La Roche walks off with win

La Roche scored twice in the eighth and added two runs in a controversial ninth inning to survive eighth-seeded Widener.
La Roche athletics file photo

Twenty-eight games are on tap in eight regionals throughout the nation today as the 2016 NCAA Division III baseball postseason gets underway.

Ramapo walked it off 3-2 in the tenth inning with a run in the ninth to extend the game. The extra inning affair spoiled a fine outing by Union's ace, Jake Fishman who exited after eight innings with Union ahead 2-1. Shanandoah did not need an extra inning with three two-out hits to score twice and steal a win from Marietta in the Mount Berry Regional.

La Roche rallied in the final two innings and got the benefit of a controversial call in the ninth inning as the Redhawks got past Widener 7-6. Trailing 6-5 with one out in the bottom of the ninth, Ben Herstine laced a double but was called out on appeal for an apparent illegal bat. However, during a five-minute delay, the umpires conferred and put Herstine back on second. Herstine came in to score the tying run on a single by David Lemley, and after Lemley stole second, Joe Professori smacked a ball over the left fielder's head to bring in Lemley with the winning run. The Redhawks will face TCNJ, which delivered the day's first big blow, opening the morning with a four-run first inning as the Mideast's No. 4 seed rolled to a 10-0 win vs. fifth-seeded Ohio Wesleyan in Washington, Pa. Garen Turner reached base in his first three appearances and drove in three runs for the Lions in the win. Senior James Walsh threw a three-hit shutout with a career-high 15 strikeouts as second-ranked and second-seeded Randolph-Macon blanked seventh-seeded St. Joseph's (Long Island) 8-0.

The top seed did get upset in New England, however. Sean Buckland threw a great outing for Salem State, improving to 9-0 on the season while scattering six hits over 8-2/3 innings in a 7-4 victory vs. Wheaton (Mass.). The Vikings overcame a three-RBI day from Lyons right fielder Matt Lavanchy as Mike Davis and Mac Daniel Singleton each had two hits and scored twice for the victors. Top seeded Misericordia also fare poorly in Moosic, Pa., losing to Penn State Berks 3-2 in regulation time. The Nittany Lions trailed for only a half inning with two runs in the eighth inning to wipe away a one run deficit that the Cougars bult the inning before.

Second-seeded Oswego State used a passed ball with two out in the bottom of the eighth inning to snap a 2-2 tie with seventh-seeded Eastern Connecticut State in the 2016 NCAA Division III New England Regional Tournament. Eastern Connecticut stranded the tying run on third in the top of the ninth inning as Mikey Putillo picked up his fourth save of the season – three of which have come in the postseason – as the Lakers posted a 3-2 victory.

Felix Baez was dealing on the mound for Keystone in the Giants' opener in the New England regional at Eastern Connecticut, as he went eight innings, allowing just three hits (although walking seven) and striking out 10 in a 5-2 win vs. Suffolk. Second baseman Julian Lenfranco had a single and a pair of RBI for Keystone, while shortstop Nate Rosse was 2-for-4 with an RBI and a run scored.

Emory got four innings of clutch scoreless relief from Kyle Monk, as he shut down the bats of Thomas More and allowed the Eagles to win 6-5. Thomas More scored five times in the first four innings off Eagles starter Jackson Weeg, but the Emory bats kept pace, including No. 9 hitter Bubby Terp, who hit a three-run homer in the bottom of the third inning as part of a four-RBI day in the win. Ryan Gaines threw a complete-game five-hitter, walking none as Birmingham-Southern shut out Huntingdon 7-0 in its opener in the six-team South Regional. Jack Rhodes, the No. 8 hitter, hit a three-run homer in the bottom of the sixth as the Panthers blew the game open and chased Hawks starter Zach McGrady. Gaines improved to 11-2 on the season.

Brad Margolin improved his career record 14-2 with the complete games shutout victory over Augustana.
Washington (Mo.) athletics photo

Rose-Hulman senior Alec McNally tossed eight strong innings and the Fightin' Engineers pounded out 13 hits to top Wartburg 7-2. This was not the only masterful pitching performance. Brad Margolin tossed a four-hit complete-game shutout to lead the Washington University Bears to an 8-0 win over Augustana (Ill.) in the opening game of the Central Regional Wednesday at GCS Ballpark in Sauget, Ill.Margolin struck out four and did not walk a batter throwing 101 pitches. 

McNally allowed just four hits with six strikeouts in eight innings of work to improve to 7-0 on the season.  Junior Cody Sunderhaus picked up the final three outs to secure the victory.

No. 1 Cortland scored six runs on 10 hits over the first two innings and cruised to a win against Castleton, 14-4, to open play at Auburn Regional. Tanner Whiteman was the benefactor of the early runs, working the first 7 1/3 innings before giving way to the bullpen.  Steven Figueroa led Cortland's 17-hit attack by going 3-for-5 with two doubles, three RBI and two runs scored. 

Mass-Boston rallied with three in the seventh and three more in the eighth as the Beacons got past Haverford 6-2 in the opening game of the Mid-Atlantic Regional in Moosic, Pa. Charlie Huegi reached on an error to open the inning and Bryan Dupre followed with a double to give the Beacons their first run of the day. Starting pitcher Dan Mantoni followed with a two-out walk and Dave Murphy's single scored two to give Mass-Boston the lead. Huegi reached on an error in the eighth as well to help UMB to its second crooked number. Richie Ferguson tossed his seventh complete game of the season, holding the top scoring offense to one run, propelling Kean to a 7-1 win over Salisbury. Ferguson allowed just one run with five strikeouts and two walks. St. John Fisher scored two runs in the bottom of the eighth inning, as the Cardinals rallied for a 6-5 win over No. 7 Salve Regina. Fisher is now 4-0 all-time in NCAA Championship opening round games.

Jack Wingerd hit a two-run homer in the second inning and St. John's extended its lead with single runs in the fifth, sixth, seventh, eighth and ninth as the Johnnies defeated St. Scholastica 7-2 in the opener at the Midwest Regional in La Crosse, Wis. Logan Hershey went 3-for-5 with two RBI and two runs scored, while Wingerd finished with the two RBI and scored twice. Alex Kendall improved to 7-2 with 6-2/3 innings, while Nick Noack went the final 2-1/3 scoreless for his fourth save. Host UW-La Crosse followed this game with a 23 hit attack in a 17-2 win over the Beloit Buccaneers. Taylor Kohlwey extended his hitting streak to 46 games, tied 2nd longest in NCAA III, with a first inning home run. Kohlwey accounted for a third of the Eagles' nine extra-base hits with a second home run and a triple.

The final regional to get started was the Spokane Regional. Trinity (Texas) earned the opening win with a 7-3 win over NWC champion Pacific Lutheran. The Lutes scored two first inning runs but ended the inning down one run as the Tigers took a 3-2 lead after one. Trinity would keep this lead and add to it to start the day 1-0 in the regional. The final game of the day was longer with the only weather delays of the day. Case Western Reserve fell to host Whitworth 8-5. Despite trailing by as many as seven runs in the game, the Spartans were in the contest until the end, scoring four unanswered runs in the final three innings to close the gap to three.  Case Western Reserve out-hit Whitworth 14-11 during the game.