Bears Magical Season Ends in ECAC Championship Game
CAMBRIDGE, Mass.—Coast Guard saw its record setting season finally come to end as the fifth-seeded Bears lost 2-0 to third-seeded MIT in the ECAC Division III Championship game.
It was the first ECAC championship game appearance for Coast Guard which finished with a school-record 24 wins and finished 24-17 overall while MIT improved to 28-11 and will hope for a bid to the NCAA Division III tournament when the brackets are announced on Monday morning.
"It is a huge accomplishment to win 24 games at the Coast Guard Academy, considering the outstanding league that we play in the NEWMAC," said Coast Guard head coach C.C. Grant. "It certainly showed how good the league is with an All-NEWMAC championship game today."
As they were all season, runs were at a premium in this All-NEWMAC championship game as it was a pitcher's duel between MIT freshman Nicholas Locasio and Coast Guard senior Riley Beecher.
MIT scored the only run it would need in the second on an RBI single by sophomore Karl Sorensen, it was an unearned run, and the Engineers added an insurance run in the sixth by stringing together four straight singles including an RBI single by sophomore Parker Tew for a 2-0 lead. Beecher got a ground ball double play to escape further damage.
Beecher (4-4), who saved his best outing of the season for the final game of his career, allowed two hits in the second and four in the sixth and didn't allow a hit in the other six innings. He walked three and fanned two in the game.
Loscasio, who was named the Most Outstanding Player in the tournament, allowed just two hits, a single to senior Tyler Babkiewich in the first and a single to junior Dave Wolinski in the ninth. The Bears threaten in the ninth as senior Eric Gerken was hit by a pitch, Wolinski singled and Babkiewich was hit by a pitch to load the bases, but a fly out ended the game.
"We got a great pitching performance from Riley today and we scrapped and played hard, but we couldn't get the timely hitting today that we got in the first two games of the tournament," said Grant. "We had the bases loaded in the ninth, but again couldn't get that hit to tie the game. Locascio pitched a great game for them today and there is no shame in losing to MIT, they are to me and NCAA tournament team."
The Bears senior class finished with 71 wins in their careers tying the mark set from 2000-2003.
The game marked the end of the career of 14 Coast Guard Academy seniors. This special senior class which registered 71 wins had six players finish their careers with 100 hits or more and had four pitchers win ten or more games.
"It is a bitter sweet end to the season and I appreciate all the hard work that this class has put in over the last four years and they will be missed," said Grant.
BELOW ARE THE MEMBERS OF THE SENIOR CLASS WITH OVER 100 HITS AND 10 WINS
Nolan Gallagher -- 150
Tyler Babkiewich -- 145
Eric Gerken -- 117
Mike Massaro -- 107
Cameron Carroll --104
Joe Petry --103
Nate Toll -- 15
Derek Petty -- 14
Tyler Vieira -- 13 (also school-record 22 career saves)
Riley Beecher -- 10