Mansfield, CT --- Western New England senior Mark DiTommaso (Hebron, CT) hurled seven strong innings and junior Matt Anthonis (Guilford, CT) was 4-for-5 with two runs scored and a pair of RBIs as they both helped lead the fifth-seeded Golden Bears to a 7-1 triumph over #7 Bowdoin in the NCAA Division III Baseball Tournament hosted by Eastern Connecticut.
Western New England (35-12) will advance to play the victor of today's second game which pits second-seed St. Joseph's (Maine) against #4 Keene State at 7:45 later this evening.
In their second NCAA Tournament appearance, Bowdoin bows out of the regional with a record of 26-20.
After being held to seven base-knocks in a setback against Wheaton yesterday, nearly every member of the Golde Bears lineup had at least one base knock including junior Taylor Perun (Plainville, CT) who was 3-for-4 and sophomore Jeff Schult (Wappingers Falls, NY) chipped in with a pair of singles.
The Golden Bears struck first in the top of the second with the early 2-0 advantage on a sacrifice fly by freshman Stephen Buckley (Monroe, CT) and a RBI safety by Schult.
Bowdoin cut into the lead in the bottom of the third to make the score 2-1 on plated run with two outs by Tim McGarry (Kennett Square, PA), but DiTommasso would not allow another run to cross the plate as he retired 12 of his next 16 batters into the eighth inning.
Western New England would score single runs in the fourth, fifth and sixth to slowly built up a 5-1 advantage as they were highlighted by runs that were driven in by junior Tom Booth (Milford, CT), Anthonis and sophomore Steve Ambrosino (Laurel Hollow, NY), respectively.
In the bottom of the eighth, DiTommasso ran out of gas when he yielded three consecutive singles to the Polar Bears lineup to load the bases with one out. Senior Mike Lawlor (Windsor, CT) was called into the game from the bullpen and he promptly ended the threat with a pop-up and a strikeout.
The Golden Bears put the game out of reach with two runs in the top of the ninth on a wild pitch that brought Perun in and another RBI single by Anthonis.
Bowdoin attempted one final uprising as they put two runners on base, but Lawlor slammed the door for his fifth save of the season and the school-record 22nd of his outstanding career.
DiTommaso (6-0) allowed an unearned run in 7 1/3 innings of work as he scattered nine hits to go with two punch outs and one free pass.
Senior Tim Welch (Portsmouth, NH) was dealt the setback for Bowdoin. Welch (3-4) surrendered four runs (three earned) on eight hits and he would finish with one walk and one strikeout.
Freshman Henry Van Zant (Westport, CT) came back to pitch for a second-straight day to fan four over his three innings of work for the Polar Bears.
Multi-hitters for Bowdoin included junior Oliver Van Zant (Westport, CT) and sophomore John Lefeber (Branford, CT) who both tallied two base-knocks apiece.
Both teams combined for 24 hits – none of which were for extra bases.
Story by Steven M. Miller, Jr.