SUNY Maritime is dancing for the first time

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PATCHOGUE, N.Y. – For the first time in Maritime baseball history the Privateers will be heading to the NCAA Division III Baseball Championship following Monday's 14-2 win over the fifth-seeded Mount St. Mary Knights on Gregg Alfano Field.
The victory clinches the Skyline Conference's automatic qualifying bid to the NCAA Championship, which is slated to begin on Thursday, May 18 at one of eight regional sites. The announcement of a site and opponent will be announced on Sunday, May 14.
This is Maritime baseball's first-ever Skyline Conference Championship, and second-ever conference championship with the program's initial title coming at the conclusion of the 1997 season. The NCAA Tournament appearance will be the first for any Privateer team since the men's soccer program qualified for the 2011 championship at the conclusion of that season.
Junior Chris Deddo (Staten Island, N.Y./Tottenville) was selected as the Tournament Most Outstanding Player following his three-game clip, which saw him record a .692 batting average while also scoring nine runs and driving in seven. Included in his nine hits were three doubles and one home run, as he also walked six times and was hit by a pitch for a tournament on-base percentage of .800.
For the game Maritime turned to junior pitcher Anthony D'Ancona (Bronx, N.Y./Cardinal Spellman) to take the ball for the Privateers. The crafty right-hander needed just 105 pitches and scattered six hits while allowing two unearned runs on the afternoon as he earned his fifth victory of the season and 11th of his career.
The Privateers were led by junior Aaron Schiavoni (Sag Harbor, N.Y./Pierson) and freshman Phil Russo (Staten Island, N.Y./St. Joseph by the Sea), who both had three hits apiece on the afternoon with Russo driving in a team-high three runs and Schiavoni plating a pair. Sophomore Matt Costleigh (West Islip, N.Y./St. Anthony's) and Deddo each collected two hits and scored three runs each.
Junior Stephen Semler (Kirkland, Wash./Lake Washington) had two hits on the afternoon including the 100th of his career, as he becomes the third Privateer to reach the century mark this season to join senior Brian McLauhlin and Deddo. Semler finished the day with one RBI and also scored two runs.
McLaughlin and junior Connor Alwan (Annapolis, Md./Broadneck) also recorded two RBIs on the game as McLaughlin finished 2-for-5 at the plate, and Alwan was 2-for-4 with a pair of runs scored. Freshman Antonio Diaz (Freeport, N.Y./Freeport) was 1-for-4 at the dish and scored a run, and was later pinch hit for by senior Joe DiLeo (Naples, Fla./St. John Neumann), who collected an RBI on a sacrifice fly.
After D'Ancona got through the top of the first inning, Costleigh singled and promptly moved up to second on a wild pitch. Deddo walked on four pitches followed by a towering drive to right field off the bat of Semler that was dropped by the right fielder allowing Costleigh to score the opening run of the game. McLaughlin grounded out to score Deddo to increase the lead to 2-0. For McLaughlin the RBI was the 50th of his senior season, which extends his single-season mark and his career mark to 112.
In the second, D'Ancona got some help from his defense with a double play turned behind him to send the game to the bottom of the inning. Diaz led off with a single and then stole second, Deddo singled to right to make it 3-0 and later McLaughlin picked up another RBI to make it a four-run lead. Russo doubled to left and plated two more runs to make it a 6-0 advantage.
After a scoreless third inning, Mount St. Mary scored two unearned runs in the top of the fourth to trim the deficit back down to four, but that's all D'Ancona allowed through the remainder of the game.
The Privateers responded with their biggest offensive output of the game with a five-run inning as Semler picked up one RBI on a double, followed by a run-scoring double off the bat of Russo. Alwan had the biggest blow of the inning with a two run single, and later scored on a Schiavoni base knock.
Maritime added one more in the fifth on an error, before adding two more in the eighth on RBIs by Schiavoni and DiLeo.
D'Ancona cruised through the last five innings, with just one batter making it past first base in that span. Mount St. Mary went down on three pitches in the top of the ninth with Costleigh's throw from shortstop to McLaughlin securing the Skyline Conference Championship.
Maritime (26-11, 15-3 Skyline) will next play in the NCAA Division III Baseball Championship. The bracket of regional matchups will be announced on Sunday, May 14, upon the conclusion of the remaining conference tournaments left to be played.