Baseball Eliminated from NCAA East Regional with 7-4 Loss to Le Moyne
MANCHESTER, N.H. – Juniors Richie Manzi (Plymouth, N.H.) and Robert Kelly (Aurora, Colo.) each went 3-for-5 and drove in a run, but the Saint Anselm College baseball team dropped a 7-4 decision against Le Moyne College on Saturday afternoon in an NCAA East Regional matchup at Penmen Field.
The fourth-seeded Hawks wrap up their historic season at 29-25-2. The Hawks finish with the second-highest win total in program history and just one victory shy of the record that was set in 2004. The Hawks were crowned Northeast-10 Northeast Division Champions, winning a conference regular-season title for the first time since that '04 season. In the conference tournament, the Hawks went further than any Saint Anselm team ever had as they won a pair of games. Then, the Hawks received a bid to the NCAA East Regional – their second ever and the first since '04 – and won a regional game for the first time in history. The second-seeded Dolphins, who also ended the Hawks' conference tourney run last weekend, improve to 42-14-1.
The Hawks jumped out to a 2-0 lead in the top of the first. With one out, three straight singles by Manzi, Kelly and senior Daniel DeCoste (Chelmsford, Mass.), plated the first run and put runners at first and second. After a wild pitch moved both Kelly and DeCoste into scoring position, freshman Mike Hayden (Cranston, R.I.) lifted a sacrifice fly to center that brought in the Hawks' second run.
Saint Anselm added to its lead in the second when junior Andrew Chandler (Westford, Mass.) singled to center, moved to second on a failed pickoff attempt, advanced to third on a single to left by sophomore Tito Lluberes (Lawrence, Mass.) and scored on Manzi's sac fly to right.
Le Moyne broke through in the third when Matthew Ciraco was hit by a pitch, moved to second on Kyle Kalacka's single to center, advanced to third on Brett Botsford's walk and scored when Zach Wiley grounded to third. Senior Jeffrey Criscuolo (Durham, Conn.) stepped on the bag to get the force, but his throw across the diamond for the double play was low and could not be scooped.
The Hawks answered the run in the fourth. After two quick outs, Lluberes singled through the left side and went to third when Manzi dropped a single into right. After Manzi stole second, Kelly sent a rocket back up the middle that scored Lluberes to make it 4-1.
The Dolphins then hung a four-spot in the bottom half of the inning with four unearned runs. After a leadoff walk for Mahoney, Kelly got Pat Wiese to fly out and then struck out Paul Speicher for two quick outs. Ciraco then walked before Kalaka hit a sinking liner to left that was dropped, allowing Mahoney to score.
Vincent Redmond then made it 4-3 with a single up the middle that scored Ciraco. Botsford followed by hitting a ball up the middle that Lluberes ranged for to save the run, but had no play and the bases were loaded. Wiley then hit one in the hole at short that Lluberes again tracked down, but had no chance at throwing the runner out and Kalacka scored to tie it at four. Matt Marra then drew a bases-loaded walk to push the go-ahead run across and the Dolphins led 5-4 as Kelly's day was finished.
Le Moyne added an insurance run in the sixth against reliever David Kent (N. Falmouth, Mass.). Redmond was hit by a pitch, advanced to second on Botsford's sac bunt and then scored when Wiley doubled down the left field line.
The Dolphins also tacked on another run in the eighth against junior James Farrington (W. Milford, N.J.). After two quick outs, Wiley singled to right-center and stole second before scoring on Marra's base hit to right.
Kelly (2-5) went 3.2 innings, giving up five runs – one earned – on five hits, while striking out three and walking four. Kent allowed a run on two hits over 1.2 innings, while senior Neil Hesek (Northboro, Mass.) tossed 1.2 scoreless innings, allowing just a hit. Farrington allowed a run on two hits and struck out a batter in 0.2 innings of work. Senior John Healy (Cranston, R.I.) needed to just two pitches to retire the only batter he faced to close out the eighth.
Casey Cannon started for Le Moyne, giving up three runs – four earned – on nine hits, while striking out four and walking one. Erik Lambe (4-2) tossed four scoreless innings of relief, allowing three hits, while striking out three and walking a pair. Kevin Carroll earned his 11th save by pitching a 1-2-3 ninth with two strikeouts.
Kelly, Manzi and Lluberes all went 3-for-5 with a run; Kelly and Manzi each drove in a run. DeCoste, Hayden and Chandler were 1-for-4; DeCoste and Hayden each drove in a run, while Chandler scored once.