Captains Close Out Rowan to Advance in NCAA Baseball Tournament

More news about: Christopher Newport

NEWPORT NEWS, Va. – The Christopher Newport University baseball team withstood two late Rowan runs to hold on for a 4-2 win in the 2012 NCAA baseball tournament.  The win advances CNU to Saturday's final day of action in the Newport News Regional where they will play USA South Conference rival, Shenandoah at 11:00 a.m.

CNU, the first seed in the Newport News regional, improves to 2-1 in the NCAA tournament and 32-8 overall.  The Captains built a 3-0 lead after sophomore starting pitcher, Nick Santalucia, worked through a couple of early jams and settled in to throw seven innings and giving up only one run.

"Nick has pitched a lot of big games for us this year," said Head Coach, John Harvell.  "We had just as much confidence in him today as we did sending Bryan Bierlein out yesterday."

Santalucia improved to a perfect 6-0 on the season.

Shortstop, Billy Steel, scored in the first when Luke Saunders hit a fly ball to center field that Rowan's Felix Colarte could not handle.  The Captains could not add any more runs as Saunders and left fielder, Connor Madden were the first two of 12 Captains left  on base during the game.

Madden scored in the third when Steven Lindemuth singled down the left field and CNU added another in the fourth when Shannon Mark hit a sacrifice fly to left field to score catcher, Ben Lenda.

Rowan was able to scratch a run across in the seventh when a Mark Benak ground out scored right fielder, Matt Hill.  While the Profs bats started to heat up, Harvell went to the bullpen.  Rich Lindsay gave up a double to start the eighth inning to Nick Turano before relief specialist, Matt Verdillo came in to finish the eighth.  While the Profs were able to scratch a run across to trim the lead to 4-2, it was the closest they would get.

Captains closer, Ryan Fleischmann entered in the ninth and worked a perfect inning to earn his tenth save of the season and ensure the top seed, and host institution, CNU would play on the final day of the Newport News Regional. 

While CNU will play Shenandoah at 11:00 a.m. on Saturday, the result of Friday's game between the Hornets and the Sea Gulls of Salisbury University will determine whether the game is an elimination contest or the regional championship. 

As the only remaining undefeated team, Shenandoah plays Salisbury Friday at 4:30 p.m.  A Hornets win would mean the Captains need to a two game sweep on Saturday to clinch their spot in the Division III finals in Appleton, Wisconsin.  A Salisbury win on Friday means the Captains and Hornets will play an elimination game at 11:00 a.m. Saturday where the winner will advance to a 2:30 p.m. game against Salisbury in a regional championship game.