DUDLEY, Mass. - The Endicott baseball team split with CCC opponent Nichols in their final conference doubleheader of the season and in the process secured their position atop the league standings heading into next week's CCC Tournament. The conference will release the official postseason seedings and schedule in the near future.
Endicott (25-12, 13-3 CCC) will have one final regular season home game on Monday, April 28th at 3:30 pm against UMass Boston before the CCC Tournament begins on Thursday, May 1st.
Game One: Endicott 5, Nichols 7
Trailing 7-1 in the top of the seventh, the Gulls scored four runs and had the bases loaded with just one out but Nichols escaped game on with a victory as a foul out and fielder's choice groundout ended the game.
Nichols senior pitcher Tyler Shute (Mashpee, Mass.) hurled six solid innings before the top of the seventh, allowing just one earned run to cross the plate on seven hits and two walks with six strikeouts before the Gulls lineup got to him. Junior second baseman Harry Oringer (Dartmouth, Mass.) and senior first baseman Brett Holmgren (Middleboro, Mass.) hit back-to-back singles to start the seventh for Endicot. Senior centerfielder Tad Gold (Martha's Vineyard, Mass.) and sophomore third baseman Matthew Paola (Middlebury, Conn.) followed with two straight run-scoring doubles to left to make it a 7-3 game.
Bison freshman Adam Rigney (Niantic, Conn.) relieved Shute but hit his first batter and threw a wild pitch to allow Gold to score from third. The next batter, Endicott junior designated hitter Michael Cahill (Plymouth, Mass.), walked to load the bases before Nichols finally got their first out of the inning. Gulls sophomore shortstop Cody Hall (Rutland, Mass.) singled through the left side of the infield to score Paola, trimming the Nichols lead down to 7-5. Rigney settled down, however, and got the next two batters out to end the game.
Nichols got two RBI from freshman infielder Scott Iacobucci (Hope, R.I.) on a RBI groundout in the second and a RBI single in the fourth which started a three-run rally for the Bison.
Endicott senior Tyler Hill (Las Vegas, Nev.) took the loss (4-3) after pitching 3 2/3 innings and allowing five earned runs on five hits with no walks and a strikeout. The Gulls got solid relief efforts from Colby Morris (Newburyport, Mass.), sophomore Davarn Nova (Wareham, Mass.), and sophomore Corbin Hyde (Lewiston, Maine) who combined to pitch the final 2 1/3 innings.
Game Two: Endicott 9, Nichols 2
Endicott carried over their offensive production from the end of game one into game two as the Gulls were able to get nine runs on 13 hits with three hits apiece coming off the bats of Paola and Hall. Paola drove in three runs including one on a solo homerun in the top of the fourth while Hall hit a two-run single in the top of the seventh. Oringer also had a two-RBI hit in the seventh as the Gulls were able to provide four insurance runs late in the game.
Endicott freshman starter Eric Nagle (Manchester, Conn.) lasted four innings in earning his second win of the season as he allowed two earned runs on three hits and two walks with a strikeout. Nova came on in relief of Nagle in the fifth and pitched the final three innings without allowing a hit and got his third save of the season.
Paola finished the game 3-for-4 with three RBI and a run scored and Hall finished 3-for-4 with two runs scored and two RBI. Oringer had two hits, two RBI, a run, and a stolen base out of the two-hole. Freshman left fielder Cam Farnham (Andover, Mass.) went 2-for-5 and scored two runs from the top of the lineup.
Farnham was one of four Gulls wiith extra-base hits as Farnham, Gold, and sophomore catcher Josh Drew (Intervale, N.H.) all hit doubles while Paolo rounded the bases with his third homerun this spring.