Farmingdale, NY| Gehrig Montoro's RBI single in the top of the eleventh lifted the No. 2 seeded St. Joseph's College baseball team to a 6-5 win over the fourth-seeded US Merchant Marines in game two of the 2018 Skyline Conference Championship final series. The Golden Eagles bounced back to capture the tournament title after dropping game one 5-4.
The Golden Eagles, now with a 25-15 record, are crowned conference champions for the second time in three seasons and the fourth time in program history.
SJCLI 4, USMMA 5
The Mariners were first on the board with a run in the top of the second. Bryson Campbell was hit by a pitch to start the inning and then came into score on an RBI double down the leftfield line from Kyle Cunningham. An infield single put runners on the corners with one out, but SJC's Nick Clemente got Reily Cherry swinging before a groundout to short ended the inning.
USMMA added to their lead in the fourth when a sacrifice fly sent in Alex Mesaros who was hit by a pitch earlier in the inning. The third Mariner run came in the top of the sixth courtesy of another sacrifice fly this time off the bat of Vincenzo Alteri.
The visitors added some insurance with a run in the seventh and the eighth for a 5-0 lead.
The Golden Eagles got on the board in the bottom of the eighth when an RBI double to the left-center gap from Paul Britt scored Tyler Costa who walked to start the inning.
Down to their final three outs in the bottom of ninth, the SJC's Tyler Sanderson was hit by a pitch to open the frame and moved to second when Anthony Raucci worked a walk. Matthew Burnett laid down a bunt that was thrown away allowing Sanderson to score. USMMA's Andrew Spinnenweber retired the next two batters before Costa flared a double into left bringing home Raucci and Burnett to inch SJC to within one, 5-4. Spinnenweber managed to catch pinch-hitter Michael Ferrufino looking for the final out.
The Golden Eagles were held to just four hits with Costa finishing with two RBI's and a run scored.
USMMA's Spinnenweber earned the win allowing four runs on four hits with 12 strikeouts. SJC's Nick Clemente suffered the loss surrendering five runs on 11 hits with five Ks.
SJCLI 6, USMMA 5
With the game tied at three, Britt led off the top of the fifth with a single to left and moved into scoring position on an infield groundout. A fly out to center recorded the second out of the inning before Raucci doubled down the right field line scoring Britt giving SJC a 4-3 lead.
The Golden Eagles extended the lead in the sixth when Lou Doria doubled in Campanelli who singled to start the inning.
The Mariners pushed a run across in the bottom of the seven and an RBI single down the left field line from Jacob Sithong in the eighth evened the score at five.
After the Golden Eagles were retired in order in the top of the ninth a walk and a single put two Mariners on with one out. An SJC pitching change sent Anthony Caminiti to mound who got Mesaros to ground into an inning-ending double play sending the game into extras.
Following a scoreless tenth, Tyler Crafa legged out an infield single but was erased on a Costa fielder's choice. After a stolen base moved Costa into scoring position, Montoro singled to left in his first at-bat of the game sending in the eventual game-winning run.
Caminiti was sent back out for the bottom of the eleventh and pitched around a one-out single to secure the 6-5 win. The junior picked up his fifth win and provided 2.2 scoreless innings of relief.
The Golden Eagles earn an automatic bid into the NCAA Division III Regional Tournament that is set to take place May 17-21.