NCAA Division III Baseball Mansfield Regional: No. 24 Trinity (Conn.) Outlasts Southern Maine, 13-8

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MANSFIELD, Conn. – Trinity junior Joe Papa (Stoneham, N.H.) batted 2-for-4 while driving in four runs and scoring three times to help lead the third-seeded Bantams past sixth-seeded Southern Maine, 13-8, at the 2012 NCAA Division-III Baseball Mansfield Regional on Wednesday afternoon.

Trinity (33-9) and Southern Maine (27-18) await the result of the nightcap between second-seeded Saint Joseph's (Maine) and seventh-seeded Bowdoin. The Bantams will take on the winner of that contest at 7:45 p.m. tomorrow night while the Huskies have an appointment at 1:15 p.m. tomorrow afternoon with the loser.

Both teams came out swinging. Southern Maine kicked things off as junior Tucker White (Deerfield, N.H.) launched a two-run shot to left field. In the bottom of the frame, junior Joe Papa (Stoneham, Mass.) returned the favor with a three-run blast to left center for a 3-2 Trinity advantage.

Following the Papa round-tripper, 11 of the next 12 batters in the contest went down in order.

Trinity tacked on a pair of runs in the home half of the third. Junior Stephen Rogers (Watertown, Mass.) doubled to left and freshman Adam Moossmann (East Northport, N.Y.) singled to right center as both Bantams were credited with an RBI.

Southern Maine inched closer in the fourth on a run-producing single to the shortstop by junior John Carey (South Portland, Maine) and a bases loaded walk issued to sophomore Troy Thibodeau (Danvers, Mass.). Two batters later, senior David Ricker (Winthrop, Maine) was hit by a pitch to even the game at 5-5.

The Huskies grabbed the lead in the fifth as White launched a stand-up triple to deep center field followed by an RBI single up the middle by junior Nick Grady (Whitefield, Maine).

Before the first out was recorded in the bottom of the frame, senior Kevin Mortimer (Spencer, Mass.) was hit by a pitch setting the stage for a game-tying tally as Papa doubled in a run on a knock to right center. Rogers then sent a 3-2 offering to center field to deliver the go-ahead tally. A one-out three-run blast by junior Bryan Ginsberg (Westwood, Mass.) gave the Bantams a 10-6 through five.

Thibodeau used a two-RBI double in the seventh to get the Huskies within a pair of runs.

A passed ball enabled Moossmann to scamper home to increase the Trinity lead in the bottom of the seventh. Trinity tacked on two more runs in the eighth as Mortimer cleared the right field fence with one out.

Junior Ben Goldberg (Plainview, N.Y.) picked up the win for Trinity as he improves to 6-0 on the season while freshman Sean Meekins (Rockville Centre, N.Y.) earned his first save. Southern Maine senior Greg Holmes (West Newbury, Mass.) shouldered the loss and was one of six pitchers to see action for the Huskies.

Rogers collected three hits for the Bantams as junior Michael Rueger (Teaneck, N.J.), and Moossmann each hit safely twice. Papa and Rogers also crossed home plate three times each while Ginsberg drove in three runs. to go along iwth a pair of RBI each from Rogers and Mortimer.

Southern Maine's White and junior Nick Grady (Whitefield, Maine) had a two hits apiece as White also drove in two runs and scored three times. Thibodeau led the Huskies with three RBI as sophomore Forrest Chadwick (Gardiner, Maine) reached home twice.