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NCAA Northeast Regional Day 1 Recap


Franklin Pierce 16 LIU-C.W. Post 2

RINDGE, N.H. (May 15, 2008) – Top-seeded and host Franklin Pierce University, ranked 14th in this week’s Division II poll and 21st in the Collegiate Baseball magazine rankings, belted a program-record matching six home runs in rolling to a 16-2 victory over sixth-seeded LIU-C.W. Post in game one of the 2008 NCAA Division II Northeast Regional Baseball Championship at Dr. Arthur and Martha Pappas Field today.

Franklin Pierce (40-12), which reaches the 40-win plateau for the third-straight year, will face the loser of today’s third game between fourth-seeded Caldwell College (32-17) and third-seeded and No. 26-ranked Southern Connecticut State University (36-17) Friday afternoon at 2:30 p.m. C.W. Post (29-26) will face the loser of today’s second game between fifth-seeded Dowling College (28-17) and second-seeded Bryant University (39-19) tomorrow at 11 a.m.

Franklin Pierce pounded out 20 hits (in 40 official at bats), including ten for extra bases and a program record matching six home runs, on the afternoon. The Ravens homered three times in their eight-run seventh inning to break the game open. All nine starters for Franklin Pierce collected hits, including six with two or more hits, and scored at least one run on the day. Seven of the nine Ravens who started also drove in a run.

Junior preseason All-American Scott Savastano collected three hits, including a homer and double today.

“We have guys who can hit the ball hard with the aluminum (bats) and can hit the ball out,” said Franklin Pierce Head Coach Jayson King. “It’s only one game, but obviously winning the first one is a good start for us.”

Junior leftfielder Cliff Hicks (Merrimack, N.H./Merrimack) led the way for Franklin Pierce, going 4-for-5 with a program record matching two home runs, a stolen base and three RBI. Junior preseason All-American Scott Savastano (Plymouth, N.H./Plymouth North) hit 3-for-5 with a double, homer, three runs scored and three RBI, while classmate Steve Carr (Nahant, Mass./St. Mary’s) batted 3-for-4 with a double, home run, two runs scored and two RBI. Freshman Derek Ingui (Sterling, Mass./Wachusett Regional) finished 3-for-5 with a triple, RBI and two runs scored.

“It’s definitely an advantage when we get the aluminum (bats) in our hands,” said Hicks. “It gives us just that much more confidence at the plate.”

Junior righthander Mike Adams (Orchard Park, N.Y./Orchard Park), the Daktronics Northeast Region Pitcher of the Year, collected his program-record matching tenth win of the season (10-1), allowing an earned run on three hits and three walks with five strikeouts over six innings of work. Junior Vinny Gemma (Revere, Mass./St. John’s Prep) and freshman Robbie Beaudoin (Taunton, Mass./Somerset) combined to allow just an unearned run on five hits with a pair of strikeouts over the final three innings.
Junior Steve Carr also homered and doubled in a three-hit day for Franklin Pierce.

Junior Kyle Walker (Wantaugh, N.Y./Wantagh) batted 3-for-5 with a pair of doubles and two RBI for C.W. Post. Senior Mike Sylvester (Farmingdale, N.Y./Sachem) hit 2-for-4 with two RBI.

Senior Kevin Gerard (Levittown, N.Y./Division Avenue) took the loss (5-4) on the mound for the Pioneers, yielding seven earned runs on nine hits with a strikeout and two walks over four innings.

“(Getting off to the fast start) definitely helps the guys relax and helps the batters,” said King. “People are expecting that we are going to play decent (at home), but when you are able to do it off the bat, it helps everybody.”

Franklin Pierce jumped on top early with a four-run first. Senior Matt Anderson (Medford, Mass./Medford) started the scoring with a two-run double, while Carr followed it up with a two-run homer to right center.

Junior Mike Adams earned his program record matching tenth win of the season.

