. The major blow came in the fifth, as So. New Hampshire loaded the bases with nobody out. But second baseman Zach Goldstein struck out looking before centerfielder Brendan O'Brien grounded into a 1-2-3 double play, allowing the Wildcats to escape the major threat unharmed. 

Stanton walked and took second on a wild pitch in the fourth but was stranded. The Penmen also got a leadoff single from Andy Lalli in the seventh but could not do anything with it. Then in the eighth, Goldstein worked a leadoff walk but was thrown out trying to steal second as part of a strike him out, throw him out double play. 

Wilmington starter Rob Gore, a lefthander who has pitched mainly out of the bullpen in 2013, went six scoreless with just one hit allowed and five strikeouts. 

The Hampton walk-off came against Penmen closer Alex Powers, who was stellar in his 3.1 innings of relief before the solo homer. Powers struck out five of the 15 batters he faced.

The Northeast-10 is an association of 16 NCAA Division II colleges and universities located in New England and New York that are committed to supporting balanced academic and athletic opportunities for more than 6,000 student-athletes. Each year, 4,000 of those student-athletes compete in Conference championships in 23 sports, making the NE-10 the largest DII conference in the country. Leading the way in the classroom, on the field and within the community, the Northeast-10 is proud of its comprehensive program and the experience it provides student-athletes.

2013 NCAA Baseball East Regional All-Tournament Team
Trevor Graham, Franklin Pierce
Zach Mathieu, Franklin Pierce
Matt O'Herron, Franklin Pierce
Brendan O'Reilly, New Haven
Jon Kovel, Pace
Robert Horn, Pace
Brandon Martineson, Pace
Nicholas Barbalato, St. Thomas Aquinas 
Junior Mendez, So. New Hampshire 
Matt Lopes, Wilmington (Del.)
Sam Giones, Wilmington (Del.) 

Most Valuable Player - Trevor Graham, FPU

Thursday, May 16
Game 1: (6) Franklin Pierce 7, (1) Wilmington (Del.) 0 BOX
Game 2: (5) Pace 3, (2) St. Thomas Aquinas 0 BOX
Game 3: (4) So. New Hampshire 9, (3) New Haven 0 BOX

Friday, May 17
Game 4: (1) Wilmington (Del.) 8, (2) St. Thomas Aquinas 1 BOX (St. Thomas Aquinas eliminated)
Game 5: (3) New Haven 3, (6) Franklin Pierce 1 BOX
Game 6: (4) So. New Hampshire 3, (5) Pace 2 BOX

Saturday, May 18
Game 7: (6) Franklin Pierce 8, (5) Pace 1 BOX (Pace eliminated)
Game 8: (1) Wilmington (Del.) 11, (3) New Haven 0 BOX (New Haven eliminated)
Game 9: (6) Franklin Pierce 3, (4) So. New Hampshire 2 - 13 innings BOX

Sunday, May 19
Game 10: (1) Wilmington (Del.) 2, (4) So. New Hampshire 1 - 10 innings | BOX (So. New Hampshire eliminated)
Game 11: (6) Franklin Pierce 5, (1) Wilmington (Del.) 1 | BOX (Wilmington eliminated)

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