Posted: May 19, 2012
MANSFIELD, Conn. – Junior second baseman Tim Clark (West Springfield, MA) delivered a dramatic walk-off two-run single with no outs in the ninth as No. 21 Western New England rallied for a heart pounding 2-1 victory over Trinity in an elimination game of the NCAA Division III New England Regional Baseball Championship Saturday (May 19) at Eastern Stadium.
The Golden Bears (37-12) will meet No. 9 Wheaton (37-8) at 3:30 p.m. this afternoon with WNE needing to beat the Lyons to force another game on Sunday (May 20) for the regional title.
Pitching on two days rest, sophomore right hander Brendan Nugent (Milford, CT) again was spectacular tossing his second complete game of the tournament. He allowed six hits with two walks and four strikeouts to raise his record to 10-1 with a 1.79 ERA this season.
Trinity freshman lefty Robert Gau (Westport, CT) also was outstanding holding the Golden Bears to only two hits through eight innings in his first regional appearance. He gave up two walks and fanned 11.
Gau, however, hit junior center fielder Jeff Schult (Wappingers Falls, NY) with a pitch to lead-off the ninth.
Sophomore Ryan Carr (Cos Cobb, CT) (2-2) came in relief and walked sophomore first baseman Steve Ambrosino (Laurel Hollow, NY) on a 3-2 count. Junior third baseman Mike Rubino (Northford, CT) bunted and Carr threw to third, but the speedy Schult beat the throw on a close play.
It was the first sacrifice bunt of the season for Rubino who ironically came into the regional tied for the lead nationally in sacrifice flies (8).
Clark then drilled the first pitch to left center to send the Golden Bears into the championship round against Wheaton who is the only undefeated squad in the event with three wins, including a 10-3 victory over WNE on Thursday (May 17).
Schult had a lead-off single in the first and promptly stole second and third for his 33rd and 34th stolen bases of the season. Gau came back to fan the side. He had nine of his strikeouts in the first four innings.
Junior catcher Tom Booth (Milford, CT) had a single to lead-off the sixth for the Golden Bears’ other hit.
Trinity (34-10) took a 1-0 lead in the third inning when senior catcher Kevin Mortimer (Spencer, MA) walked with two outs and scored on a double down the left field line by junior designated hitter Joe Papa (Stoneham, MA).
Senior right fielder James Ramsey (Belmont, MA) had a single and walk in the game. Mortimer also drew a walk.
Contact: Ken Cerino, Western New England athletic communications director (413) 782-1227