C.W. Post got on the board with a run in the third on just one hit. Senior Tim Sylvester (Farmingdale, N.Y./Kellenberg Memorial) was hit by an Adams pitch and Mike Sylvester walked, before Walker reached on a chopper in front of the plate that scored Tim Sylvester from third with two out. Franklin Pierce added three in the fourth as senior Kevin Renaud (Southbridge, Mass./Southbridge) belted a two-run homer to left center and Savastano collected an RBI double to right center.

The Pioneers added an unearned run in the seventh as Mike Sylvester reached with a bunt single and later scored on a ground rule double to right center by Walker after the inning was extended on an error. The Ravens answered by busting the game open with eight runs in the home half of the frame. Sophomore Kevin Rivers (Bristol, Conn./Bristol Eastern) got the inning started with a two-run homer to right (his fifth of the postseason). Hicks followed with his first homer of the afternoon, a two-run shot to center, while Ingui posted an RBI triple and Savastano delivered a two-run shot to cap the inning.

Hicks second homer of the day rounded out the scoring on the day in the eighth.

“Putting a 16-2 win on the board certainly sends a message to the rest of the teams that we are going to be tough to beat,” said Hicks.

Dowling 7 Bryant 6

RINDGE, N.H. (May 15, 2008) – Fifth-seeded Dowling College plated the game-winning run in the top of the ninth inning and held off a Bryant University rally in the bottom half of the frame as the Golden Lions upset the second-seeded Bulldogs, 7-6, in game two of the NCAA Division II Northeast Regional Baseball Championship at Dr. Arthur and Martha Pappas Field on Thursday afternoon.

Dowling (29-17) advances into the winner’s bracket of the tournament and will take on the winner of tonight’s third game between No. 26-ranked Southern Connecticut State University (36-17) and Caldwell College (32-17) tomorrow at 6 p.m. Bryant (39-20) will take on sixth-seeded LIU-C.W. Post in an elimination contest tomorrow at 11 a.m.

Senior Kevin Reese (Ronkonkoma, N.Y./Connetquot) paced the Dowling attack with a 4-for-5 effort at the plate with two runs scored, including the game-winning run in the ninth inning. Junior Matthew Monastero (Ridge, N.Y./ Longwood) had three hits and drove in a pair of runs, while classmate David Wendt (Methuen, Mass./Methuen) and senior Chris Caputo (East Islip, N.Y./C.W. Post) each had two hits on the day, while freshman Colin Barnathan (Massapequa, N.Y./St. Anthony’s) added two RBI.

For Bryant, junior Pat McKenna (Orange, Conn./Amity) went 4-for-5 with an RBI, with junior Dave Muscatello (Hopkinton, Mass./University of Connecticut) and senior Jason Alexander (Simsbury, Conn./Simsbury) each contributing three hits apiece. Junior Pat O’Connor (Mattapoisett, Mass./Old Rochester) scored once and drove in two as well for the Bulldogs.

Sophomore Buddy Cipoletti (Islip, N.Y./Wagner College) earned the victory (1-1) for Dowling, throwing 1.1 innings of scoreless relief, including two strikeouts. Sophomore Joe Trainor (Massapequa, N.Y./Hofstra University) came on for the final two outs of the game to earn his seventh save of the season.

Sophomore Eric Polvani (Wallingford, Conn./Sheehan) took the loss (1-2) for the Bulldogs, giving up one earned run on two hits in the ninth inning.

After knotting the game with a run in the top of the eighth, Dowling put together a two-out rally to plate the game-winning run in the top of the ninth. Reese began the rally with a one-out single off the leg of Polvani, and advanced to third base with two outs thanks to a stolen base and a wild pitch. Barnathan then slapped a 1-2 pitch through the right side to score Reese with the go-ahead run.

The Bulldogs threatened in the bottom of the ninth, as McKenna smacked a one-out single and advanced to third on a fielding error by freshman Brian Ferguson (Ronkonkoma, N.Y./ Connetquot). But Trainor came on to induce two pop ups to escape with the victory.

