BABSON PARK, MASS. – Babson scored single runs in the fourth and fifth innings to erase an early deficit and Michael Genaro allowed one unearned run on four hits over seven innings as the host and nationally seventh-ranked Beavers (38-8) defeated Cortland, 2-1, to win the best-of-three NCAA super regional between the teams, two games to none, and earn a trip to the NCAA Division III World Series. Babson won the opening game of the series, 7-6, on Friday.
Cortland, ranked 19th nationally, finishes the season with a 34-13-1 record and tied for ninth in the national tournament. The Red Dragons were making their NCAA Division III record-tying 27th straight NCAA tournament appearance, and Cortland has finished in the top 10 nationally in 21 of those showings.
Zack Durant (Verona/V-V-S) started for Cortland and allowed two runs on seven hits in six and a third innings. He struck out three and walked one and finished the season with a 7-4 record. Isiah Hudson (Hyde Park/FDR) kept Cortland close by tossing two and two thirds scoreless innings of relief. He gave up four hits and two walks and struck out three batters.
Genaro recorded two strikeouts and did not walk anyone as he upped his record to 8-3. William Gallagher relieved Genaro after he allowed a Joe Tardif (Cutchogue/Mattituck) leadoff single in the eighth. Andrew Michalski's (Buffalo/St. Francis) bunt resulted in a force of Tardif at second, but Michalski moved to second on a wild pitch and to third on a flyout to deep center before a groundout ended the inning.
Max Tannenbaum took the mound for the Beavers to start the ninth and hit Dan Schweitzer (Poughquag/Arlington) to start the inning. Wyatt Myers (Chittenango) bunted Schweitzer to second, and a Varian groundout moved the runner to third, but Tannenbaum struck out the next hitter to earn his seventh save of the season and send Babson to its first-ever World Series.
The designated "home" team in the contest, Cortland took a 1-0 lead in the bottom of the second. James Varian (Hopewell Junction/Trinity-Pawling) led off with a single and Mat Bruno (Rye) hit into a fielder's choice that forced out Varian at second. A dropped fly ball allowed Marcos Perivolaris (Mattituck) to reach and move Bruno to second. Perivolaris was caught off first after a pitch but was able to steal second, with Bruno moving to third on the play. Tardif then hit a grounder to third to drive home the run, although Babson ended up turning a double play when Perivolaris was thrown out at third trying to take an extra base.
Babson tied the game in the fourth on a Connor Gill leadoff single, a wild pitch, and – following two strikeouts – an Eric Jaun RBI single to short right. The Beavers took the lead in the top of the fifth. They loaded the bases with no outs on singles from Matthew Valente and Aidan Scott and a Thomas Lapham walk, and Brian McHale hit a sac fly to center to drive in Valente. Durant escaped further damage with a flyout and groundout.
In addition to the eighth and ninth innings, Cortland also stranded a runner on third in the bottom of the seventh. Myers reached on a dropped fly ball, advanced to second on a Varian sac bunt and went to third on a groundout. A foul pop-up ended the threat when third baseman Lapham raced in just to the right of home plate to make a diving catch.
Hudson pitched in and out of jams in each of the last three innings. He struck out a batter to end the seventh with runners on first and second, left a runner on third after a strikeout in the eighth, and saw Babson load the bases in the ninth before a foul flyout to right.
Babson out-hit Cortland, 11-4, with Valente going 3-for-4 and Jaun, Gill and Nicholas Browne each registering two hits. Tardif, Myers and Varian each finished 1-for-3 for the Red Dragons.