Baruch defeated The College of Staten Island 5-3 today to win its first CUNYAC championship since 2012 and fourth overall in team history (2001, 2009. 2012)
The Bearcats swept the four-time defending champions in a best of three series, having won the first game of the series yesterday 4-2.
The Dolphins came out determined to tie the series, going ahead 3-0 after two innings. Then Matthew Lawlor was brought on in relief to quiet the Staten Island bats.
The sophomore allowed just one run in his 5.2 innings of work. Lawlor's most important out may have been his first. With the bases loaded in the first inning, and with two runs already in, the Dolphins were poised to take a commanding lead. But Lawlor got the first batter he faced to groundout and keep it a close game.
The Bearcats offense came alive in the third inning. After an Angelo Alessandro walk and a Davic Capellan single, tournament MVP Jorge Keith Mercado hit a single up the middle to bring home both runners and make the score 3-2.
Some sharp defense helped keep the Bearcats within a run. First baseman Conor McCabe pulled off the hidden ball trick on a Dolphin baserunner to get the Bearcats out of a jam in the second inning. McCabe also made a catch leaning over the railing of the Bearcat dugout to retire a batter in the sixth inning.
The Bearcats took their first lead in the bottom of the sixth. McCabe led the inning off with a bomb double to left field. Michael Michael McGroarty then drove him in with a single, tying the game at 3. Liam O'Gara then put the Bearcats ahead with an RBI groundout, driving in Kemal Deljanin. O'Gara scored himself on an RBI single by Alessandro, giving the Bearcats a 5-3 lead.
Nicholas D'Angelo earned the save after keeping the Dolphin scoreless over the final 2.2 innings. The sophomore was brought on in a tough spot in the seventh inning. With the bases loaded and just one out, D'Angelo got the first batter he faced to ground into a double play. D'Angelo then retired the next five batters he faced before the Dolphins tried to start a two-out rally in the bottom of the ninth.
The Dolphins loaded the bases and had the tying run on second base, but D'Angelo kept his composure got the batter to fly out to Deljanin in center field.
The Bearcats next weekend will travel up north to New England to play the winner of the North Atlantic Conference (NAC) in a best-of-three series for a berth to the NCAA. The exact details will be available on Monday and posted to BaruchAthletics.com.