GORHAM, Maine – Facing a regionally and nationally ranked Southern Maine squad for the second time this season, this time on a seven-game winning streak, New England's fifth-ranked Endicott baseball team beat the Huskies in 11 innings on a RBI single by junior right fielder Matthew Paola (Middlebury, Conn.) that brought home senior captain Harry Oringer (Dartmouth, Mass.) for the go-ahead run. USM is also ranked #20 in the country by Collegiate Baseball News and #21 according to D3Baseball.com.
Endicott (17-10) saw freshman right-handed starter Owen Bautze (Sudbury, Mass.) turn in his best start of his rookie campaign, throwing nine innings of one-run ball with six strikeouts in the no-decision effort. Bautze shut down the USM lineup through eight shutout innings before the Huskies tied the game in the bottom of the ninth with a two-out, RBI double to right by senior catcher Brendon Joyce (Standish, Maine).
In a 1-1 tie game in the top of the 10th, USM senior reliever Andrew Richards (South Portland, Maine) set down the Gulls lineup 1-2-3 to give his offense a chance to get a walk-off win. The Huskies came to the plate in the bottom half of the inning and put the game-winning run on first with a one-out single through the infield by junior Nick DiBiase (Portland, Maine). Endicott called on junior righty Nick Quattro (Canton, Conn.) who forced a groundout to third as DiBiase moved up into scoring position and ended the inning on a fly out to left to end the threat.
In the top of the 11th, freshman left fielder Michael DeDonato (Chelmsford, Mass.) lead off the inning with a single to left and was followed by Oringer who reached on an infield hit. A fielder's choice groundout by sophomore Mike Kochiss (Fairfield, Conn.) forced DeDonato out at third base but Paola came to the plate and found the gap between short and third to bring Oringer around to score. A popup to the first baseman put two outs on the board but junior first baseman Nicholas De Lotto (Southbury, Conn.), whose sacrifice fly in the fourth inning put Endicott ahead 1-0, singled to load the bases. Junior catcher Josh Drew (Intervale, N.H.) nearly busted the game wide open as he hit a shot to the gap but a diving grab by centerfielder Devin Warren (Smithfield, Maine) ended the inning.
Quattro struck out Warren to lead off the bottom of the 11th and got USM's Matt Bender (Walpole, Mass.) to groundout to third to pull Endicott within one out of a win. Huskies left fielder Damon Wallace (Gorham, Maine) swung and missed on a wild pitch to reach first base but a grounder back to the pitcher by Joyce ended the game.
Quattro improved to 6-0 on the year after throwing 1 2/3 innings with two strikeouts and no hits allowed.
DeDonato had a standout game going 4-for-5 with his 16th stolen base on the year. For USM, DiBiase and Wallace each had two hits.
Endicott returns home on Thursday to face North Shore rival Salem State who is currently ranked seventh in the region according to the NEIBA. First pitch with the Viking is at 3:30 p.m. from North Field.