Top seeds advance in New England tounaments

Sam Spencer picked up his seventh win for Castleton after tossing eight innings of three-run baseball with six hits allowed and seven strikeouts.
Castleton athletics photo

Castleton opened the North Atlantic Conference Tournament in winning fashion Friday morning with a 5-3 victory over the Thomas Terriers at Spartan Field. Castleton will be back in action Saturday against Husson, a 6-5 winner over Maine-Farmington. The Spartans outhit the opposition 9-8 in the game, led by Mitchell Caron and Dillon Benham, who recorded two hits apiece. In the final game of the day, Thomas bounced back to eliminate UMF, 8-4, from the NAC tournament.

Sean Buckland pitched eight innings, allowing just one earned run on six hits with five strikeouts and Richard Fecteau led the charge at the plate with a 3-for-3 day at the plate as Salem State opened the 2016 Massachusetts State Collegiate Athletic Conference Tournament with a 3-2 victory over the Westfield State Owls at the Central Campus Baseball Field. Mass Maritime's Everett Walsh scored on a throwing error in the bottom of the 10th inning to lift second-seeded Mass Maritime to a 3-2 victory over third-seeded Fitchburg State. The top seeded Vikings will play second seed Mass Maritime in the winner's bracket. The fourth seeded Owls will play in an elimination game against third seeded Fitchburg State.  with two runs scored while Alex Toomey knocked in the game-winning run with a clutch two-out single in the seventh.

Pitching to the No. 14 Concordia-Chicago hitters is not only a difficult task, but it can be downright scary sometimes. The latter was the case this afternoon in River Forest as the Cougars shelled the Lakeland pitching staff for 39 runs on 44 hits. The offensive barrage led CUC to a 28-5, 11-7 sweep of the Northern Athletics Collegiate Conference doubleheader.

The UMass Boston Beacons used timely pitching in game one and a dominant offensive performance in game two to secure a two-game sweep, 5-4, 8-1, over Rhode Island College in Little East Conference action. With the victory, the Beacons clinch the regular season LEC crown and will continue their season in the LEC playoffs, while the Anchormen see their season come to a close.

Cortland and Brockport moved on in the winners bracket of the State University of New York Athletic Conference tournament with wins. In the first game of the day #1 Cortland topped #4 Fredonia, 8-1. #3 Brockport defeated #2 Oswego, 10-8 in game 2. Fredonia and Oswego will play Saturday in a fight to move through the losers bracket. Cortland will play Brockport with the loser plating in an evening elimination game.

The Western New England Golden Bears will play Endicott in the winners bracket finale with the winner advancing to the CCC championship game.
Western New England athletics photo

Top-seeded Western New England ended Nichols' season, 7-4, in a Commonwealth Coast Conference Tournament game. The Golden Bears were led by Doug Milne who finished the game 4-for-5, including a double and a triple, on offense and CCC Rookie of the Year, Bob Hamel on the mound. The Bison finish their season with a program-record 24 games and advanced to the CCC Tournament for the first time since 2009.

Endicott edged Salve Regina, 6-5. Will Ferreira earned the win on six innings pitched, six hits, two runs, zero walks, and a game-high five strikeouts. Davarn Nova bridged the gap over the next 2.1 innings before Colby Morris held off a spirited rally from the Seahawks in the ninth yielding one hit prior to recording back-to-back outs to pick up his third save of the season.

Earlham set a program record for wins in a season as the Quakers defeated Hanover 6-4 and 3-0 in a doubleheader to sweep the season series. Earlham concludes its regular season with a program-record 27 wins and only 12 losses. The Quakers finish the HCAC at 16-10 in the conference and clinched a berth in the HCAC Tournament for the second consecutive season.

A pair of home runs by catcher Michael Reuter in the opener spearheaded the Central (Iowa) to an 8-7 victory, securing a split against Loras. Central fell in the nightcap 16-5 to the Duhawks.

In the first game of the 2016 Southern California Intercollegiate Athletic Conference Postseason Tournament, the No. 2 seeded Cal Lutheran defeated No. 3 seed Chapman in come from behind fashion in a back and forth battle at Ullman Stadium. Rain caused the suspension of the Occidental-Redlands contest with the Bulldogs up 1-0 in the top of the third inning.

