BEVERLY, Mass. – The Endicott baseball team split a pair of Commonwealth Coast Conference (CCC) games with Salve Regina University on Sunday evening at North Field. The Gulls fell to the Seahawks, 5-0, in game one before earning a split versus Salve Regina in game two with a 5-2 victory.
GAME ONE – Salve Regina 5, Endicott 0
Cory Poplawski (Syracuse, N.Y.) twirled a gem in game one as the junior right-handed pitcher scattered six hits over seven shutout innings, and also struck out a season-high eight batters, to push his record to 2-3 on the season.
JJ Branch (Milford, Mass.) took the loss (5-1) on seven innings, nine hits, five runs (three earned), two free passes, and a pair of strikeouts.
The Seahawks took a 1-0 lead in the second inning on an RBI ground out by John Kussmaul (Brick, N.J.) before tacking on three more runs in the third on five hits, and one error, to jump ahead 4-0. Alex Perry (North Attleboro, Mass.), Zack Smith (New Canaan, Conn.), and Tristan Dacey (Wyckoff, N.J.) accounted for the scoring in the third as all three student-athletes notched RBI singles in the frame.
Salve Regina added another insurance run in the seventh for Poplawski, who later closed out the bottom half of the inning in 1-2-3 fashion to secure the game one win.
BEYOND THE BOX SCORE
- Mike Kochiss (Fairfield, Conn.) extended his hitting streak to 16 games in the loss (2-for-3).
- The Gulls had one extra-base hit in the game, a double from Cam Farnham (Andover, Mass.), which came with two outs in the bottom of the second inning.
FOR THE FOES
- Poplawski threw 96 pitches in the win (64 for strikes).
- Six of Poplawski's eight strikeouts were of the swinging variety.
- Perry, Dacey, and Colton Eremian (Boca Raton, Fla.) all produced multi-hit games.
GAME TWO – Endicott 5, Salve Regina 2
Endicott senior designated hitter Anthony Serina (Portsmouth, R.I.) fell a single shy of hitting for the cycle to lead the Gulls past Salve Regina in game two, and earn the split.
Davarn Nova (Buzzards Bay, Mass.) earned the win (6-3) on 5 1/3 innings pitched, two hits, two runs (one earned), three walks and four strikeouts, while Colby Morris (Newburyport, Mass.) picked up his second save of the season on 1 1/3 scoreless innings out of the pen. Eric Nagle (Manchester, Conn.) also recorded one out in the sixth to bridge the gap to Morris.
Billy Humes (East Rockaway, N.Y.) suffered the loss (3-1) through five innings of work, eight hits, five runs (all earned), two walks, and two punchouts.
Salve Regina struck first in game two by scoring a run on a throwing error in the top of the second, but Endicott responded with five runs, combined, in the second and third innings, respectively, and never looked back.
In the second, Chris Seidl (Dracut, Mass.) evened the score at 1-1 with a sacrifice fly to center field, while Nick Berno (St. Albans, Vt.) ripped an RBI single to left field with the bases loaded later in the inning to take the lead for good (2-1).
Michael DeDonato (Chelsmford, Mass.) also picked up an RBI in the frame when he was hit by a pitch with two outs and the bases loaded. Humes escaped further damage by recording a strikeout (looking) to end the threat.
In the third, Serina bumped Endicott's advantage to 4-1 with a towering home run to left field before Cody Hall (Rutland, Mass.) plated Farnham from second with a hard-hit single through the right side of the infield.
Salve Regina then cut into its deficit (5-2) in the sixth on an RBI single from Brody Santilli (Lincoln, R.I.), but Morris eventually quelled the Seahawks' scoring threat – which saw two runners on and the tying run at the plate – with a fielder's choice ground out to maintain Endicott's three-run lead.
Morris went on to wrap up his second save of the season in the seventh by inducing two weak outs (pop out, ground out) and a game-ending fly out to left center field.
BEYOND THE BOX SCORE
- Endicott is 26-23 in the all-time series versus Salve Regina.
- Berno, Farnham, and Serina all had multi-hit games in the win.
- Serina highlighted the group with a triple in the second, a home run in the third, and a double in the fifth.
- The Gulls received RBIs from five different student-athletes including Berno, DeDonato, Serina, Seidl, and Hall.
- Morris inherited three runners in the sixth and did not allow any to score. Morris has only allowed four inherited runners to score on 22 chances this season (.818 conversion rate).
- Morris also threw 13 strikes on 18 pitches in today's relief appearance, his 14th this season.
- The Gulls are 10-5 this season at home.
- Endicott's pitching staff only allowed three hits in its game two victory.
- Kochiss' 16-game hitting streak came to end (0-for-4).
FOR THE FOES
- Sean Healy (Wakefield, R.I.) pitched a scoreless sixth inning (1 H, 0 BB, 1 K).
- Ryan Kelly (Waldwick, N.J.), Smith, and Santilli all had one hit each in the loss.
Endicott (21-11, 9-3 CCC) travels to Bates on Tuesday for a non-conference game at 4 p.m. Salve Regina (10-11-1, 9-3 CCC) hosts Suffolk University on Monday at 3:30 p.m.