WATERTOWN, Mass. – Sophomore Eric Vrissis went the distance and allowed just six hits and one earned run while striking out a career-high eight as Coast Guard beat Emerson 7-2 at Victory Field to secure a berth in the New England Women's and Men's Athletic Conference (NEWMAC) tournament.
The Bears locked down the fifth-seed and will play at fourth-seeded Babson on Friday at 3:30. The winner of that game will travel to top-seeded MIT on Saturday for a three-game semifinal series.
Coast Guard (15-12, 8-9) got the help it needed as Babson beat Clark 12-7 to put the Bears in the tournament. Emerson drops to 1-27 overall and 1-16 in conference play.
The Bears struck first in the second on an RBI single by senior Blake Thompson scoring sophomore Brendan McNeil, who tripled.
Emerson tied the game in the home half on an RBI single by Kyle Becker.
Sophomore Tim Duncan's two-run double in the third gave the Bears the lead for good 3-1.
Steven Cameron's RBI single in the third cut the deficit to 3-2, but that would be the final run the Lions would score.
Vrissis (2-1) allowed just one hit of the final six innings, a bunt single in the eighth. He retired ten straight before the bunt single.
Coast Guard scored single runs in the fourth, fifth and sixth to extend the lead to 6-2.
Sophomore Kyle Jackson, who led the Bears with three hits, had RBI singles in the fourth and sixth while junior Kyle Wood had a sacrifice fly in the fifth for Coast Guard.
The Bears closed the scoring in the ninth on an RBI single by McNeil.
Julian Rifkind (0-4) went the distance for Emerson and took the loss.
Junior Mark Behne and McNeil had two hits for Coast Guard in the win.