Harwich, Mass. – Endicott College junior Zac Poland (Essex Junction, Vt.) spun his seventh victory of the season and sophomore Davarn Nova (Wareham, Mass.) nailed down a four-inning save as the fourth-seeded Gulls defeated eight-seeded Mitchell College, 4-2, on the second day of the 2014 NCAA Division III New England Baseball Regional this afternoon at Whitehouse Field.
Endicott (32-14) advances to the 8 p.m. contest tomorrow, where they will take on the victor of tonight's Tufts University/University Southern Maine matchup. Mitchell (24-13-1) will try to bounce St. Joseph's College (Maine) out of the tournament in a 9 a.m. elimination game to start off Friday's third day of the Harwich Regional.
Poland (7-0) scattered six hits over five frames to with two strikeouts while Nova tossed the final four stanzas yielding three base-knocks, a trio of walks and he rung up a trifecta of punch outs. Both permitted one earned run apiece.
Mitchell sophomore Al Jordan Johnson (Lancaster, Calif.) logged his third complete game of the season on 142 pitches (93 strikes) by shouldering the setback. Johnson (2-3) gave up four runs (three earned) on six hits while he walked and fanned three.
The Gulls staked the early 1-0 edge in the top of the second when sophomore Steve Morganelli (Milford, Mass.) lined a single up the middle with two men down. Morganelli plated senior Tad Gold (Martha's Vineyard, Mass.), who started off inning with a single and he moved up to second on a stolen base.
Senior Brett Holmgren (Middleboro, Mass.) helped Endicott increase its margin to two scores in the very next stanza by helping the Gulls take advantage of an infield miscue.
After freshman Cam Farnham (Andover, Mass.) reached on a throw in the dirt by the shortstop, he advanced one bag on a ground out and touched home on a single to the gap in left center by Holmgren.
The Mariners cut the lead in half in the bottom of the third following an RBI single up the middle by senior Marc Dorsi (West Haven, Conn.), which plated junior Gavin LaLima (Waterford, Conn.). LaLima was plunked to start off the inning and then he was placed on second on a balk.
Endicott, however, pushed across two more runs in the top of the seventh to open up a 4-1 advantage on run producing at bats from junior Harry Oringer (Dartmouth, Mass.) and the school-record setting 72nd base-knock of the campaign by Gold.
Mitchell though came back in the bottom of the same stanza and attempted to chip away at the deficit with the bases loaded.
Despite a wild pitch that brought in senior Will Charkowski (Cold Spring, N.Y.), Nova got out of the jam with the tying run on second by striking out the next batter and inducing an out on the ground to end the threat.
Nova hurled perfect eighth and ninth frames to shut down the Mariners and register his fourth save of the season.
In the sixth, Nova also got out of another sticky situation with senior Kenneth Olszewski (Canterbury, Conn.) on third and junior Rafael Garcia (New Britain, Conn.) on second. Nova though bore down on the line-up, fanned his next man on strikes and set down the final man on a ground ball.
Mitchell actually outhit its opponents 9-6 as 14 base-knocks overall came on singles. Dorsi, Olszewski and sophomore Neftali Arroyo (New Haven, Conn.) all finished with two solo safeties each.
Gold led the effort for the Gulls with a pair while he extended his hitting streak to 17 games. Farnham also now has had at least one hit in 18 consecutive contests.