BEVERLY, Mass. – In a matchup between New England's fourth-ranked Endicott and 10th-ranked UMass Dartmouth, according to the most recent NCAA regional poll, the Gulls and Corsairs spilt a pair of extra-inning affairs at North Field on Sunday afternoon. Endicott (22-14) captured game one 4-3 in 11 innings thanks to a walk-off hit by freshman shortstop Nick Berno (St. Albans, Vt.) while UMD (19-13) got a nine-inning gem from junior lefty Aaron Chouinard (Swansea, Mass.) to take game two 4-3.
Endicott also took time before the start of Sunday's non-conference doubleheader to honor the four members of their Class of 2015. Seniors Michael Cahill (Plymouth, Mass.), Harry Oringer (Dartmouth, Mass.), Zac Poland (Essex Junction, Vt.), and Chase Sullivan (Cumberland, R.I.) were all recognized with their families with Senior Day festivities.
Game One: Endicott 4, UMass Dartmouth 3 (11 inn.)
With two outs in the bottom of the 11th, Berno delivered a walk-off single through the right side of the infield that scored fellow first year Michael Casciano (Somers, Conn.) for the game-winning run. The walk-off hit came four innings after Endicott tied the game in the bottom of the seventh on a fielder's choice chopper to short by freshman Brad Rebello (Bellingham, Mass.) that saw freshman Michael DeDonato (Chelmsford, Mass.) barely beat the throw home.
In bottom of the 11th, Casciano had pinch-run for junior Anthony Serina (Portsmouth, R.I.) who hit an infield single to lead off the inning. Junior catcher Josh Drew (Intervale, N.H.) then laid down a sacrifice bunt to get Casciano into scoring position. Berno recorded his first collegiate hit and RBI on the play.
Gulls sophomore starter Luke Morse (Westford, Mass.) cruised through his first 5 2/3 innings pitched before a two-out error preceded a game-tying two-run homerun over the left centerfield wall by senior Cory DeMedeiros (Fall River, Mass.). After an Alberto Vasquez (Roxbury, Mass.) infield single kept the two-out rally alive, Corsairs designated hitter Taylor Cacciola (West Greenwich, R.I.) cracked another offering over the left field wall but failed to touch second as he rounded the bases and was out after the Gulls appealed. One run would be counted and UMD took a 3-2 lead.
Endicott junior righty Davarn Nova (Buzzards Bay, Mass.) entered the game in the top of the seventh, recorded the final two outs on a double-play, and went on to pitch another four shutout innings to earn the win. Nova allowed four hits, walked none, and struck out two as he earned his first victory of the season at 1-2.
Michael Cahill went 2-for-5 at the plate a two-RBI double to left center in the bottom of fourth to push Endicott on top 2-0. Chase Sullivan also had two hits in the win while Harry Oringer went 1-for-3 with a walk and a run scored.
For UMD, senior third baseman George Agostini (Rehoboth, Mass.) went 3-for-5 at the dish with a run scored. DeMedeiros and Cacciola each had two hits in the loss. Freshman Josh Fickert (Lakeville, Mass.) would suffer the loss (0-2) after going 2 2/3 innings and allowing one earned run on two hits and two walks with two strikeouts.
Game Two: UMass Dartmouth 4, Endicott 3 (9 inn.)
Aaron Chouinard pitched a complete-game over nine innings and allowed three runs, two earned, as the junior scattered seven hits and walked one. Chouinard struck out 11 of the 37 batters he faced and improved to 3-2 on the season.
Endicott benefited from a defensive miscue by the Corsairs in the bottom of the first to take a 1-0 lead as junior Matthew Paola (Middlebury, Conn.) scored from second base on a botched double-play attempt. Paola had singled with one out and swiped second base, his 15th of the year, to get into scoring position.
Gulls freshman starter Brady Hall (Rockville, Md.) threw three shutout frames with five strikeouts before getting into trouble in the top of the fourth. With runners on first and third and one out, DeMedeiros doubled down the left field line to score senior shortstop Nate Farias (Fall River, Mass.) for UMD's first run of the game. Vasquez, the very next batter, singled to right to score two base runners and put the Corsairs up 3-1. The Gulls would get one run back in the bottom half of the fourth after back-to-back doubles by Cahill and Drew made it a 3-2 ballgame.
In the bottom of the fifth, sophomore third baseman Mike Kochiss (Fairfield, Conn.) hit a two-out single to center that brought Oringer around from second base to score the game-tying run. Oringer had been hit by a pitch and took second base on a failed pickoff bid earlier in the inning.
As Chouinard settled into a groove that would lead to four shutout innings to end the game, Endicott junior reliever Nick Quattro (Canton, Conn.) matched him pitch-for-pitch with five no-hit innings in relief of Hall. Quattro struck out five batters but did walk two.
One of his walks went to Agostini to lead off the top of the ninth. After getting DeMedeiros to fly out, Endicott head coach Bryan Haley called on sophomore Eric Nagle (Manchester, Conn.) out of the pen who saw an error in the field put runners on first and second with one. Nagle forced a foul out to get one out from escaping the jam but on a pickoff play trying to catch the runner on first, the throw went wild and allowed Agostini to score all the way from second base.
With UMD up 4-3 in the ninth, Chouinard retired the side 1-2-3 to end the game and salvage the split.
Cahill again had two hits for Endicott in game two to finish the day 4-for-8 on Senior Day.