Bears Advance to ECAC Championship Game With 7-2 Win
CAMBRIDGE, Mass.—Senior Cameron Carroll's towering three-run homer to left in the top of the ninth broke open the game as fifth-seeded Coast Guard knocked off top-seeded Suffolk 7-2 in the semifinals of the ECAC Division III New England tournament at MIT.
Senior Nate Toll (5-4) pitched seven solid innings allowing just five singles and an earned run while walking one and striking out one to pick up the win. Seniors Curt Barrett and Tyler Vieira each threw a scoreless inning to close out the win as the Bears improve to 24-17 and advance to the ECAC Championship game for the first time in school history on Sunday at noon. Suffolk finishes the season 29-14.
It will be an All New England Women's and Men's Athletic Conference (NEWMAC) Championship Game as the Bears will take on third-seeded MIT in the championship game. MIT beat seventh-seeded Elms 12-0.
Coast Guard won two-of-three games from MIT during the regular season this year.
"Nate did a great job pitching and we had some timely extra base hits and played flawless defense," said Coast Guard head coach C.C. Grant. "Cameron got a good pitch to hit after battlling back in the count, the homer was well hit and broke the game wide open for us."
"I'm happy that there are two NEWMAC teams in the final, its shows the depth of the league and we are looking forward to a competive game against a very good MIT team," added Grant.
Suffolk got on the board in the first on an RBI single by Chris Stanley for a 1-0 lead after Coast Guard left the bases loaded in the top of the first.
The Bears evened things in the second as sophomore Matt Hanks sacrifice fly scored freshman Mark Behne, who reached on an error.
Suffolk took the lead in the third as junior Mark Jacobson was hit by a pitch to lead off the inning and later scored on a double play ground out for 2-1.
Coast Guard took the lead in the fourth after the first two batters were retired, senior Eric Gerken was hit by a pitch and Hanks walked before senior Tyler Babkiewich had the big hit, a two-run double in the right center gap, for a 3-2 lead. The double by Babkiewich was his school-record tying 39th of his career tying Ben Keffer (1999-2002) as he played in his school-record 138th game.
Toll then took charge on the mound allowing just one hit over his final four innings of work before giving way to the bullpen.
The Bears put the game away with a four-run outburst in the ninth as Babkiewich singled, moved to second on a passed ball, stole third and scored on a throwing error on a ground ball by senior Mike Massaro to keep the inning alive with two outs. Behne walked following the error before Carroll's blast capped the inning.
Senior Eric Gerken got on base four times with a pair of walks, while also being hit by a pitch twice. Babkiewich and Carroll each had two hits for the Bears in the win.
The Bears senior class won the 71st game of their careers tying the mark set from 2000-2003.