The 11th-ranked UW-Whitewater opened a weekend series at James B. Miller Stadium in Whitewater by defeating UW-Stout 6-5 and 13-4. The teams will conclude the series, along with WIAC regular season play, in a doubleheader on Saturday beginning at noon.

No. 17 Frostburg State rolled to a big win over Penn State Altoona behind a season-high 25 runs.  Junior Devin Bell had six hits and drove in six runs, senior Jamaal Windom scored five runs and Frostburg routed the Lions, 25-6 in eight innings, for its fourth-straight win. The game was called in the eighth due to heavy rain.  The Bobcats also connected on a season-high 23 hits and stole seven bases.

Keene State closed out the season with a split of a Little East Conference doubleheader against UMass Dartmouth on Senior Day at Owl Athletic Complex. The Owls took the opener 2-1, before falling in the second game 7-5.  The Owls were eliminated from contention for an LEC tourney berth with the loss.  KSC had needed to sweep and get some help from around the league. The Corsairs will head to next week's LEC tournament at UMass Boston as the No. 3 seed.

No. 4 UW-La Crosse earned a doubleheader sweep at UW-Stevens Point at University Field.  The Eagles fourth on this week's Top-25 Poll, won the opener, 8-4, and the nightcap, 7-6 in 10 innings.  With the two wins, UWL records its third 30-win season in school history.

Junior right hander Lane Hobbs struck out nine in his complete-game, three-hit shutout to lead Concordia Texas to an ASC Blue Bracket win.
Hardin-Simmons athletics photo

Lane Hobbs struck out nine in his complete-game, three-hit shutout to lead Concordia Texas to a 2-0 victory over Texas-Dallas in the ASC Baseball Championship Blue Bracket. Hobbs also allowed one walk. He worked out of a couple of jams where the Comets had runners in scoring position. in the earlier game, Alex Bishop blasted a three-run home run in the seventh and added another RBI in the eighth to lead the Texas-Tyler to an 8-4 win over LeTourneau.

It took them a while to show up, but the top two offenses in the American Southwest Conference took center stage as Hardin-Simmons rallied for an 8-6 win over Sul Ross State in the first round of the ASC Championship Tournament Red Bracket at Woods Field in Marshall. Hardin-Simmons will play East Texas Baptist, a 8-6 winner over Howard Payne.

Carthage opened a three-game series with CCIW-opponent and No. 12 North Central with an 11-4 win over the Cardinals at Augie Schmidt Field in Kenosha, Wis. The two teams conclude the series, along with the regular-season conference schedule, on Saturday. With the win, combined with a 4-2 win by Wheaton (Ill.) over Illinois Wesleyan in the first game of a Friday doubleheader, the Red Men moved into a third-place tie with the Illinois Wesleyan Titans. Illinois Wesleyan won the back end of their doubleheader to gain a half game advantage over Carthagei in the CCIW race.

Baldwin Wallace swept an Ohio Athletic Conference doubleheader against Mount Union at Fisher Field. The Yellow Jackets won the first game, 8-0, and the captured the nightcap, 9-2. With its sweep, BW has won eight straight games, including three straight OAC twinbill sweeps, captured and 12 of its 14 contests. The first game shutout of the Purple Raiders guaranteed the Yellow Jackets a spot in this year's four-team OAC Tournament. Mt. Union has concluded its season and is eliminated from the OAC Tournament chase.

No. 19 Southern Maine pounded out 33 hits over two games to sweep visiting Eastern Connecticut State by scores of 14-7 and 11-4 in a Little East Conference doubleheader. The two wins extend the Huskies' winning streak to seven games. The Huskies finished the conference schedule 10-4 to tie UMass-Boston for the regular-season title.  However, by virtue of the tiebreaker, UMB will be the top seed and host the six-team, double-elimination Little East Conference Championship Tournament that begins next Wednesday.

Bluffton knotted the score at 4-4 with three runs in the top of the eighth, but Transylvania took the series opener with a walkoff sacrifice fly to center an inning later for a 5-4 victory.

Freshman Drew Naumovich tied a single-game school record with six hits as Franklin picked up an 18-8 series-opening win against Manchester in Heartland Collegiate Athletic Conference play. Naumovich went 6-for-6 with three RBI and two runs scored. The six hits tied Jesse Wilson’s school record set during the 2012 season. The 18 runs are the second most runs the Grizzlies have scored in a game this season.