BABSON PARK, Mass. – Sophomore southpaw Colton Cannon pitched a complete game allowing just six singles and an earned run leading fifth-seeded Coast Guard to a 6-1 win at fourth-seeded Babson in the single game elimination quarterfinal of the New England Women's and Men's Athletic Conference (NEWMAC) tournament.
Coast Guard improves to 16-12 and the Bears advance to the best of three semifinals tomorrow against top-seeded MIT in Cambridge, Mass. The teams will play a doubleheader at noon and game three if necessary will be played on Sunday at 1 p.m.
The Bears recorded a NEWMAC tournament win for the first time since 2010 when Coast Guard advanced all the way to the championship game.
Babson drops to 15-16 on the season.
"I liked our approach right from the start today, we showed up ready to play, had great at bats and Colton was outstanding," said Coast Guard head coach C.C. Grant. "We hit the ball as well as we have all season and we continued to add to our lead throughout the game and defensively we played errorless baseball and that is what we needed to do against a very good Babson team."
The day didn't start great for the Bears, who forgot to bring their bat bag with them on the trip, but during the game, the Bears handful of bats that they had with them were red hot as Coast Guard finished with 13 hits with eight different players hitting safely in the win.
Cannon (3-2) was brilliant throughout as three of the six hits that he allowed were infield singles and the Bears defense did not make an error, turning a trio of double plays while freshman catcher Alex Murdoch gunned down a pair of Babson runners trying to steal.
Babson grabbed a 1-0 lead in the bottom of the second as Sean MacPhee led off with a single and stole second before coming around on a one-out knock to center by Shea. Coast Guard stranded a pair of runners in the top of the third, but got on the board with two runs in the fourth. Tim Duncan and Blake Thompson got the frame started with back-to-back doubles to tie the game at 1-1. Kyle Wood followed with an infield single, and Thompson came into make it 2-1 on a sacrifice fly by Mark Behne.
The Bears added to their lead an inning later as they loaded the bases with nobody out behind a pair of singles and an error. Sanbourin scored on a deep sacrifice fly to center field by Duncan for a 3-1 edge, but Beavers' senior Barrett O'Neill escaped further damage by inducing a pop-up to short right and an inning-ending ground out to third.
Babson produced two singles and a walk in the fifth but were unable to cut into its deficit. Cannon gave up a free pass to start the inning to Brett Ender, but got a line drive double play to erase the runner. Senior Joe Zanca and Rob Caggiano followed with back-to-back two out singles, but Cannon ended the threat with an inning-ending pop-up to first.
Coast Guard added a pair of insurance runs in the sixth as sophomore Brendan McNeil doubled to left, Behne followed with a single to center, and Jackson drove them both in with another single to left to make it 5-1. The four-run lead was more than enough for Cannon, who despite walking four and striking out just one.
O'Neill (5-2) suffered the loss for the Beavers giving up four earned runs on nine hits while striking out five in five innings. Freshman Matt Cuneo gave up one earned run on four hits over the final four innings out of the bullpen.
Wood went 3-for-4 and Behne finished 2-for-2 with two runs scored and an RBI for the Bears. Senior Dan Sabourin had a pair of hits to go along with and RBI and run scored, while Thompson and Duncan each drove in a run and scored once.