Dowling jumped out to an early four-run lead, scoring twice in the second and third innings. A sacrifice fly by sophomore Daniel Pembroke (Wading River, N.Y./Shoreham-West River) and an RBI single by Monastero gave the Golden Lions a 2-0 edge through two, and the lead was doubled thanks to an RBI double by Wendt and another sac fly, this time by Barnathan.

But Bryant responded with four runs in the bottom half of the third inning, as the first seven batters all reached base. O’Connor got the Bulldogs on the board with a two-run single, and sophomore Jeff Vigurs (South Windsor, Conn./South Windsor) and McKenna followed with RBI singles to knot the game at four.

Caldwell 3 Southern Connecticut 2

RINDGE, N.H. (May 15, 2008) – Fourth-seeded Caldwell College posted a 3-2 victory over third-seeded Southern Connecticut State University, ranked 26th in this week’s Division II poll, in game three of the 2008 NCAA Division II Northeast Regional Baseball Championships at Dr. Arthur and Martha Pappas Field tonight.

Caldwell (33-17) will face fifth-seeded Dowling College (29-17) in a winner’s bracket game tomorrow night at 6 p.m. Dowling posted a 7-6 upset of second-seeded Bryant University (39-20) in today’s second game. Southern Connecticut State (36-18) will look to avoid elimination against top-seeded and host Franklin Pierce (40-12) tomorrow at 2:30 p.m. Franklin Pierce, ranked 14th and 21st nationally, rolled to a 16-2 victory over sixth-seeded LIU-C.W. Post (29-26) in today’s opening game. Bryant and C.W. Post will kick off Friday’s schedule with an elimination game at 11 a.m.

Caldwell junior righthander Stephen Pheil (Hampstead, N.Y./Pinkerton Academy) out-dueled Southern Connecticut State junior lefthander Jim Fuller (Marlborough, Mass.), the Northeast-10 Conference Co-Pitcher of the Year, to claim his fifth win of the season (5-4).

Pheil allowed just the two earned runs (both coming in the third inning) on five hits with eight strikeouts and five walks in eight-plus innings of work. Senior Tommy Murphy (Monroe, N.Y./Washingtonville) notched his first save of the season, working around a one-out single with two strikeouts in the ninth.

“It took me a little longer to get in my groove, my fastball was on in spots, but I didn’t have a feel for my breaking pitch,” said Pfeil. “Towards the later innings it started coming on and that was when I started getting strikeouts. Once I settle in, everything come a lot easier and (my stuff) gets a lot better.”

Fuller dropped his second-straight decision (9-3), yielding three runs, just two earned, on seven hits with 13 strikeouts and three walks over eight innings. Junior Mike Connors (Wallingford, Conn./Lyman Hall) allowed a hit with two strikeouts in a scoreless ninth for the Owls.

Murphy also hit 2-for-2 at the plate with a run scored, while sophomore Adric Saxon (Coral Springs, Fla.) batted 2-for-4 with a double and RBI to lead the Caldwell offense. Freshman Gabriel Molina (Bronx, N.Y./Monroe) was 1-for-4 with a home run.

Senior Anthony Fiorillo (New Haven, Conn.) hit 1-for-4 with two RBI to lead Southern. Junior Mo Davidson (Winsted, Conn./Northwestern Regional) was 1-for-2 with three walks and a run scored, while junior Karl Derbacher (Northford, Conn./North Branford) and sophomore Greg Malen (Stamford, Conn./Salisbury) each collected doubles.

Southern, who left ten runners on base – including two each in the first two innings alone, finally broke through with a two-run third. Davidson led off with a single through the left side and Derbacher followed with a double down the rightfield line before Fiorillo drove them both in with a single up the middle.

Pfeil settled down from there and Caldwell knotted the score with a two-run fifth. Sophomore Jon Irwin (Mahopac, N.Y./Mahopac) and Murphy reached on singles. Saxon drove in Irwin with an infield single and Murphy also scored on the play when Southern third baseman Justin Cox’s (Newburgh, N.Y./Newburgh Free Academy) was off the mark at first.

Molina’s sixth home run of the season with two outs in the sixth proved to be the winning run for the Cougars.

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