MIT wins play in game

 
St. Thomas senior Ben Meyer lowered his season
ERA to 0.89 with his win over Bethel.
 
St. Thomas athletics photo by Haley Staffon

Senior Ben Meyer won his first college start with a combined four-hit shutout to help host St. Thomas Baseball split Thursday's MIAC doubleheader at Koch Diamond. The Toms' 3-0 game-two win let them rebound from a 5-3 loss in game one. Meyer, whose longest career appearance before Thursday was 2.1 innings, allowed two hits and one walk over six innings with six strikeouts. He came back out for the last inning but quickly surrendured back-to-back singles to start the inning. UST sophomore Shaun Falbo came on in relief and got a fly out and two strikeouts for his fourth save.

In a day littered with five postseason games, the 2018 CUNYAC/MCU Championship got underway with first-round action at home sites. The tournament opened with a pair of thrilling one-run contests. No. 6 seed Finlandia staved off a late rally to knock off third-seeded Lehman, 4-3, while second-seeded John Jay walked off to an 8-7 victory against Maine-Presque Isle. John Jay also battled to an 11-7 win over Finlandia in the winner's bracket game.

Junior Phil Pierfy led second seeded Arcadia with three RBIs, taking down No. 3 Hood, 13-5. The Knights will take on No. 4 Widener at Friday morning. The Pride moved into the winners bracket with a 17-4 win over top seeded Alvernia. Stephen DeBellis hit three home runs, including a grand slam, driving in nine as Widener advanced.

Ithaca wrapped up its home schedule with a 12-0 shutout of Elmira in an Empire 8 Conference contest. Ithaca improves to 24-14 overall and 11-7 in the Empire 8, and will conclude its regular season on Saturday at Wells College at 1 p.m. Sophomore Tom Cosentino earned his second victory of the season in seven innings pitched. Cosentino surrendered seven hits and struck out six without allowing a walk. Senior Jack Morello pitched a perfect eighth inning and junior Webb Little closed out the game in the ninth with a strikeout.

Meanwhile, Baruch left no stone unturned in a 19-7 rout of CCNY in a single-game elimination contest, but fell to Staten Island, 11-1, in the nightcap. The Championship will continue Saturday, with Finlandia battling Baruch in an elimination game. A winner's bracket contest between Staten Island and John Jay will follow.  

It was business as usual in the SUNYAC tournament for the top seeds. Cortland found production up and down the line-up as they handed fourth-seeded Brockport a 5-0 loss. Christian Dufresne pitched a complete game four-hitter. He walked one and struck out five. Cortland will face Oswego State. The Lakers walked off when Ryan Enos lead off the bottom of the ninth with a home run for a 4-3 win over SUNY New Paltz. The Hawks will play an elimination game with Brockport.

Three-time defending champion and top-seeded Suffolk scored the winning run in the bottom of the 10th inning without a hit, capping a 6-5 comeback victory over fourth-seeded Lasell in the first round of double-elimination play in the GNAC baseball tournament at East Boston Memorial Field. Suffolk will meet Johnson and Wales who upset St. Joseph's (Maine) 9-5.

Framingham State and Salem State advance to the MASCAC quarterfinals after winning their first round games on Thursday. Alex Toomey singled in the game-winning run in the bottom of the 11th as #4 seed Salem State came back from a 3-0 eighth inning deficit to defeat #5 seed Fitchburg State. Framingham State scored five times in the sixth inning and senior Mike Andrews threw a complete game as the third seeded Rams defeated the sixth seed MCLA.

Led by seven shutout innings from MIT starting pitcher Zachary Kopstein, the No. 4 seeded Engineers defeated fifth-seeded Springfield by a 5-0 final in the play-in game of the NEWMAC Tournament. Garret Greenwood was 3-for-4 with two runs scored and an RBI in the leadoff spot, while Ethan Rolland was 2-for-3 with a pair of runs to lead the Engineers.

Saint John's (Minn.) swept its fifth straight conference doubleheader, 4-0 and 3-2, over Saint Mary's to extend its win streak to 12 games in Winona. The wins also clinched SJU's (26-5, 11-3 MIAC) ninth consecutive appearance in the MIAC Tournament, which is scheduled for May 10-13 at CHS Field in St. Paul. The MIAC expanded the traditional four-team field to six teams in early April due to this spring's compacted schedule. The opening round features a pair of single-elimination games (No. 3 vs. No. 6, No. 4 vs. No. 5) May 10 and the two winners join the top two seeds for a double-elimination tournament May 11-13. Junior Bennett Wiggins pitched a gem in the opener: a complete-game, one-hit shutout with a career-high eight strikeouts and no free passes. The lone hit for Saint Mary's (16-15, 10-6 MIAC) was a two-out single in the first inning. Three Johnnie pitchers held SMU to a .180 batting average (9-for-50) and struck out 17 on the day. SJU batted .288 (17-for-59) and left 23 men on base in the two games.