CBB NOTE: WE WILL BE IN ATTENDANCE FOR THE REGIONAL FINAL ON MONDAY AS THEY PPD THE REGIONAL FINAL GAME ON SUNDAY AND WILL PLAY TWO ON MONDAY.
FROM CBB NEWS SOURCES
Rindge, NH – It will be Franklin Pierce and Bryant once again to battle for regional baseball supremacy. A late rally led #2 Bryant past #4 Caldwell Sunday 5-4 to set up an NCAA regional championship game with #1 Franklin Pierce. The two schools have met up in the last two Northeast-10 Conference and NCAA Regional Tournaments.
A Jeff Vigurs (South Windsor, Conn.) RBI single gave the Bulldogs the one run lead in the bottom of the eighth, one batter after a wild three base error tied the game for the Bulldogs. With two on and one out, Pat O’Connor (Mattapoisset, Mass.) put down a bunt that was fielded by pitcher Buddy Riggs who threw wildly down the first base line to score Dylan Stone (Portsmouth, RI). On the play, Nick Campbell (Raynham, Mass.) was thrown out trying to score the go-ahead run, but O’Connor moved to third and scored on Vigurs single.
The stage was set for the Bulldogs’ eighth inning rally in the top of the frame. After allowing a run, sophomore reliever Eric Polvani (Wallingford, Conn.) and the Bulldogs were able to limit the damage to one thanks to a Polvani strikeout and a beautiful 4-6-3 double play started by second baseman Dave Muscatello’s (Hopkinton, Mass.) sliding stop.
After playing until after midnight Saturday night, the Bulldogs drew the early 12pm start time Sunday. The Bulldogs got off to a shaky start, when the Bulldogs failed to cover first on a leadoff bunt by Murphy. Murphy would eventually score on a sharp single off the glove of Jason Alexander (Simsbury, Conn.) at third base.
Designated hitter Mark Dondero (Medfield, Mass.) laced a double over centerfielder Andrew Robertson for the Bulldogs’ first two runs in the second inning. The Bulldogs would tack on another but Caldwell starter Omar Velazquez would strand runners on second and third to limit the damage.
Caldwell would tie the game in the fifth when Murphy took Bryant starter Dan Lozeau (Pelham, NH) deep to left field for a two run homer. Velazquez would settle down after the shaky second inning. The sophomore would hold the Bulldogs scoreless for the next five innings.
Lozeau would get a no-decision, allowing three runs and eight hits in six full innings. Vigurs enjoyed his second consecutive big offensive game, going three for three with an RBI and a run.
The loss ends the season for Caldwell with a final record of 34-18. The Bulldogs will take on Franklin Pierce in the Regional finals tomorrow at 11am. The Bulldogs will have to defeat Pierce twice in order to advance to the College World Series. If necessary, the second game will begin 30 minutes after the first game.