Harwich, MA --- Southern Maine junior Logan Carman (Newfields, NH) hurled a seven-hit shutout with four strikeouts to help lead the top-seeded Huskies to a 9-0 victory over #3 Endicott in the NCAA Division III New England Regional Championship game at Whitehouse Field.
The Huskies (42-8), who continue to build on their school-record for wins in a campaign, advance to their seventh Division III College World Series which will start on Friday in Appleton, Wisconsin.
Southern Maine matched the efforts of the 2001 squad, who ran the table with three consecutive wins after a loss in the Harwich regional to earn a trip to the College World Series. Ironically 2001 was also the last time that the Huskies made the trip to Wisconsin.
The Gulls end their fine season at 35-14 in their first-ever regional final appearance.
Southern Maine staked the 1-0 advantage in the top of the second when senior Nick Grady (Whitefield, ME) came home on a wild pitch. Grady led off the inning with a single through the right side, got to second on another errant throw from the mound by the pitcher and third on a ground-out.
The Huskies extended their lead with a pair of scores in the top of the fourth for the 3-0 lead on RBI bloop singles by senior Anthony Pisani (Cheshire, CT) and sophomore Jake Glauser (Goffstown, MA).
After adding one more run in the eighth, USM broke the game open in the top of the ninth for the 9-0 contest. Junior Matt Verrier (Norway, ME) rapped out a two-run single and junior Troy Thibodeau (Danvers, MA) stroked a two-run homer to highlight the scoring in the final frame.
Endicott had a hard time solving Carman, who improved his record to 12-0 for a new school record for wins in a single campaign to break Robert Aceto's mark (11) that was established in 1991. Carman scattered seven singles and issued one free pass.
The Gulls best chance to get to Carman early was in the bottom of the second in a scoreless contest.
Freshman Matthew Paola (Middlebury, CT) and junior Tad Gold (Martha's Vineyard, MA) registered back-to-back infield singles with no one out, but Carman fanned his next batter and induced a pair of ground-outs to end the threat.
After that Carman set down 20 of his last 24 batters – including men on second in the fourth, eighth and ninth frames with one out or less.
Senior Brendan Pittsley (Plympton, MA) was dealt the setback for the Gulls. Pittsley (7-1) went the first six 1/3 innings allowing three earned runs to go with 10 hits, two punch outs and one walk.
For the Huskies, Grady went 3-for-5 with a trio of trips to the plate as Verrier chipped in with three hits, two runs and a pair of RBIs. Senior John Carey (S. Portland, ME), Thibodeau, Pisani and Glauser all added a duo of base-knocks each.
With his solid effort at the plate Grady also set a new Southern Maine school record with his 90th base-knock to reset the previous standard established by Bob Prince, who ended the 1991 season with 88.
Paola was the standout for the Gulls as he was 4-for-4 in the losing effort. USM doubled up their opponents in the hitting department, 15-7.
Sophomore Andrew Richards (S. Portland, ME) was named the New England Regional's Most Outstanding Player following the contest. Richards went 3-1 with a 1.35 earned run average in 20 innings.
Richards most heroic performance came yesterday when he tossed 14 2/3 frames out of a possible 18 on 157 pitches in a pair of Southern Maine triumphs to help force the if-necessary game this afternoon.
Carman, who went 2-0 on the weekend with a pair of shutouts – including a first-round three-hit gem against Daniel Webster – and freshman Sam Dexter (Oakland, ME) (.391 – 9-for-23, 4 R, 2 HR, 4 RBI) both received nods to the All-Tournament Team.
Endicott's representatives were graduate student Colin Sitarz (W. Hartford, CT) (.391, 7-for-29, 3 R, 1 HR, 3 RBI) and senior Tyler Hitchcock (Abington, MA).
Sitarz had a pair of game-winning hits and Hitchcock pitched four frames of scoreless relief in a 5-2 win over the Huskies on Friday to help the Gulls reach the New England Regional championship round.
Most Outstanding Player – Andrew Richards – Southern Maine – RHP
Logan Carman – Southern Maine – LHP
Sam Dexter – Southern Maine – SS
Tyler Hitchcock – Endicott – RHP
Colin Sitarz – Endicott – OF
Mike Lospinuso – Western New England – RHP
Mike Rubino – Western New England – 3B
Eric Jensen – Wheaton – SS
Mike Pratt – St. Joseph's (Maine) – 1B
Rich Lizotte – Daniel Webster – SS
Parker Tew – MIT – SS
Tournament Notes: There were 12 homers hit in 15 games as teams in the tournament hit a collective .283 for the regional...Senior Mike Rubino (Northford, CT) of Western New England led all batters with 11 hits - all singles...Freshman Sam Dexter (Oakland, ME) of Southern Maine had 16 total bases in five starts, yet he did not play in one of his teams six games due to an injury and he was 2-for-10 in two of his final three contests...There were 10 games that were decided by thee runs or less - five of which were saved and the other five which were decided by relief pitchers...Teams put up a collective 3.88 ERA for the tournament, but Daniel Webster was the only team to score 10 or more runs in their 10-4 win over MIT for their first-ever NCAA Division III Tournament win in any sport....Squads hit .237 with runners in scoring position for the duration, .137 with the bases loaded (5-for-32) and stranded 261 on base (8.7 per game)...Every single digit was used up as a score in the tournament with five being the most common number as eight teams notched the sum, six of which were scored in wins