WESTFIELD, Mass. -- Tournament MVP John Gegetskas slammed the door for Westfield State University on a 7-5 win over Framingham State University in the Massachusetts State Collegiate Athletic Conference baseball championship game at Hagan Field on Monday afternoon.
Westfield, 24-16-1, is crowned the conference champion and earns the league's automatic bid to the NCAA Tournament.
The Owls battled back throughout the game, getting the game winning run in the top of the eighth inning as All-New England outfielder Anthony Crowley tripled with two outs to the deepest part of the park in center field, and sophomore designated hitter Jake Gibb followed with a solid single through the left side to give the Owls a 6-5 lead.
Gegetskas, the Owls #1 starter throughout the season, came out of the pen in the bottom of the eighth and retired the final six batters, three by strikeout, and induced a groundout from Rams' designated hitter Cameron Borrelli, and the Owls celebration was on.
Junior lefthander Scott Strachan (5-3) earned the win out of the bullpen, working just 2/3 of an inning and getting a 6-4-3 double play ground ball from the Rams slugging catcher, Jordan Pallazola.
Westfield State head coach Nathan Bashaw successfully wove together nine innings on the mound with five pitchers, with innings in great demand on the fifth day of the tournament. Freshman Vincenzo Camera started, giving way to seniors Nate Barnes and Nate Marshall, before Strachan and Gegetskas won the day.
Westfield took a 1-0 lead in the top of the first, as senior left fielder John Lippincott led off the game with a walk, and worked his way around to score on Gibb's first hit of the day.
Framingham took the lead with two runs off Camera in the second, with Matthew Brockett driving in one with a fielder's choice and Aaron Williams plating another with a solid single.
Westfield tied the game at two as Lippincott led off the top of the third inning with a base hit, stole second and scored on another Gibb single.
The Owls added two runs in the fourth, as Kyle Murphy (Westfield, Mass.) reached on a hit by pitch. Tyler Beach singled and Lippincott pulled a double down the right field line to score Murphy, and Brett Dooley's (Cohasset, Mass.) sac fly scored Beach.
Framingham grabbed a 5-4 lead in the fourth, as Borrelli laced a bases-loaded single through the right side that scored Joe Ambrosino and Anthony Venuti. Kyle Pileski followed with a deep sacrifice fly to center field to score Williams.
The determined Owls tied the game at 5-5 in the fifth as Beach's sac fly scored Colin Dunn to tie the game.
Westfield got an insurance run in the ninth as Lippincott reached on an error and scored on Alex Lafayette's base hit.
Framingham senior right hander Kevin Connelly, the 2017 MASCAC pitcher of the year, took the loss for the Rams in relief. Chris Riga, a Westfield native started and worked the first five innings, allowing five runs. Williams was the only repeat hitter for the Rams with a pair of hits. Joe Ambrosino scored two runs for the Rams. Framingham ends its season at 21-19.
Gibb finished 3-5 with three RBI. Lippincott finished with three runs and two hits, and Crowley and Alex Lafayette each added two hits for the Owls.
Westfield wins its first MASCAC tournament title since 2009, and will make the 10th NCAA tournament appearance in school history and the first since 2010.
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