Roanoke, N. Central surprising unbeatens; No. 1 out

It's been all smiles for Roanoke at the South Regional so far, where the Maroons will play for the title on Sunday.
Roanoke athletics photo by Pete Emerson


The New York Regional is going exactly as seeded, at least for top-seeded Oswego State, which is 3-0.
SUNYAC photo
Brady Furdon threw a bullpen-saving eight innings to help Wheaton (Mass.) move into the Mid-Atlantic championship.
Middle Atlantic Conference photo

If you thought Friday's games were long, just you wait. And wait. There might be fewer games today, but there are fewer ace pitchers and rested bullpens to go around as well. Don't forget the weather. either as long delays kept us burning the midnight oil on Friday and is now plaguing the Midwest Regional.

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Big bats, long games define Day 2

Day 1 saw two triple plays, no-no

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Saturday started as expected as Alvernia, Babson, and Keysone each put double digit run totals on the scoreboard. Sophomore Eric Jaun set an NCAA Tournament program record with five hits and senior Owen Shea drove in three runs as Babson defeated St. John Fisher, 12-8, in an elimination game at the Harwich Regional. Alvernia knocked out 16 hits and gave plenty of run support for Crusader starter Thomas Malik in a 11-1 win eliminating Elizabethtown. Malik pitched a complete game, allowing six hits, one run and striking out two batters.

Keystone came into its game against DePauw ready to play after the extended layoff, scoring seven first-inning runs as the Giants extended their regional win streak to six games with a 10-3 victory. While the Giants were scoring runs, Troy Terzi went 8.2 strong innings, striking out 11 batters while yielding three runs on 11 hits to keep the Tiger hitters off balance. Keystone has now won at least two games in three consecutive postseason appearances.

But the unexpected continued to rear its head, too. North Central (Ill.) had one of the rarest of all occurrences: a Day 3 complete game shutout. Russell Hoh went the distance, allowing just five hits and a walk as the Cardinals remained undefeated at the regional, defeating Birmingham-Southern 5-0. Hoh did not allow a runner past first base over the final seven innings. The Cardinals now sit while Wartburg and Birmingham-Southern battle it out to see who will have the right to try to beat North Central twice on Sunday for a trip to Appleton. Also at Sauget, Ill., Mike Brown tapped a grounder past the pitcher with runners on the corners in the bottom of the 12th inning and Jacob Thurman slid across ahead of a desperate, off-balance throw, ending the Central Regional's ultimate pitching duel as Wartburg eliminated Washington University by a 1-0 margin. Austin Bohling got the win with five innings of hitless relief after Taylor Gibson went the first seven. Wartburg limited Wash U's 3-4-5-6-7 batters to a combined 1-for-20; meanwhile, Wash U threw a 12-inning three-hitter and lost.

Even the No. 1 team in the country could not slow down the postseason juggernaut that is the Maroons of Roanoke College. The South Regional six-seed handed LaGrange its first loss since April 8, defeating the Panthers 5-2 on Saturday. Roanoke touched up LaGrange starter Richie Post early, scratching together three two-out runs in the first inning, including a squeeze bunt and a double steal. Roanoke is 7-1 since the calendar turned to May and awaits the Salisbury. Freshman lefty Forrest Wagner made his fifth start of the season and went five innings for the win, with Ethan Delahunty, Sal Tranucci and Rawlings Cumbea finished the win off with four shutout innings of relief. Salisbury remained alive by scoring twice in the bottom of the 11th to walk off with an 8-7 win vs. Rowan.

Salisbury advanced into Sunday by eliminating the No. 1 team in the country. LaGrange took both of its losses on the tournament on Saturday, as Salisbury reliever Pete Grasso ended the game with back-to-back strikeouts with the winning run at the plate. The Sea Gulls won 4-2. Jeff Oster got his second win of the night, as he got the victory in relief vs. Rowan, then started and went seven strong innings to get the win vs. LaGrange. He improved to 10-0.

Cory Poplawski had a complete game shutout to put into the mix as well, as he kept Salve Regina in the tournament, throwing a four-hitter in a 5-0 win vs. Arcadia, eliminating Arcadia from the regional. Babson then held off Salve 5-4 in Saturday's final game, moving on to Sunday to face Suffolk, with the winner getting the right to take on Mass-Boston. The Beacons' Sal Frosceno went 3-for-5 with a double, a triple and three RBI as Mass-Boston defeated Suffolk 13-4 in the New England winner's bracket championship game. Frosceno collected hits in his first three at bats of the day, while stealing two bases.

