ECAC/NCAA DIII New England Regionals Big Hit in Harwich

HARWICH — Cape Cod baseball fans got an early taste of summer early Wednesday.

Hosted at B.F.C. Whitehouse Field, home of the Cape League’s Harwich Mariners, the 2015 ECAC NCAA DIII New England Regional baseball championship got underway beneath blue and sunny skies and in front of hundreds of fans before the weather shifted in the late afternoon and reminded all in attendance that this is New England, after all.

Southern Maine's Shyler Scates tossed a complete-game gem Wednesday at Whitehouse Field in game two of the NCAA DIII New England Regionals being hosted by the Eastern College Athletic Conference. Sean Walsh/ Sports

Southern Maine’s Shyler Scates tossed a complete-game gem Wednesday at Whitehouse Field in game two of the NCAA DIII New England Regionals being hosted by the Eastern College Athletic Conference.
Sean Walsh/ Sports

Salem State, Southern Maine, Ramapo College and Curry College each notched wins in the double-elimination tournament on its opening day, and Wednesday marked the third straight year the ECAC hosted the event at Whitehouse Field and the ninth time in 13 years. The NCAA Division III New England Baseball Regional was held in Harwich, Mass. from 2001-02, 2005-08, 2011 and 2013-2014.

Southern Maine righty Shyler Scates (Jefferson, Maine), a junior, tossed a complete-game shutout while leading his top-seeded Huskies to a 4-0 victory over eighth-seeded Suffolk in game two and earlier in the day, Salem State junior Sean Buckland (Lynn, Mass.) tossed a complete-game two-hitter to lead the Vikings to a 6-2 victory over MIT.

Southern Maine (32-13), the regional’s defending champion, will now play in the winner’s bracket tomorrow at 4:30 p.m. against Salem State while Suffolk will take on MIT in an elimination game at 10 a.m.

Scates (6-1) was outstanding in the opener for the Huskies as he tossed a six-hit shutout with six strikeouts on 117 pitches (87 strikes). Today’s start marked the second time Scates went the distance this season, he did not issue one free pass.

In addition to Scates’ impressive outing, freshman Brandon Martins (Manorville, N.Y.) was a perfect 3-for-3 at the dish with one run and an RBI. Sophomore Jake Welch (Londonderry, N.H.) went 2-for-4 with one run and Sophomore Pat McDonough (Wells, Maine) was 1-for-2 with three walks.

For the Rams (18-25), junior Jon Lopolla (Providence, R.I) and senior JC Collette (Amesbury, Mass.) each went 1-for-2 at the dish.

The Huskies were the first to get on board in the bottom of the second on a fielder’s choice with runners in scoring position. An error on by the Suffolk catcher then allowed another Southern Maine to take a 2-0 lead.

Suffolk University's Julien Plana takes a hack in DIII New England Regional action Wednesday, with Southern Maine's Dylan Morris behind the plate. Sean Walsh/ Sports

Suffolk University’s Julien Plana takes a hack in DIII New England Regional action Wednesday, with Southern Maine’s Dylan Morris behind the plate.
Sean Walsh/ Sports

In the bottom of the third, the Huskies continued to put runs on the board. Martins drove in Welch to score with a base hit and a sacrifice fly by Nick DiBiase (Portland, ME) put the Huskies up 4-0.

The Rams were unable to rally in the ninth as Scates retired the side in order to seal the victory.

Suffolk starting pitcher Josh Desai (Shrewsbury, Mass.) notched the loss after allowing three earned runs and eight hits in eight innings of action.

Offensively, the Huskies left 10 runners on base, seven in scoring position.

Box Score

Salem State (26-13) will play in the winner’s bracket tomorrow at 4:30 p.m. while the Engineers (25-13) will play in an elimination game at 10 a.m. The victory for the Vikings is their first in the NCAA Division III Tournament since 2006 and second overall, when they dispatched Southern Maine, 8-5, in their Harwich Regional opener.

Buckland was masterful in securing his fourth win of the season, striking out eight and retiring 24 consecutive batters between the second and ninth innings. Offensively, the Vikings were led by sophomore Colton Fontaine (Newburyport, Mass.) and senior Ryan Beliveau (Lynn, Mass.), who combined to go 3-for-7 with three runs scored and a pair of RBI.

The Engineers started the game with momentum right away, as John Drago (Peoria, Ariz.) led off the inning with a walk. Freshman Austin Filiere (Chandler, Ariz.) continued with a double down the left field line off Buckland.

Southern Maine's Sam Dexter rips one just foul in his team's 4-0 win over Suffolk Wednesday at Whitehouse Field. Sean Walsh/ Sports

Southern Maine’s Sam Dexter rips one just foul in his team’s 4-0 win over Suffolk Wednesday at Whitehouse Field.
Sean Walsh/ Sports

Drago scored the first run of the game on a sac fly by Parker Tew (Chapel Hill, N.C.). Senior Hayden Cornwell (Newport Beach, N.C.) then drove in Filiere with a ground ball through the right side of the infield.

