SPRINGFIELD, Mass. – The second-seeded Endicott baseball team moved into the championship round of the Commonwealth Coast Conference (CCC) Tournament on Monday evening with a 9-2 win over first-seeded Western New England University (WNEU) at Trelease Park.
Endicott now sits in the driver's seat in the tournament as the Gulls will only need one victory to capture their seventh CCC title in program history. The Golden Bears, however, will take on fourth-seeded Salve Regina University tomorrow afternoon at 3 p.m. in an elimination game at Trelease Park. If WNEU wins its matchup versus the Seahawks tomorrow Endicott will travel to Springfield, Mass. to play in the CCC championship round on Wednesday. Conversely, if Salve Regina comes away with a victory tomorrow, Endicott will host the CCC championship round at North Field. Game one for either championship round option is scheduled for 12 PM (if necessary game at approximately 3:30 PM).
JJ Branch (Milford, Mass.) picked up today's victory (7-1) with a complete-game effort on the bump for the Gulls. In his 12th start of the season, Branch yielded eight hits, two runs (both earned), and three walks to go along with eight strikeouts on 134 pitches (86 strikes). Branch's stellar playoff performance also moved him into sole possession of first place on the all-time wins list (25) as the senior right-hander surpassed Mike Nich '13 (Orange, Conn.) atop the leaderboard.
WNEU's Tom Mahoney (Granville, Mass.) suffered the loss (4-4) on 3 1/3 innings, seven hits, seven runs (four earned), three walks, and one punchout.
Leading 2-1 in the top of the fourth inning, Endicott exploded for five runs in the frame via two hits and one error to take a commanding 7-1 advantage in the contest. Mike Kochiss (Fairfield, Conn.) highlighted the scoring with a two-run single up the middle, while Cam Farnham (Andover, Mass.) also worked a bases loaded walk in between a fielding error and a fielder's choice that also allowed runs to score.
Branch then stymied the Golden Bears for the remainder of the matchup by only allowing one run on two hits.
BEYOND THE BOX SCORE
- Endicott is now 2-1 against WNEU this season.
- Michael DeDonato (Chelmsford, Mass.) went 3-for-4 with four runs scored (season-high) from the second spot in the lineup.
- Kochiss finished the day going 3-for-4 with one run scored and three RBI.
- Josh Drew (Intervale, N.H.) also produced a multi-hit game (2-for-5, two runs scored).
FOR THE FOES
- Eduardo Colmenares (Caracas, Venezuela) knocked in both of the Golden Bears' runs with doubles in the third and fifth innings, respectively.
- Colmenares went 2-for-4 with two RBI from the third spot in the lineup.
- Kevin Marciano (Pepperell, Mass.) was 2-for-4 with one run scored, while Scott Hubener (Mendon, Mass.) posted a 1-for-5 day with run scored from the top of the order.