Salve Regina baseball ends regular season; earns final playoff spot
BEVERLY, Mass. – A pair of senior starting pitchers propelled Endicott baseball to a sweep of the Salve Regina Seahawks in their final Commonwealth Coast Conference (CCC) series of the year, clinching the second seed in the upcoming CCC tournament.
Salve Regina, meanwhile, learned it clinched the sixth and final seed in the conference championships with Wentworth Institute of Technology getting swept at Curry. The Seahawks and Leopards tied in the conference standings (6-10) while Salve Regina swept the regular season meetings with back-to-back pitching gems by Daniel Kehew (Portsmouth, R.I.) - a no-hitter - and Kyle Pheland (No. Scituate, R.I.) on April 4.
Benjamin Petrides (Belchertwon, Mass.) led Endicott to a 7-4 victory in game one and Mike Nich (Orange, Conn.) went the distance in a 6-2 win in game two, as Endicott improved their record to 24-14 (12-4 CCC) on Saturday at North Field.
Leadoff man Danny Mello (Peabody, Mass.) had a 3-4 day, scoring three runs, and also made several nice plays on line drives at third base to lead Endicott in their game 1 victory.
A Belchertown, Mass. connection combined to allow just two earned runs on six hits. Senior starter Benjamin Petrides also collected two strikeouts while pitching into the seventh inning and improved his record to 5-1. Junior Kevin Dupras got three consecutive outs in relief of Petrides to earn his second save of the season.
Nine different players combined for Endicott's 11 hits in the first game and the Gulls started their offensive attack in the first on a sacrifice fly by center fielder Tad Gold (Martha's Vineyard, Mass.).
Endicott added three more runs in the third. Eric Lemke (Southington, Conn.) singled up the middle to score Mello, and then crossed the plate on a hit by shortstop E.J. Martinez (Brooklyn, N.Y.). An RBI sacrifice fly by second baseman Harry Oringer (Dartmouth, Mass.) brought Gold across the plate.
Conor Ressel (Rockport, Mass.) added an RBI single in the fifth, scoring Mchael Russo (Natick, Mass.) to cap the Endicott scoring.
Second baseman Joe Haley (North Kingstown, R.I.) went 2-4 and drove in a run with a double in the sixth inning to get the Seahawks on the board. The visitors grabbed another run in the sixth and two more in the seventh, both unearned.
Junior Nicholas Gaj (Pawtucket, R.I.) fell to 2-2 after starting and pitching three and a third innings. Gaj allowed six runs on seven hits and walked two batters, while collecting one strikeout.
Nich gave Endicott a complete game effort, improving his record to 5-1. The senior right-hander allowed just one earned run and struck out three Seahawks, issuing just one walk.
Endicott was outhit nine to six, but made their opportunities count, plating three runs in the first inning and never looking back. Martinez delivered a two-run single after the Gulls loaded the bases on two walks and a single by first baseman Colin Sitarz (W. Hartford, Conn.). An Oringer single reloaded the bases for Russo, who has hit by a pitch, bringing home Sitarz for the third run of the inning.
The Gulls extended their lead to 5-0 in the bottom of the third on an RBI groundout by Russo and an error by catcher Dominic Di Sano (Central Falls, R.I.), allowing Martinez to score while outfielder Ralph Fidaleo (Fairfield, Conn.) was stealing second base.
In the top of the fourth, Mello, leading off the inning, took the first pitch he saw and deposited it into the rocks in left field for his second home run of the year.
As they did in the first game, the Seahawks' bats woke up after falling behind early and again it was Haley delivering an RBI single in the sixth inning to score first baseman Nicholas Politelli (Warwick, R.I.).
The Seahawks continued to threaten with the bases full in the sixth, but Nich got Nicholas Dell'Anno (Reading, Mass.) to ground into a double, play with Mello nabbing Tyler Colby (Easton, Conn.) at home before getting Dell'Anno at first.
Donohue, who, along with Haley and Politelli had two hits in the game, added an RBI single to left field in the seventh to score Conte, who had led off the inning with a double. Again, however, Nich induced a double play, this time out of left fielder Matt Capone (East Providence, R.I.), to help him get out of the inning.
For the Gulls, Martinez and Sitarz each had a pair of hits, with Sitarz crossing the plate twice. Russo had two RBI's without the benefit of a hit.
Kehew also pitched a complete game for Salve Regina and gave up just six hits over six innings, striking out four batters. Only four of the six runs charged to Kehew were earned, as both the Seahawks and the Gulls made three miscues in the game.