RADNOR, PA. -- The Gwynedd Mercy University Baseball Team defeated Cabrini, 10-9, on Saturday afternoon to capture the 2019 Atlantic East Conference Championship.
The Griffins, who had won game one on Friday, 20-5, needed one win on Saturday to lock up the best-of-three championship series, but it did not come without a fight.
Gwynedd rallied from an early 8-3 deficit to get back to even and used key spots to score a run in the sixth and the seventh to go ahead for good.
Dave Tatoian helped ignite the comeback as his grand slam in the fourth was a part of a five-run inning and in the process, he became the program's all-time RBI leader with 160. For the day, he was officially 3-for-5 with two runs an a season-high five RBIs. Ryan Keen homered for the second-straight game, this time a two-run blast in the third. He later doubled in Tatoian with two outs in the sixth to break the 8-8 tie.
Rookie T.J. Brasier added to the lead with his first longball, solo shot in the seventh to make it a two-run game. Cabrini answered with a two-out RBI single in the bottom half to cut the lead back down to one.
The Cavaliers scored first, plating four runs on five hits and an error in the second. After Keen's three-run shot to put GMercyU on the board, Cabrini put another four-spot in the third to go up 8-3.
Brian Wildrick entered the fourth for starter R.J. Boyle and worked out of some potential spots. With runners on second and third in the fifth, Wildrick induced a popup to end the frame. Later in the seventh after he gave up his lone run on the day, a grounder to third with a runner on second put a stop to Cabrini's chance in the inning.
After a leadoff single in the eighth, Liam Sullivan was called on where he got a groundout, popup and a big strikeout to move things to the ninth. Gwynedd looked add an insurance run in the ninth when Brandon Gray singled and later moved to third on a throwing error, but a grounder to first set the stage for the bottom of the ninth.
Sullivan worked a groundout for the first out, then a swinging strikeout for the second. The third out came as a roller to first was picked up by Keen giving the Griffins in inaugural conference championship and a raucous celebration.
Nick Mulvey who was 1-for-4 on the day with an RBI and scored twice, was named the Championship MVP. The previous day, the senior drove in a career-high seven runs as part of their win in game one.
For Cabrini, Brandon Loner was 2-for-3 with a run scored and a team-high three RBI's. Steven Priest collected a team best three hits, while coming around to score twice.
Gwynedd Mercy will now await the NCAA Selection Show on Monday to see if they will receive an at-large berth to the NCAA Division III Tournament. The show will be broadcast at noon on NCAA.com.
After the game, the team's graduating seniors , in lieu of missing Gwynedd Mercy's Commencement earlier in the day, had their own ceremony where they received their diplomas from head coach Paul Murphy.