Super Regionals open with thrillers

Washington and Jefferson is 7-0 in their last three post-season
tournaments (PAC, regionals, super-regionals) after defeating
Misericordia 8-3 on Friday.

Washington and Jefferson athletics photo

Johns Hopkins and W&J had the easiest path to a weekend opening win as Heidelberg, Babson, UMass-Boston, and Webster all needed runs in the 7th inning or later to get a Friday win. Two more games are on tap as Chapman hosts Concordia (Texas) and Birmingham-Southern host games.

Birmingham-Southern was not sharp early but proved that: What have you done lately? - as the important question. The Panthers saw the Kohawks score a single run in the first four inings but shut them down the rest of the way as they scored a single talley in the ninth to tie and two in the 12th for the 6-4 win. Coe ended up with five of nine stranded baserunners in the first four frames, never getting the hit needed to break the game open. In the 12th inning, Tyler Wise tripled to right field, driving in Richie Misischia and scored hiimself on a Preston Munns single.

Senior Connor Gill drove in first-year Thomas Lapham with a one-out single in the bottom of the ninth as No. 7 Babson defeated No. 19 Cortland, 7-6, in game one of the NCAA Tournament Super Regionals on Friday afternoon at Govoni Field. With the win, Babson is just one victory away from the College World Series for the second year in a row. Cortland lost for just the fourth time in its last 31 games. Junior Matthew Valente went 1-2 with a double, two walks and three RBI, and senior Edward Lehr and junior Jake Oliger each drove in a run for the Beavers. Sophomore Tyler Bell settled for a no-decision after allowing four runs on five hits in 5.1 innings, while senior Max Tannenbaum improved to 5-1 with the win.

Host Heidelberg hung a five-spot on 20th ranked Wooster in the seventh inning to take the lead, and the Student Princes went on to take game one of the best-of-three game NCAA Div. III Super Regional 8-5 at Peaceful Valley. Wooster now must win twice on Saturday to extend its season to next week's NCAA Div. III World Series in Cedar Rapids, Iowa, while Heidelberg has two chances to punch its first ticket to the eight-team finals since 2010. Heidelberg sent nine men to the plate during the decisive seventh inning, with the Student Princes taking the lead on Parker Fronk's two-run double that got down just past the outstretched glove of Wooster right fielder Ben Gbur in the alley. Heidelberg's Tyler Smith lifted a sacrifice fly down the left field line that was just deep enough to plate Marc Ochoa and make it 7-5.

Junior Ryan McCormick's go-ahead, two-run single in the bottom of the eighth inning proved to be the difference, as No. 23 UMass Boston earned a 5-4 comeback win over New England College in game one of their Super Regional. After trailing 2-0 early and 4-3 into the eighth, McCormick's two-run single plated Eddie Riley and Danny Brown to give the Beacons their first lead since the top of the fifth inning. With the win, UMass Boston needs just one win on Saturday, to earn a trip to their third College World Series in 10 years. New England College will have to win game two, to force the if necessary contest. McCormick led the Beacons offensively by going 2-3 with a run scored, two RBI and a walk. Riley added two hits, including a triple, and two runs scored. Brown was the final Beacon to score, as he scored twice and reached on a single and a walk.

Webster and Concordia-Chicago renewed their rivalry on Friday afternoon in the first game of the best-of-three NCAA Midwest Super Regional at CUC Cougar Field and much like the previous three match-ups this season, was another barn burner as the Gorloks scored the go-ahead run in the bottom of the seventh en route to posting a 4-3 victory over the top-ranked Cougars. With the win, Webster moves within one game of advancing to the 2019 NCAA Division III World Series. CUC must now win two games against the 18th-ranked Gorloks on Saturday to earn its third consecutive trip to the D-III World Series. "Another good game played by both teams and we were fortunate to come out on top," Webster head coach Bill Kurich said in the post game press conference following his team's 36th win of the season. "The bunt game came into play very heavily for both sides today." Entering Friday's game, CUC and Webster had combined to score a total of nine runs in three games this season against each other and both pitching staffs had recorded ERA's under 1.20 on the year. The four runs scored by Webster on Friday was one more than the Gorloks had scored against CUC in the first three games this year. "Every time we play Concordia-Chicago, it's a battle and both sides know its going to be like that," said Kurich, who improved to 27-22 all-time in the NCAA Tournament as Webster's coach. "We were fortunate to come out on top today, but our job is not done yet and we'll have play good defense and have timely hitting again tomorrow because this is not done yet."

It was a record-setting day on the diamond for Johns Hopkins as the Blue Jays defeated Shenandoah, 6-3, to take a 1-0 lead in the best-of-three Super Regional. Jack Bunting set the new single-season win record while Josh Hejka tied the career saves record, and the team tied the record for most home runs in a season. Both starting pitchers were in control in the early portion of the game before Hopkins broke through against Robert Klinchock, scoring three runs in the third. Tim Kutcher led off the inning with a solo shot to center and Chris DeGiacomo worked a four-pitch walk to force in the second Hopkins run of the inning. Matthew Ritchie later grounded out to second to score the final JHU run of the inning. The thee runs in the third was the margin of victory as both teams traded runs in the later innings.

Henry Zeisler led the way for the Chapman Panthers with
hits, both of which were home runs, and  four RBI and
two runs scored.
Chapman athletics photo

Chapman beat the visiting Concordia (Texas) Tornados 11-3 in the first game of the NCAA Division III Super Regional round. Sophomore Henry Zeisler hit not one, but two home runs to knock in four runs for the Panthers while senior Jonathan Hernandez allowed just three runs in his third complete game this season.After allowing a run in the bottom of the first, Chapman responded with a four-spot in the top of the third. With runners on the corners and one out, junior Aaron Wong scored on a wild pitch. Senior Tristan Kevitch then singled through the left side, putting runners on the corners again. With just one out on the board, Zeisler stepped up to the plate and blasted a three-run homer over the right field fence to give Chapman a 4-1 lead. ernandez allowed one more run to score in the bottom of the fourth, but the Panthers blew the game open in the in the sixth and seventh innings.

A five-run eighth inning broke open a late game tie as Washington & Jefferson earned an 8-3 victory over Misericordia in game one of the NCAA Division III South Super Regional Championship series at Tambur Field in Dallas, Pa. The win is the eighth straight overall for the Presidents. Tied 3-3 into the eighth inning, the Cougars brought on First Team All-Region pitcher Kyle Melahn. The senior opened the eighth by hitting three consecutive Presidents with pitches to load the bases. An error then allowed James Artale to race home to give W&J a 4-3 lead. After Misericordia recorded a force out at the plate, a wild pitch scored Joey Bolick to make the score 5-3. With first base open and two outs, Misericorida elected to intentionally walk Dante Dalesandro to load the bases. Mullen Socha then came through with the biggest hit of the day, a bases clearing double to center field that gave the Presidents a more comfortable 8-3 advantage entering the ninth inning. Mitchell Taufer registered the final three outs to secure the game one victory. Offensively, Socha and Artale paced a nine-hit attack for W&J with two hits each.