A week ago, Wooster defeated DePauw twice -- pounded the Tigers, really, by 18-3 and 25-6 scores -- to eliminate DePauw from the North Coast Athletic Conference tournament and leave the Tigers' season on life support. But, given new life in the regional, DePauw returned the favor on Saturday, torching the Scots bullpen for 10 runs over the final three innings to defeat Wooster 13-4. Collin Einertson went 4-for-6 and Mike Hammel and Jack Thompson had three hits apiece in the win. DePauw faces Cortland on Sunday in an elimination game.

Wheaton (Mass.) played its way into the championship game of the Mid-Atlantic Regional, as Brady Furdon scattered six hits over eight innings in a 6-1 win vs. Johns Hopkins. The Blue Jays scored first when Ryan Orgielewicz doubled down the right field line to score Conor Reynolds but that was all Furdon surrendered. Nick Raposo had a pair of hits, including a two-run double to score Zach Goodwin-Boyd and Jared Sharkey for two insurance runs in the seventh. Sharkey had homered in the third inning to give the Lyons a 3-1 lead. Johns Hopkins faces Shenandoah on Sunday for the right to try to beat Wheaton twice after Shenandoah eliminated Alvernia.

Cal Lutheran moved into the West Regional final and awaits fifth seed Concordia (Texas). Concordia survived an elimination attempt by scoring three in the fifth and five in the sixth en route to a 13-4 win vs. Centenary (La.), then held off Rhodes in Saturday's nightcapCal Lutheran won the battle of West Regional unbeatens with Rhodes to open Saturday by putting up a three-spot in the first and holding on as the Kingsmen's 10-2 lead was whittled away to a 10-8 final margin. Closer Miguel Salud shut down the Lynx in the final two and a third innings, allowing no runs while striking out three and giving up just one hit to notch his 10th save of the year. Cal Lutheran is one win away from putting a SCIAC member in the Division III World Series for the first time since 1999, when Cal Lutheran went to Salem. The last time a school from California was in the Division III World Series was when Chapman went in 2011 as an independent.

Owego State moved into the New York Regional final, as the top seed earned a come-from-behind 6-4 victory over the second-seeded Southern Maine. Zach Kollar put the Lakers ahead for good in the bottom of the eighth. Eric Hamilton started off the frame with a pop-single to right-center field. Back-to-back singles by Mike Dellicarri and John Barnes loaded the bases. Then on a 2-1 count, Kollar dropped a ball deep in the right field gap to score Hamilton and Dellicarri. Ithaca eliminated TCNJ to advance to face Southern Maine and Southern Maine defeated Ithaca 4-0, needing to beat Oswego State twice on Sunday.

The Midwest Regional was cut down to just two games on Saturday after rain delayed the start of the St. Thomas-Whitewater elimination game for five hours and the UW-Whitewater bats never came back from the break as St. Thomas pitcher Ryan Zimmerman threw a complete-game seven-hitter to eliminate the Warhawks by a 7-2 score. St. Scholastica gave up eight runs in the sixth through eighth innings but scored three in the eighth and four in the ninth to defeat Adrian and remain in the Midwest Regional by an 11-8 score. Four teams remain alive in the Midwest Regional, as UW-La Crosse and Concordia-Chicago did not even play on Saturday.

The Mideast is only slightly ahead of the Midwest. After Keystone's win, the Giants lost to Washington & Jefferson in the Saturday nightcap. DePauw rolled past conference rival Wooster to advance to play Cortland on Sunday morning ... and the winner faces Keystone ... and that winner faces W&J ... potentially on Monday.

Here's who entered Saturday undefeated: Mass-Boston and Suffolk in New England; Oswego State and Southern Maine in New York; Johns Hopkins and Wheaton (Mass.) in the Mid-Atlantic; Roanoke and LaGrange in the South; Washington & Jefferson and both DePauw and Keystone in the Mideast; Birmingham-Southern and North Central (Ill.) in the Central; UW-La Crosse and Concordia-Chicago in the Midwest and Cal Lutheran and Rhodes in the West.