BEVERLY, Mass. – Down to their last out in the bottom of the 11th inning and trailing Wheaton, the fourth-ranked team in New England, by one run Endicott senior captain Harry Oringer (Dartmouth, Mass.) sent 1-2 offering deep over the wall in left for a two-run shot to deliver a 3-2 walk-off, extra-innings victory for the Gulls on Tuesday afternoon.
Oringer's blast, his fifth of the season, was his only hit in five trips to the plate and also scored freshman left fielder Michael DeDonato (Chelmsford, Mass.) who singled with one out to get the tying run on base. Endicott won their 20th game of the season and currently sit at 20-12 overall as the region's sixth-ranked team.
With the postponement of Wednesday's home game against non-conference opponent Framingham State, Endicott (20-12, 11-3 CCC) will be off for three days until they play CCC rival Roger Williams (13-16, 8-6 CCC) in their final conference doubleheader before playoffs begin in the beginning of May.
Wheaton (20-10) broke the 1-1 tie in the top of the 11th on a safety squeeze bunt off the bat of senior designated hitter Tyler Contillo (Uncasville, Conn.) with runners on second and third that scored sophomore shortstop Joshua LaJoie (Somers, Conn.). The Lyons put the ball in senior closer Mike Bisceglia's (New Boston, N.H.) hand who struck out the first batter he faced, allowed a single to right by DeDonato, got out number two on a fly out to right, but watched as Oringer spoiled his bid for a seventh save of the year.
Wheaton will face Eastern Connecticut State on Wednesday at home with first pitch coming at 4:00 p.m.
Endicott's JJ Branch (Milford, Mass.) earned the win after one inning of relief to improve to 4-2 on the year. Branch's first relief appearance of the season came after inheriting runners on first and second and no outs in the top of the 11th from Gulls junior righty Nick Quattro (Canton, Conn.). Quattro had gotten the four previous outs to extend his scoreless innings streak to 28 1/3 innings which ended as LaJoie scored the go-ahead run to make it 2-1 Lyons.
Freshman right-handed starter Brady Hall (Rockville, Md.) was electric in 7 1/3 innings on the hill, allowing just one unearned run in the top of the third. He surrendered just four hits and a walk with two strikeouts in the no decision. Junior righty Davarn Nova (Buzzards Bay, Mass.) pitched well in relief, going 1 1/3 innings with one hit allowed before handing the ball over to Quattro in the ninth.
In the top of the third, junior centerfielder Jimmy Smith (Worcester, Mass.), who made several defensive gems in the outfield, led off the inning with a comebacker to Hall that was just out of the pitcher's reach. Junior right fielder Matt Lavanchy (Walpole, Mass.) singled up the middle to put runners on first and second with no outs. Hall attempted to pick off Smith at second base but his throw went wild, allowing both runners to move up 90 feet. LaJoie then hit a fly ball down the right field line that was deep enough to score Smith from third to put Wheaton up 1-0.
Wheaton starter Dan Southerland (Dartmouth, Mass.) efficiently worked through the Gulls lineup through the first four innings until the bottom of the fifth when sophomore Mike Kochiss (Fairfield, Conn.) and junior Anthony Serina (Portsmouth, R.I.) hit back-to-back singles to lead off the inning. After a sacrifice bunt by Nicholas De Lotto (Southbury, Conn.) moved the runners up a base, Gulls junior catcher Josh Drew (Intervale, N.H.) hit a chopper to short that allowed Kochiss to cross home plate making it a 1-1 game.
Southerland would last 6 2/3 innings, allowing one earned run on five hits and no free passes with three strikeouts. Lyons freshman lefty Jimmy Gowen (Brielle, N.J.) allowed two hits over 3 1/3 scoreless innings and was in line for the win before Endicott's dramatics in the bottom of the 11th.
Gulls junior Matthew Paola (Middlebury, Conn.) went 3-for-5 with a double in the win while Serina tallied two hits in four trips to the plate. Lavanchy and Wheaton sophomore left fielder Zachary Goodwin-Boyd (Florence, Mass.) both had two hits for the visitors.