BEVERLY, Mass. – The two-time defending CCC champion Endicott baseball team survived their first elimination game of the conference tournament on Friday by defeating the #2 seed Western New England 1-0 at North Field behind a combined shutout effort from starter Davarn Nova (Buzzards Bay, Mass.) and reliever Nick Quattro (Canton, Conn.).
Top-seeded Endicott (23-16) advances to play #5 Roger Williams (16-19) on Saturday morning at 11:00 a.m. at North Field as both teams have a loss against them in the double elimination CCC Tournament. Roger Williams lost their Friday matchup with #3 Curry 3-2. The winner of Endicott-Curry will face the loser of #6 Salve Regina at #3 Curry which is being held at Gordon College at 11:00 a.m.
Nova spun 6 2/3 scoreless innings in just his fourth start of the season and held the Golden Bears to five hits and a walk while striking out five batters, including four over his first two innings of work. After getting the first two outs of the top of the seventh, Nova walked sophomore third baseman Daniel Morin (Salem, N.H.) in his final batter faced. Head coach Bryan Haley turned to CCC Pitcher of the Year Quattro who no-hit Western New England over the final 2 1/3 innings to earn his second save of the season. Nova (2-2) picked up the win.
Gulls junior right fielder Matthew Paola (Middlebury, Conn.), who reached base three times in the game by walking twice and hitting a single, would score the only run Endicott would need in the bottom of the third. With one out, Paola drew a walk off Golden Bears right-hander Trevor Breton (Enfield, Conn.). With senior Harry Oringer (Dartmouth, Mass.) at the plate, the Gulls attempted a hit-and-run play that allowed Paola to advance to second base with Oringer grounding out to second base. Sophomore Mike Kochiss (Fairfield, Conn.) hit a sharp grounder down the third base line that was just out of reach of Morin as the ball deflected off his glove and into foul territory. Paola would round third and score to put Endicott ahead 1-0.
Western New England came right back in the top of the fourth with junior left fielder Doug Milne (Nesconset, N.Y.) roping a one-out single to break up Nova's streak of 10-straight outs to start the game. The next batter, senior first baseman Stephen Buckley (Lordship, Conn.) round first after a single down the left field line but was gunned out trying to get a double as Gulls left fielder Michael Cahill (Plymouth, Mass.) made at accurate throw to Oringer covering the bag. With two outs in the inning, Nova forced a slow chopper back in front of the plate that eventually led to a rundown out of Milne who was on third base.
Paola would reach third base in the bottom of the fifth after hitting a leadoff single, stealing second base, and advancing to third on a fly out to center by Cahill but Breton who strikeout Serina for the third out of the inning and strand the runner at third.
Breton was electric in his eight innings pitched, allowing just four hits and walking three with five strikeouts, but saw his pitching record fall to 2-4 on the year. Breton threw 118 pitches in the outing and kept the Endicott bats quiet over the final innings of the game by retiring the final 10 hitters he faced.
Milne was the only player to record two hits in the game. Milne was part of an attempted double steal in the top of the sixth but Gulls senior catcher Chase Sullivan (Cumberland, R.I.) made a heads up throw to second base to catch Milne stealing to end the threat.
Gulls junior first baseman Nicholas De Lotto (Southbury, Conn.) went 1-for-3 in the game with a double down the right field line. Junior shortstop Cody Hall (Rutland, Mass.) had several strong defensive plays as he and Kochiss both had five assists in the win.