Embrace The Championship: Fantastic Four - Le Moyne, Merrimack, New Haven, and SNHU - Advance to NE10 Baseball Championship Weekend

Embrace The Championship: Fantastic Four - Le Moyne, Merrimack, New Haven, and SNHU - Advance to NE10 Baseball Championship Weekend



New Haven, SNHU Register Walk-Off Wins During Thrilling First Round 

Two number one seeds, a number two, and a number three seed will make up the four teams that advanced to the 2018 Northeast-10 Conference Championship Weekend, which begins Thursday. Here's how Tuesday's four First Round games played out -

#1 NE SNHU 3, #4 NE Bentley 2

MANCHESTER, N.H. – Top-seeded Southern New Hampshire scored three runs in the bottom of the ninth inning to stun Bentley in the opening round of the Northeast-10 Conference Championship at Penmen Field. With the win, SNHU now earns the right to host the remaining games during the Championship Weekend, which is scheduled to take place this Thursday through Saturday.

Bentley carried a 2-0 lead into the bottom of the ninth following standout performances by a pair of juniors from Connecticut, right fielder Brandon Grover and right-hander Luke Dawson. After five scoreless innings, Grover got the Falcons on the scoreboard in the sixth inning. Falcons catcher Nathan Littman singled to left with one out and Grover doubled to right to produce the game's first run. It stayed that way until the top of the ninth when Grover homered for the seventh time this season, this one clearing the center field fence for a 2-0 lead.

Dawson, who carried a three-hitter into the ninth, struck out the first batter of the inning before giving up a single to SNHU freshman catcher Dakota Mulcay and a two-run homer to left by senior right fielder Caleb Potter to tie the game at two.

Back-to-back singles by freshman center fielder Idelson Taveras and graduate outfielder Taylor Olmstead, followed by an intentional walk, loaded the bases for the Penmen. With the infield in, Dawson got a ground ball to short. The throw home, however, was off the mark, allowing Taveras to score the game-winner.

SNHU's Mitchell Powers pitched the first seven innings before giving way to Jake Walkinshaw (Seymour, Conn.) for the final two. Powers struck out six and Walkinshaw, now 5-0 on the year, fanned three.

Southern New Hampshire will now host Le Moyne, New Haven, and Merrimack in the double-elimination portion of the tournament, beginning Thursday.

#3 NE Merrimack 5, #2 NE Franklin Pierce 3, 11 Innings

RINDGE, N.H. - From the first time since 2013, Merrimack advanced past the opening round of the Northeast-10 Conference Championship when the third-seeded Warriors upset second-seeded Franklin Pierce, 5-3, in 11 innings on Tuesday night at Pappas Field. Graduate student Tyler Lyne hit an eighth-inning homer that forced extra innings, junior Anthony Garbarino hit a two-out two-run double to put Merrimack in front and senior Anthony Lupi came on in the bottom of the 11th to close out the win.

The Navy and Gold will now compete in the double-elimination portion of the NE10 Championship, and face top-seeded Le Moyne out of the Southwest Division on Thursday at 12 p.m. at Penmen Baseball Stadium on the campus of Southern New Hampshire.

Merrimack broke the scoring open in the top of the sixth. Lyne hit a leadoff single and hustled into third on a chopper to the left side to move within 90 feet of scoring with one out. Senior Matt Nicholson drove him with a towering sacrifice fly to make it a 1-0 game. Joyce followed with a two-out single to bring senior Mike Hoalcraft to plate. The left fielder hit a bloop single into right center, saw the ball take a high hop off the turf and Franklin Pierce's right fielder bobble the ball which allowed Joyce to race past third and slide in safely. The Navy and Gold took a 2-0 advantage to the bottom half

Franklin Pierce immediately responded in its turn. After a double and a single put runners on the corners, the Ravens scored on a RBI fielder's choice, eliminating the middle runner at second. The hosts then loaded the bases, and with two outs, hit a two-run base hit to snag a 3-2 lead

#1 SW Le Moyne 7, #4 SW Pace 3

SYRACUSE, N.Y. – Redshirt junior first baseman Andrew Taft homered twice and junior righty Josiah Gray struck out a career-high 13 batters to lead Le Moyne to a 7-3 win over Pace in the first round of the Northeast-10 Conference Championships on Tuesday afternoon at Dick Rockwell Field.

With the victory, the top-seeded Dolphins improve to 2-1 against the Setters in the NE10 first round (win in 2013, loss in 2016) and advance to the four-team, double-elimination portion of the NE10 Championships, which will be hosted Thursday through Saturday by Southern New Hampshire. At 12:00 p.m. on Thursday, the Dolphins will face third-seeded Merrimack, which upset second-seeded Franklin Pierce. Joining the Dolphins, Southern New Hampshire and Merrimack will be New Haven, the second seed from the Southwest Division.

