Harwich, Mass. --- Endicott College freshman Luke Morse (Westford, Mass.) scattered six hits over eight-plus innings to propel the fourth-seeded Gulls to a 7-3 victory over fifth-seeded Massachusetts Institute of Technology in the 2014 NCAA Division III New England Baseball Regional semifinals on Saturday afternoon at Whitehouse Field.
Endicott (34-15) advances to their second-consecutive regional championship to face off against second-seeded Southern Maine at 5:30 p.m. The contest features a rematch of the exact same teams from last season batting for all the marbles.
The Engineers end their fine NCAA playoff run with an overall record of 27-15. MIT, who earned its programs fourth national tournament berth and captured three victories in the New England regional.
Morse, who improved his record to 6-5, rung up two on strikes and he allowed three earned runs while he walked three and hit two batters. After hurling a trio of perfect frames to start off the contest, he stranded five MIT runners on base over his next four stanzas of work.
Sophomore Alan Wang (Paoli, Pa.) was tagged with the loss for the Scarlet and Gray. Wang (5-2) permitted three earned runs and eight hits in six-plus innings before turning it over to the bullpen in the seventh. He did not walk or fan anyone.
The Gulls offense was paced by junior second basemen Harry Oringer (Dartmouth, Mass.) who drove in a pair of runs on two-out singles in the third and fifth innings for the early margin.
Down 2-0 in the bottom of the sixth, MIT threatened. After Creed Mangrum (Sandy, Utah) was hit by a pitch to lead off the inning, Hayden Cornwell (Newport Beach, Calif.) notched a base hit to put two on with nobody out. Nate Rodman (Corvallis, Ore.) then singled in Mangrum to trim the Engineers' deficit to a single run.
But Oringer again rose to the occasion, this time on defense to preserve Endicott's 2-1 edge. With men on the corners, Rodman took off for second on a passed ball. When the throw from the catcher was destined for centerfield, the runner on third bolted home. Oringer stopped the ball from skipping into center field and threw back to the dish, which cut down the lead runner for a key out at the plate to help preserve the margin for the Gulls.
After scratching across a run in the seventh on a run producing single by Oringer, Endicott added four runs in the top of the ninth inning on six hits to take over the 7-1 advantage.
A double by senior E.J. Martinez (Brooklyn, N.Y.) knocked in sophomore Matthew Paola (Middlebury, Conn.), who led off the frame with a single. Sophomore Cody Hall (Rutland, Mass.) then drove in Martinez and classmate Steve Morganelli (Milford, Mass.) with a two-run single to right before freshman Cam Farnham (Andover, Mass.) brought in senior pinch-hitter Taylor English (Barre, Vt.) with an RBI single.
The Engineers battled back in the home half of the ninth, as Rodman led off with a walk and junior Parker Tew (Chapel Hill, N.C.) followed with a double to left field to plate Rodman. After Morse was replaced by sophomore Gull closer Davarn Nova (Wareham, Mass.) came on and induced a double play and struck out the final batter of the game to end the game.
Along with Oringer's two hits, Martinez, Farnham, Hall and freshman Mike Kochiss (Fairfield, Conn.) all recorded multi-hit performances for Endicott. Hall had a productive day from the nine spot in the lineup with two hits, three RBIs and one run.
MIT was led by junior K.J. Parent's (Knoxville, Tenn.) two hits and RBI with Cornwell driving in another. Rodman had a hit, walk and run while Tew doubled and scored to improve his average to .316 (6-19) with two doubles, a pair of homers and 14 total bases.