Mansfield, CT --- St. Joseph's sophomore Lincoln Sanborn (Standish, ME) tossed a seven-hitter with ten strikeouts to help lift the second-seeded Monks to a 6-1 victory over #4 Keene State in an elimination game of the Division III Baseball Tournament hosted by Eastern Connecticut.
St. Joseph's improved to 39-6 overall as they advance to play in the final contest of the day against #5 Western New England at 7:45. The victor of that game will play the loser of today's 5 PM game versus top-seed Wheaton and #3 Trinity in a battle of unbeaten teams tomorrow at high noon.
Keene State finishes their fine season with an overall record of 32-15 for their seventh-straight 25-plus win campaign.
The Monks started off the contest with the early 6-0 lead over the first two innings of play.
Freshman Joe Coyne (Duxbury, MA) highlighted the first inning with a two-run double to left center and the Monks took advantage of three infield miscues with RBIs by junior Nate Martin (Chebeague Island, ME) and classmate Mike Pratt (Dartmouth, MA).
Keene State was held scoreless until the bottom of the fifth when they touched up Sanborn with an unearned run. Prior to that, Sanborn mowed down 12 of his first 15 batters – including runners on the corners in the opening frame.
With two outs, Owls freshman Chuck Vogt (Windsor Locks, CT) reached on a double. He then moved to third on an infield single before coming around to score on a ball that was misplayed by the shortstop to help his squad trail 6-1 after five full innings.
After KSC junior starter Chris Crutcher (Londonderry, NH) was lifted in the second inning, sophomore Shawn Egan (E. Hartford, CT) took over to get the final out in the second inning.
Behind a solid defensive effort, Egan would shut down the Monks and help keep the game right where it was by setting down 15 of 19 with a trio of double plays over his next six frames of work. After departing in the eighth, Egan fanned four, scattered a trio of hits and issued just one free pass.
But Sanborn (7-0) was terrific in his final four innings as he permitted only three more base runners for the remainder of the game to spin his third complete contest of the campaign.
Sanborn's ten punch outs to tie a campaign high in a regular season match-up against Emerson on April 7. He did not walk one batter in his nine full innings of work.
Crutcher (6-3) shouldered the setback for the Owls as he allowed six runs (three earned) off three hits in two 2/3 innings of work as he surrendered a trio of walks.
St. Joesph's had two multi-hitters with senior Dan Achorn (Bow, NH) and third-year Brandon Chase (Naples, ME) who both finished with two hits apiece. Martin also crossed home plate twice and Coyne had a pair of runs driven in.
Senior Peter Burgio (Bolton, CT) was 2-for-4 for Keene State while Vogt and senior Erik Bergstrom (Enfield, CT) did finish with one double each.
Both squads finished even in hitting department with an equal number of seven base-knocks.
Story by Steven M. Miller, Jr.