BEVERLY, Mass. – Endicott remained undefeated in the CCC baseball standings at 8-0 after winning both games of a conference doubleheader with league opponent Nichols, taking game one 13-5 behind an offensive outburst in the middle innings and game two 4-0 as freshman starter Owen Bautze (Sudbury, Mass.) shutout the Bison over seven complete innings.
Endicott (12-7, 8-0 CCC) will play their 12th consecutive game at North Field on Monday, April 6th when they take on GNAC rival Suffolk at 3:30 p.m. Suffolk will be the home team as the game was relocated to Endicott due to poor playing field conditions. Nichols (1-4, 0-2 CCC) hosts a doubleheader with MASCAC member Worcester State on Monday starting at 2:00 p.m.
Game One: Endicott 13, Nichols 5
Junior first baseman Nicholas De Lotto (Southbury, Conn.) and freshman left fielder Michael DeDonato (Chelmsford, Mass.) each drove in three runs, sophomore third baseman Mike Kochiss (Fairfield, Conn.) knocked in two more, and Gulls junior Nick Quattro (Canton, Conn.) earned his fourth victory of the season as a relief as Endicott rolled to a 13-5 win in game one.
After two scoreless inning start the game, Endicott put three on the board in the bottom of the third with the help of a wild pitch with the bases load by Bison starter Adam Rigney (Niantic, Conn.) and aggressive base running by the Gulls that produced two more runs. After Endicott junior right fielder Matthew Paola (Middlebury, Conn.), who had led off the inning with an infield single and stole second base, scored on a wild pitch to make it 1-0 Endicott, DeDonato hit a chopper to third that allowed junior catcher Josh Drew (Intervale, N.H.) to cross home plate. Later in the inning with senior second baseman Harry Oringer (Dartmouth, Mass.) on first after a walk, Oringer's delayed steal put himself into a rundown that lasted long enough to bring DeDonato home from third base.
Up 3-0 in the bottom of the fourth, Endicott's bats finally came alive with a nine-run inning off eight hits including two-RBI singles by both Kochiss and De Lotto. The Gulls would bat around in the inning with De Lotto recording RBI hits on two separate occasions, starting with a single to center that scored Kochiss and later a single to right that plated junior designated hitter Anthony Serina (Portsmouth, R.I.) and Kochiss again. Sophomore centerfielder Cam Farnham (Andover, Mass.) also registered a RBI on a infield single to short that scored Paola. DeDonato would hit the first of two sacrifice flies to left in the nine-run bottom of the fourth as well before adding another in fifth.
Trailing 12-0, Nichols scored in each of the final three innings off Endicott's bullpen. The first came in the top of the fifth on a Matt Hardy (North Attleboro, Mass.) RBI groundout to the shortstop. Two more crossed home plate in the sixth including one on a RBI single to left by freshman Spencer Madden (Nashua, N.H.). Madden would single home Nichols' final run of the game in the top of the seventh just two batters after freshman Scott Lynch (Hope, R.I.) doubled to left to score Brendan Martin (Nashua, N.H.).
Game Two: Endicott 4, Nichols 0
In a fast-paced game two that was a pitcher's duel between Bautze and Bison freshman left-handed starter StigErik McElhinney (Dracut, Mass.), the Gulls were once again able to produce offensive in the latter stages of the game. Bautze, who allowed just one hit and two walks with two strikeouts for his first collegiate shutout, was matched by McElhinney through the first four innings before the Gulls started to string together hits.
In the bottom of the fifth with one out, junior shortstop Cody Hall (Rutland, Mass.) reached base on an infield error and advanced to second thanks to a nicely placed bunt down the first base line by freshman catcher Hunter Boyce (Bangor, Maine). With two outs, Farnham delivered the game's first run on a shot in the hole between short and third to bring Hall home from second base.
After a 1-2-3 inning for Bautze in the top of the sixth, Endicott generated some insurance with three runs. Serina went opposite field with a single to reach first and was pinch-run for by freshman speedster Dan Zabbo (Dracut, Mass.). Zabbo swiped second base on a failed pickoff attempt by McElhinney and just beat the throw to third by catcher Ross Caswell (Randolph, Vt.) for back-to-back stolen bases. De Lotto hit a liner down the right field line for a RBI single to bring Zabbo home making it 2-0 Endicott. After a Paola double to deep left field put runners on second and third with one out, Hall hit a sacrifice fly to score pinch-runner Nick Berno (St. Albans, Vt.) and Boyce recorded his second RBI of the season with a single to right to score Paola.
Bautze allowed a one-out walk in the top of the seventh but forced a game-ending double-play to secure Endicott's ninth win in 11 games at North Field this season.