May 17, 2006
Auburn, N.Y. - The second-seeded Ithaca Bombers emerged from a 93-minute rain delay to rally for a 7-3 win over the Endicott Gulls Wednesday in the NCAA New York Regional at Falcon Park in Auburn. With the win, Ithaca advances to play the winner of Wednesday's third game (between third-seeded Rensselaer and sixth-seeded Centenary) Thursday at 1 p.m.
Endicott falls into the losers' bracket and will face the Rensselaer-Centenary loser in an elimination game Thursday at 10 a.m.
The seventh-seeded Gulls jumped out to a 3-0 lead with three runs in the top of the second. Ithaca, seeded second, began its rally with two runs in the bottom of the inning. The rest of their rally was spread out over both ends of a 1:33 rain delay. Sophomore third baseman Josh Smith (Pulaski/Richland) was hit by a pitch to start the bottom of the third,then went to second on a wild pitch. Umpires halted play and the field was covered with play resuming 1:33 later.
The Bombers tied the game on an RBI single by freshman Drew Ash (Morris Knolls/Denville, N.J.). After sophomore first baseman Eric Ferguson (Columbia/East Greenbush) was hit by a pitch, the inning's third wild pitch put runners on second and third. Run-scoring singles by senior outfielder PJ Canestrari (Randolph/Ironia, N.J.) and senior second baseman Bryan Stamboly (Thomas R. Proctor/New Hartford) put Ithaca up 5-2.
Sophomore Nick Sottung (Pulaski, NY/Pulaski) earned the win, improving to 8-1 on the season and 15-3 in his career. He struck out five and did not walk a batter. Outside of Endicott's three-run second, Sottung only allowed one Gull as far as second base (Endicott led off the sixth with two singles).
Endicott used four hits, a squeeze bunt and a Bomber error to open a 3-0 lead. Junior left fielder Steve Vidmosko (Fairfield Prep/Shelton, Conn.) and sophomore third baseman Gavin Softic (Athol/Cushing Academy/Athol, Mass.) hit consecutive doubles, Vidmosko scored on an infield error and shortstop Adam Labbe (Oak Hill Regional/Litchfield, Mass.), who reached on an infield hit, came home on a safety squeeze bunt put down by sophomore center fielder Tom Warner (Hopkinton/Hopkinton, Mass.).
The Bombers extended their lead to 7-3 in the seventh on a two-run double by senior outfielder Kyle Rutherford (Milford [Conn.]/Katy, Texas).
Senior Matt Bishop (Woburn/Woburn, Mass.) took the loss for Endicott. He gave up Ithaca's first five runs (2 were unearned), struck out three and allowed five hits and two walks.
Junior Jeremy Peters (Thomas R. Proctor/Utica) pitched the eighth and ninth for the Bombers; the only baserunner he allowed -- on an eighth-inning single -- was picked off.
The loss was Endicott's fourth straight (the Gulls closed the season with three non-league games after winning the Commonwealth Coast Conference championship tournament). The Bombers improved to 91-61 in their 40th NCAA playoff appearance (Ithaca's 30 trips to the NCAA Division III playoffs are the most by any school).