SPRINGFIELD, Mass. (May 6, 2019) -- Salve Regina University baseball (25-15) welcomed May back by welcoming Patrick Maybach (Saunderstown, R.I.) to its starting rotation, just in time to pitch 6.1 innings and lead the Seahawks into their fourth-straight Commonwealth Coast Conference (CCC) championship series with a 5-3 victory over top-seeded Western New England University (23-14) at Trelease Memorial Baseball Park on Monday afternoon.
The junior left-hander, missing in action since late March, allowed two earned runs on eight hits while striking out five Golden Bears.
Western New England took a 1-0 lead after Joe Cascella's two-out single to center scored Alex Loparco from second base in the bottom of the first.
The Seahawks plated five runs in the top of the third. Senior All-CCC OF and Player of the Year Zack Smith (New Canaan, Conn.) knocked in the first run with All-CCC SS Madden Ward (Clinton, Conn.) scoring from third. All-CCC OF Michael DeFusco (East Greenwich, R.I.) followed with a single to center to bring home All-CCC C Dylan Ketch (Clinton, Conn.) and the Seahawks took the lead. Colton Eremian (Boca Raton, Fla.) walked with two outs to load the bases. All-CCC 2B Anthony Cieszko (Woodcliff Lake, N.J.) drilled a 3-2 pitch into center for a bases-clearing double and a 5-1 lead.
In the bottom of the sixth, Zac Nussbaum singled down the right field line to score Ben LaCroix with the Golden Bears' second run. Western New England added another unearned run in the seventh that knocked Maybach out of the game after throwing 118 pitches.
Enter Saturday's hero, Will Ginsberg (Sharon, Mass.). Facing elimination two days ago, the senior lefty had thrown 88 pitches in a 3-2 victory for the Seahawks, allowing just four hits to the Golden Bears, to force Monday's showdown. He worked the final 2.2 frames to record his second save of the season (first since opening day on February 22) and retired seven of 10 Golden Bears he faced including three strikeouts. Similar to Saturday, Monday's savior got the final two outs on a double-play grounder with the bases loaded, this time on his 39th pitch.
No. 4 seed Salve Regina advances to play No. 2 seed Roger Williams University in Bristol, R.I., in a best-of-three series for the Commonwealth Coast Conference (CCC) baseball championship starting on Friday. It's the fourth-straight season the Seahawks have reached the series, winning titles in 2016 and 2017. Last year, the Golden Bears took the crown at Reynolds Field in Newport. Salve Regina seeks its third title and third trip to the NCAA Division III Championship in four years.