#3 Endicott Earns 4-3 Victory Over #6 St. Joeseph's of Maine In NCAA Opener

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Harwich, MA --- Third-seeded Endicott College overcame a two-out ninth-inning comeback by #6 St. Joseph's of Maine and walked off with a 4-3 victory over the Monks in the opening round of the NCAA Division III Baseball Regional this afternoon.

Endicott (33-12) got an RBI sacrifice fly from sophomore Harry Oringer (Dartmouth, MA), who drove in two runs in the game, with the bases loaded and nobody out in the ninth to undo a two-run rally in the top of the inning by St. Joseph's (30-13) which had tied the game at 3-3 the previous inning.

The Gulls will move on to the winners bracket of the regional and will play at 8:00 PM on Thursday night against the winner of the second-seeded Wheaton and #7 Salem State match-up, while the loser of that game will meet St. Joseph's at 1:00 PM.

Junior EJ Martinez (Brooklyn, NY) had two hits and scored twice for the Gulls, including crossing the plate with the winning run after leading off the top of the ninth with a double to right center.

Endicott scored single runs in the first, fourth and seventh innings while the Monks, who were led by a 3-for-4 day by senior Sam Butts (Saco, ME) managed just one run through the first eight innings, despite outhitting the Gulls 12-8.

Senior Kevin Dupras (Belchertown, MA) earned the win despite blowing a save opportunity, and improved to 3-1 on the season. Dupras pitched three innings and struck out six batters, including fanning the side in the eighth to keep the game a 3-1 affair at the time.

The Monks finally put Dupras on the ropes in the ninth, as he issued two walks with one out to start the frame. Senior Mike Pratt (Dartmouth, MA) delivered a single to left field to load the bases and with two outs and two strikes, sophomore Joe Coyne (Duxbury, MA) tied the game with a two-run hit to left center which scored Butts and freshman Zack Graham (Marlboro, MA).

Junior Conor Ressel (Rockport, MA) set the tempo for Endicott early, leading off the game with an infield single and stealing second before coming around to score on a single by Oringer, coupled with an error by the centerfielder.

Endicott doubled their advantage in the bottom of the fourth on an RBI single down the left field line by senior Eric Lemke (Southington, CT), who had two hits in the game.

The Monks, who had a frustrating day at the plate stranding nine at the plate – including five in scoring position - were able to drive a run in the top of the sixth with two runners on and nobody out.

A bunt by senior Brandon Chase (Naples, ME) rolled down the first base line and stayed fair and this time St. Joeseph's cashed in to cut the deficit in half when freshman Taylor Reuillard (Biddeford, ME) delivered a single to right field to score Coyne, who had two hits and two RBIs in the game as well.

Endicott tacked on a third run in the seventh with singles by Lemke and Martinez to open the frame.

After a fielder's choice and a hit by pitch, Oringer beat out the back end of a potential double-play to reach on a fielder's choice and allow Martinez to score in the back door.

Junior Joe Gruntkosky (Peabody, MA) was tagged with the loss for St. Joseph's, allowing the one earned run on two walks and a hit, falling to 5-4 on the year.

Senior Tyler Hitchcock (Abington, MA) tossed five and a third innings for Endicott while he gave up just one run, despite allowing eight hits in the no-decision. Hitchcock walked one batter and also fanned one.

St. Joseph senior Tyler Laverriere (Biddeford, ME) worked the first six and a third innings and was charged with three runs (two earned). Laverriere scattered six hits and issued three walks while collecting five strikeouts.