It wasn’t until the bottom of the fourth inning that the Vikings were able to answer back. Dan Connors (Danvers, Mass.) started the inning with a walk, which was followed by a Fontaine hit by a pitch. Two batters later, Beliveau put the Vikings on the board with a base hit, scoring Connors from third. On the ensuing play, Fontaine scored on an error by Filiere, and a sac fly by Andrew Deloury (Andover, Mass.) capped the inning for another run for the Vikings.

In the bottom of the fifth, K.J. Parent (Knoxville, Tenn.) took over in relief for MIT and induced a ground ball with the bases loaded. Filiere tagged third base but overthrew the first baseman, allowing a run to score. A second error on the play resulted in another Salem State run and the Vikings would make it 6-2 on a Beliveau single.

MIT threatened in the top of the ninth as the first two batters reached base, but Buckland ended the game with a strikeout for his second consecutive complete game.

Box Score

Seeded third in the tournament, Ramapo College edged sixth-seeded Castleton State College, 4-3 in 11 innings in the late afternoon game.

Sophomore Rob DeAngelis (Staten Island, NY.) knocked a base hit through the left side to score senior Dan McEldowney (Park Ridge, NJ) from second base to give third-seeded Ramapo College the 4-3 victory. With the win, the Roadrunners (29-14) advance to play Curry College at 7:45 p.m. tonight (Thursday). The Spartans (31-11) will play in an elimination game at 1:15 p.m.

Leading the way for Ramapo was the hero, DeAngelis, who went 3-for-6 with an RBI, senior Scott Shields (San Luis Obispo, Calif.), who went 2-for-4 with a run scored, while junior Joe Venturino (Barnegat Light, NJ) tallied four hits and an RBI.

Senior right-hander Walker Larson (Mahwah, N.J.) pitched ten innings to earn the no-decision for the Roadrunners, allowing three runs and striking out eight on 144 pitches (100 strikes) to go with a pair of walks. Freshman Brian Cottrell (Elizabeth, NJ) pitched a scoreless inning out of the bullpen to earn the win.

For the Spartans, junior Taylor Vile (Syracuse, N.Y.), sophomore Nick Swim (St. Albans, Vt.) and sophomore Jim Buckley (Nashua, N.H.) all went 2-for-5 at the dish. Sophomore Mike LaBeau (Bellows Falls, Vt.) took home the loss on the mound for Castleton, allowing just the one run in 2.2 innings of relief.

Sophomore Devin Hayes (Vergennes, Vt.) earned the no-decision after allowing three earned runs in 7.1 innings of action, with five strikeouts and two free passes.

Prior to Deangelis’ clutch hit in the 11th, Ramapo battled back from a 3-1 deficit in the eighth as Scott Peschiani (Harriman, N.Y.) smacked a two-out two-RBI single up the middle. Peschiani was then thrown out at home to end the inning, attempting to score the go-ahead run on a single to left field by Rafael Dela Cruz (Elizabeth, NJ).

The Roadrunners came out early in the first inning as Venturino singled up the middle to drive in DeAngelis for the first run of the game. The Spartans answered back in the top of the sixth off a three-run home run by junior Dan Errico (West Hartford, Conn.), his eighth of the season. Errico is now tied for first in program history with 50 RBI in a season.

Ramapo put the pressure on Castleton in the bottom of the sixth with the bases loaded, but Hayes was able to get the Spartans out of the tight spot and preserve a two-run advantage.

Box Score

Second-seeded Wesleyan University (28-10) fell to Curry College (24-13) in the late game, 4-0.

Freshman right hander David Griffin (Hanover, Mass.) tossed a complete-game, four-hit, shutout to lead seventh-seeded Curry College to the 4-0 victory over Wesleyan.

With the win, Curry (24-13) will play Ramapo at 7:45 p.m. tonight. Wesleyan (28-10) will play in an elimination game against Castleton today at 1:15 p.m.

En-route to the biggest win in his young career, Griffin struck out 10 Cardinals, allowed just four hits and two walks in nine innings of work. He did not allow one Cardinal to get to third base as he finished his fifth contest of the year.

On the other side of the mound, Wesleyan southpaw Nick Cooney (Rehoboth, Mass.) allowed just one hit heading into the eighth inning and finished the night with three runs against and his second loss of the season.

A pitchers’ duel for much of the game, the Colonels finally struck in the eighth.

Junior Philip Perez (West Covina, Calif.) came up with the clutch hit, knocking a two-RBI single up the middle to put Curry up 2-0 to score junior John Arens (Milton, Mass.) and senior Derek Pizarro (Cambridge, Mass.) on the play. In the same inning, with the bases loaded, Alex McLean (Eliot, Maine) was hit by a pitch, allowing a run to come in and moving Perez to third, who eventually scored on a wild pitch.

In a scoreless contest, Wesleyan placed runners on second with one or fewer outs for the go-ahead run, but could not capitalize on the opportunity.

Against a tiring Griffin, Guy Davidson (New York, N.Y.) singled to lead off the frame. The Colonels turned a key double play, however, to shift the momentum the other way. Griffin also fanned his final batter after permitting consecutive walks to end the game.

Box Score

— Portions of these game recaps were written and provided by the Eastern College Athletic Conference and edited by Sports Editor Sean Walsh.

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