SALEM, Mass. – The Endicott baseball team won their sixth straight game to remain undefeated in the month of April (6-0) with a 9-4 triumph over Salem State at Alumni Field Thursday afternoon. Endicott, ranked sixth in the most recent NEIBA regional poll, improved to 14-7 overall while the fifth-ranked Vikings fell to 12-7.
The Endicott lineup got on Salem State pitching Tim Woods (Wilmington, Mass.) early, scoring five runs over the first two innings to take command of the game. After a Vikings error on a Gulls double steal attempt allowed freshman left fielder Michael DeDonato (Chelmsford, Mass.) to cross home plate in the top of the first, Endicott tacked on two more runs on a Mike Kochiss (Fairfield, Conn.) sacrifice fly and a Matthew Paola (Middlebury, Conn.) RBI double to make it 3-0 Gulls.
In the top of the second, Endicott put runners on second and third with one out to set up a DeDonato RBI groundout to first. Senior second baseman Harry Oringer (Dartmouth, Mass.), who was part of Endicott's havoc on the base paths during the double steal one inning early, roped a triple to plate junior Cody Hall (Rutland, Mass.) to put the Gulls ahead 5-0 after two.
Oringer added a sacrifice fly in the top of the fourth to make it a 4-0 game. Two innings later, Oringer would reach base for the third time with a RBI single that scored sophomore centerfielder Cam Farnham (Andover, Mass.). With DeDonato on third and Oringer on second after his second stolen base of the day, Kochiss brought both players home with a double to push the Blue and Green lead up to 6-0.
With the offense clicking, Endicott junior pitcher JJ Branch (Milford, Mass.) set down the Vikings lineup for six shutout innings with six strikeouts before a three-run bottom of the seventh for Salem State. In the 7th, junior Mike Davis (Peabody, Mass.) put the first Viking run on the board with a RBI single and later that inning senior Kevin Carens (Northborough, Mass.) knocked in two with a single before Gulls catcher Josh Drew (Intervale, N.H.) gunned out Carens trying to steal second to end the inning.
Branch (3-1) finished with seven innings pitched and three earned runs allowed on seven hits and a walk. He struck out seven.
Branch gave way to junior reliever Davarn Nova (Buzzards Bay, Mass.) who pitched the final two frames and struck out three batters. One unearned run crossed the plate in the bottom of the ninth with Nova on the mound.
Oringer, Paola, and Farnham each had two hits on the day. DeDonato and Farnham showed off Endicott's quickness with four and three stolen bases, respectively, with Oringer and junior Anthony Serina (Portsmouth, R.I.) each swiping two bags. Paola and Drew both had a stolen base as well.
DeDonato's four stolen bases tied a program record set three times by former Gull Tad Gold '14 and once by Danny Mello '12. Endicott's 13 stolen bases as a team shattered their previous mark of 10 set back in 2008 in a win over Nichols.
Endicott is scheduled to face CCC and North Shore rival Gordon on Saturday, April 11th for a doubleheader starting at 12:00 p.m. These games are scheduled to be played on Gordon's J. Tec White Field. The Scots are 5-10 (3-1 CCC) and will be coming off a doubleheader split with CCC opponent Roger Williams played back on April 2nd.