BEVERLY, Mass. – In a matchup of New England's sixth and seventh ranked teams, the Endicott baseball team was edged 5-4 by Eastern Connecticut State at North Field on Tuesday afternoon. A two-run blast in the top of the fifth off the bat of Warriors third baseman Chad Adams (Ware, Mass.) proved to be the difference-maker as the Gulls dropped to 8-7 with the non-conference home loss.
Endicott plays their first road game since returning from Florida on Thursday, April 2nd against Wheaton (Mass.) for a 2:00 p.m. first pitch. ECSU (6-5) plays Wesleyan (Conn.) on Wednesday at 3:00 p.m.
Endicott rallied late in the game as junior designated hitter Anthony Serina (Portsmouth, R.I.) hit his first collegiate homerun to deep left field in the bottom of the eighth to make it a 5-4 game. The homerun came off ECSU senior righty Tyler Cyr (Bristol, Conn.) who pitched a solid seven innings of relief, allowing two earned runs on six hits while striking out five. After the Serina homerun, the Gulls put the game-tying run just 90 feet away after a line drive triple to the gap in right center by freshman pinch-hitter Brad Rebello (Bellingham, Mass.).
The Warriors put junior closer Adam Merritt (Seymour, Conn.) on the mound to get the final out of the eighth and he did, getting the batter to pop out to end the threat. Merritt would close out in the game in the bottom of the ninth despite allowing a leadoff single to Gulls sophomore centerfielder Cam Farnham (Andover, Mass.) who quickly swiped second base to get into scoring position. Farnham would be caught too far off second base and picked off by ECSU catcher Tim Budd (Cheshire, Conn.) for the first out of the inning. Merritt recorded strikeouts for the final two outs and notch his second save of the season.
Cyr (1-2) earned the win in relief while the loss was issued to Endicott freshman Benjamin Bates (Newport, N.H.) who surrendered the Adams homerun in the fifth. Bates fell to 1-1 on the year.
ECSU's three and four hitters combined to go 7-for-8 with five RBI and two runs scored in the game. Adams went 4-for-4 with a two-run homerun and a RBI single in the top of the third. Junior left fielder Andrew Scully (Stratford, Conn.) went 3-for-4 with RBI hits in the top of the first and third innings.
After the Warriors took a 1-0 lead on Scully's RBI knock in the top half of the first, Endicott came right back in the bottom of the inning as sophomore third baseman Mike Kochiss (Fairfield, Conn.) drove a deep liner to the base of the wall in left for a double that scored Matthew Paola (Middlebury, Conn.). A wild pitch later in the inning would score senior second baseman Harry Oringer (Dartmouth, Mass.) from third to put the Gulls ahead 2-1 after one.
Two more runs for ECSU in the top of the third put the visitors on top 3-2 but the Blue and Green responded in the bottom of the fourth with an opposite field RBI single to right by junior shortstop Cody Hall (Rutland, Mass.) that plated freshman Michael DeDonato (Chelmsford, Mass.) from second base. DeDonato, who went 2-for-4 in the game, had singled to lead off the inning and stole the first of three stolen bases in the game. He would add two more in the bottom of the sixth after an infield single, swiping second base with no outs and then third base with two outs before being stranded 90 feet from home.
Endicott relief pitchers Eric Nagle (Manchester, Conn.) and Davarn Nova (Buzzards Bay, Mass.) shutdown the Warriors lineup over the final 4 2/3 innings of the game to give the offensive a chance to get back in it. Nagle threw 1 2/3 innings, allowing one hit with one strikeout while Nova hurled three frames, putting two runners on with a strikeout.