Seahawks grab two from Hawks for third title in four years

2019 Commonwealth Coast Conference (CCC) Baseball Champions - Salve Regina University
2019 Commonwealth Coast Conference (CCC) Baseball Champions - Salve Regina University

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CHAMPIONSHIP HISTORY

BRISTOL, R.I. (May 11, 2019) -- Salve Regina University baseball (27-16) captured its third Commonwealth Coast Conference (CCC) championship in the last four years by taking the second and third games of the best-of-three series today against Roger Williams University, 14-4 and 5-1, at Paolino Field. The Seahawks now have 10 titles in baseball and earn the league's automatic bid to the NCAA Division III Baseball Championships for the fifth time (2001, 2005, 2016, 2017, 2019).

The Hawks (21-19-1) had won the opener (GAME A) on Friday, 6-4, with a three-run rally in the bottom of the eighth inning.

Today, needing two wins, the Seahawks got six innings plus from both starting pitchers - junior lefty Patrick Maybach (Saunderstown, R.I.) and sophomore righty Michael Mathews (West Hartford, Conn.). Both got their second wins of the tournament and improved to 5-1 and 6-2, respectively, on the season.

GAME B (11:30 a.m. start)
Scoreless into the fifth inning, Salve Regina was also hitless against Roger Williams lefty Justin Garcia until just after scoring its first run on a wild pitch, junior catcher Dylan Ketch (Clinton, Conn.) singled in Anthony Cieszko (Woodcliff Lake, N.J.) and Zack Smith (New Canaan, Conn.) for a 3-0 edge.

Shortstop Tommy Hobin singled to left center to plate his middle infield mate Danny Roth with the first Hawk run off Maybach in the top of the sixth. Eli Camner got Roger Williams one run closer by driving in Joey Gulino in the seventh off reliever Brett Wilkes.

Salve Regina broke the game open with five in its seventh, and six more runs in its eighth inning. Ketch and Michael DeFusco (East Greenwich, R.I.) both had two-run singles in the seventh, and Sean O'Malley (Darien, Conn.) made it a six-run cushion with his RBI single. After two unearned runs for Roger Williams brought the Hawks to an 8-4 deficit, Smith crossed the plate on DeFusco's RBI fielder's choice grounder and Dustin Siqueira (Trumbull, Conn.) doubled down the left field line for double-digit runs, 10-4. Colton Eremian (Boca Raton, Fla.) and Cieszko added a pair of two-run singles to complete the scoring, 14-4.

Maybach finished with nine Ks and was succeeded by relievers Wilkes, Colin Trahon (Ryanham, Mass.), Andrew Roman (Monson, Mass.), and Dean Borders (Danvers, Mass.).

GAME C (3:30 p.m. start)
In its sixth elimination game of the tournament, Salve Regina responded with another outstanding starting performance from its pitcher (Michael Mathews) who held the Hawks scoreless through the first four frames and departed in the seventh with a 5-1 lead after striking out nine.

Eremian ripped a two-out, 0-2 pitch for a single up the middle that scored Cieszko from second for the first run of the game in the top of the fifth. The Hawks tied the game 1-1 with their own two-out hit to right field by Camner that delivered Gulino, but Mathews stranded three on base getting the final out on a fly to Smith in right field.

O'Malley's two-run double to right field one-hopped the wall and gave Salve Regina the lead for good, 3-1. Eremian had his fourth RBI of the day with a sacrifice to left later in the sixth. Cieszko's long at bat with two outs and the bases loaded in the seventh produced the final run on ball four.

Andrew Roman had pitched the seventh and eighth innings with runners on base and struck out three batters. Zach Lopez (New Canaan, Conn.) closed out the ninth with three groundouts to Madden Ward (Clinton, Conn.) at shortstop; O'Malley made a fine pick at first on the very first out of the inning.

Roger Williams stranded a dozen runners in both games.

Salve Regina will find its next destination on Monday at noon during the Division III Baseball Selection Show on NCAA.com.