The Dolphins opened the day's scoring with two runs in the first inning. After senior right fielder Brian Cox walked on five pitches to start the frame, Taft cleared the fence in left center with the first pitch for his single-season program-record 15th home run. Le Moyne extended its lead to 3-0 in the bottom of the second. Taft walked, moved to second on a single by Nick Place and came around to score on another single by Ben Walsh

Pace broke through in the sixth with its first run in 14 innings this season against Gray. On a full count with two outs, shortstop Paul Piccolino homered down the left field line to get the Setters within 3-1.

The Dolphins answered with a pair of runs in the bottom of the sixth on two hits. The Setters scored twice with two outs in the seventh on three hits to get back within two. Right fielder Ryan Crowley doubled down the left field line, took third on a wild pitch and scored on a double to right center by first baseman Brian Bohlander. Pinch-hitter Harrison Treble then dropped a single in shallow center to knock in Bohlander. Taft led off the eighth inning by blasting a 1-0 pitch over the fence in center field for his 16th home run of the year.

Gray improves to an East Region-best 10-0 on the season after striking out 13 over seven innings, while yielding three runs and five hits. Senior righty Alex Kubera struck out three batters, including the final batter of the game, over the final two innings to earn his fourth save of the year.

#2 SW New Haven 3, #3 SW Adelphi 2

WEST HAVEN, Conn. – It was a dramatic ending to a Northeast-10 first round game between New Haven (35-8, 16-8 NE10) and Adelphi (26-18-1) at Frank Vieira Field on Tuesday afternoon, as the Blue and Gold drew a walk-off walk to secure a crucial victory in the NE10 Championship game. 
New Haven scored the first two runs in the second inning and held that lead for four innings, before Adelphi scored a pair of runs in the top of the seventh with two RBI singles, knotting the game at two runs a piece heading into the final two innings.
Sophomore Brandon LaManna pitched himself into a bases loaded jam before head coach Chris Celano elected to bring in senior lefty Kellen Croce in the top of the ninth with one out to pitch against lead-off batter Steven Withers. Withers then roped a 1-1 pitch down the third base line, and graduate student Jack Zagaja was able to quickly react, make an impressive back-handed and touch third with his glove before firing all the way across the diamond to double-up the Panthers to send the Chargers to what would be their final at-bats.
Graduate student Tom Walraven led off the bottom of the ninth with a clutch double, landing a perfectly placed ball down the left field line to put him in scoring position with no outs. Senior Joe Caico laid down a sacrifice bunt to advance Walraven, and the Panthers chose to intentionally walk both Zagaja and Andrew Garcia to load the bases. PJ Contreras was the final batter for the Chargers, as the junior looked at a low 3-2 pitch as Walraven crossed the plate and New Haven celebrated the walk-off victory.
With No. 1 NE Southern New Hampshire defeating Bentley, 3-2, the Penmen have earned hosting rights for NE10 Championship weekend. The Chargers have moved on and will meet SNHU on Thursday, May 10 with first pitch at 3:00 pm. 

2018 NE10 Baseball Championship Schedule

Tuesday, May 8 – First Round (single elimination)
Game 1:  #1 SW Le Moyne 7, #4 SW Pace 3 
Game 2:  #2 SW New Haven 3, #3 SW Adelphi 2
Game 3:  #1 NE SNHU 3, #4 NE Bentley 2
Game 4:  #3 NE Merrimack 5, #2 NE Franklin Pierce 3

NE10 Championship Weekend  
Thursday, May 10
Game 5:  #1 SW Le Moyne vs. #3 NE Merrimack | 12pm
Game 6:  #2 SW New Haven vs. #1 SNHU | 3pm

Friday, May 11
Game 7:  Game 5 loser vs. Game 6 loser | 11am
Game 8:  Game 5 winner vs. Game 6 winner | 2pm
Game 9:  Game 7 winner vs. Game 8 loser | 5pm

Saturday, May 12
Game 10:  Game 9 winner vs. Game 8 winner | 1pm
Game 11:  If necessary | 35 min following completion of Game 10

 - Information for this release provided by the athletic communication staffs at Bentley, Le Moyne, Merrimack, and New Haven 

The NE10 is an association of 15 diverse institutions serving student-athletes across 24 NCAA Division II sports. Together we build brilliant futures by embracing the journey of every student-athlete. 

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