BABSON PARK, Mass.—Seniors Eric Jaun (Loveland, Ohio) and Brian McHale (Ramsey, N.J.) each drove in a run as No. 7/9 Babson College defeated No. 19/20 SUNY Cortland, 2-1, to sweep the NCAA Tournament Super Regional best-of-three series on Saturday afternoon at Govoni Field.
With the win, Babson (38-8) advances to the Division III College World Series for the first time in program history, while Cortland sees its season come to a close at 34-13-1. The Beavers will begin play in Cedar Rapids, Iowa, on Friday, May 31.
Junior Matthew Valente (Wyckoff, N.J.) went 3-for-4 with a run scored, while Jaun and fellow seniors Connor Gill (Sterling, Mass.) and Nicholas Browne (Mount Laurel, N.J.) all finished with three hits apiece for the Beavers. Senior Michael Genaro (Greenwich, Mass.) gave up just one unearned run on four hits in 7.0 innings to improve to 8-3 with the win, while classmate Max Tannenbaum (Coral Springs, Fla.) recorded his seventh save of the year.
Junior Joe Tardif (Cutchogue, N.Y.) singled and drove in a run for the Red Dragons. Classmate Zack Durant (Verona, N.Y.) suffered the hard-luck loss giving up two runs on seven hits to go along with three strikeouts in 6.1 innings. Senior reliever Isiah Hudson (Hyde Park, N.Y.) also fanned three over the final 2.2 frames.
Cortland took advantage of a pair of Babson miscues in the field to a take 1-0 lead when first-year Mat Bruno (Rye, N.Y.) scored on Tardif's RBI ground out. After recording just one hit over the first three innings the Green and White pulled even in the fourth as Gill led off with a knock to left, advanced to second on a wild pitch, and came around to score on Jaun's two-out base hit to right.
The Beavers used back-to-back singles by Valente and junior Aidan Scott (South Glastonbury) and a walk to first-year Thomas Lapham (Charlestown, Mass.) to load the bases with nobody out in the fifth. McHale plated Valente with a sacrifice fly to center to make it 2-1, but Durant escaped further damage by inducing a long fly out to center and a comebacker to the mound to end the threat.
Genaro retired eight straight batters from the end of the fourth through the sixth before junior Wyatt Myers (Chittenango, N.Y.) reached on an error to start the seventh. He advanced to third with two outs but was left stranded after Lapham came racing in from third to catch a foul pop up for the third out of the frame.
Tardif chased Genaro with a lead-off single in the eighth, but junior reliever William Gallagher (Kingston, Mass.) came out of the bullpen to retire the next three hitters as the Red Dragons again left the tying run at third. Babson left the bases loaded in the top of the ninth before turning the ball over to Tannenbaum, who hit the lead-off man, senior Dan Schweitzer (Poughquag, N.Y.), but recovered to get consecutive ground outs before fanning Bruno for the final out as the visitors left the tying run 90 feet away for the third straight frame.
The eight-team College World Series field will be finalized on Saturday with first round matchups released either Saturday night or Sunday morning.
• The Beavers are now 3-2 all-time against Cortland. The only other meetings prior to the super regional came in in 1986.
• With his single in the ninth inning McHale became just the second Babson player in program history to reach the 200-hit mark. He will head to the CWS just one hit shy of Jack Halpin's '17 program record.
• Genaro is now 3-1 with 2.59 ERA over 31.1 innings in four career NCAA Tournament starts.
• The Beavers are now 9-0 this season and 16-3 over the last two years in games decided by a single run.
• The Green and White is 39-5 at home since April 22, 2017.
• Tannenbaum matched Matt Cuneo's '18 program record of 73 relief appearances on Saturday. His nine career saves also are tied for the third most in school history.