No. 14/26 Baseball Falls to No. 20/21 Le Moyne, 4-2, in Final Game of Northeast-10 Championship (UPDATED: 9:55 p.m. Sunday with Direct Link to Selection Show)
Ravens wait for seeding in NCAA Championship East Regional
Roche and Walsh were both named to the Northeast-10 All-Championship Team.
MANCHESTER, N.H. (May 13, 2012) – Junior first baseman Paul Speicher pushed a two-run single down the right-field line on Sunday afternoon to give No. 20/21 nationally ranked Le Moyne, seeded second in the Southwest Division, a 2-1 lead it would never relinquish on the way to a 4-2 victory over the No. 14/26 Franklin Pierce University baseball team, seeded second in the Northeast Division, in the decisive game of the Northeast-10 Conference Baseball Championship, hosted by Saint Anselm at Sullivan Park. With the win, Le Moyne claimed its first Northeast-10 title in its first season in the league, and earns the Conference's automatic bid to the NCAA Championship East Regional.
With the loss, Franklin Pierce falls to 36-17-1. The Ravens are expected to earn an at-large bid to the NCAA Championship East Regional, scheduled for Thursday, May 17 through Sunday, May 20 at the highest seed which can secure a lighted field. The selections, seeds and hosts for all eight regions will be announced in a selection show live at 10 p.m. Sunday night on NCAA.com. A link to the video webcast will be available at http://www.ncaa.com/liveschedule. With the win, Le Moyne improves to 40-13-1.
At the conclusion of the tournament, both graduate student center fielder James Roche (Arlington, Mass.) and freshman catcher Matt Walsh (Plymouth, Mass.) were named to the Northeast-10 All-Championship Team.
Franklin Pierce opened the scoring with a run in the bottom of the fourth inning. Leading off the inning, sophomore first baseman Zach Mathieu (Derry, N.H.) hit his 13th home run of the season to center field.
Le Moyne struck for three runs in the top of the seventh inning to take a 3-1 lead. Senior third baseman Matt Marra led off and was a hit by pitch, as was junior shortstop Ryan Mahoney, which spelled the end of the day for the Franklin Pierce starter, junior right-hander Matt Horan (Boston, Mass.). He was relieved by sophomore right-hander Rob Blanc (Sandy Hook, Conn.), who got a groundout from the first batter he faced. After a passed ball moved the runners to second and third, junior first baseman Paul Speicher went the other way and poked a single down the right-field line to drive in both runs and give Le Moyne the lead. Speicher moved around to third on a single inside of third base and down the line by junior designated hitter Matthew Ciraco and eventually scored on an RBI single through the right side of the infield by junior second baseman Vincent Redmond.
The Ravens picked up a run in the bottom half of the seventh to trim the lead to 3-2. Sophomore left fielder Calvin Graves (Boston, Mass.) and senior second baseman Dan Hennigan (Downingtown, Pa.) were both hit by pitches to start the inning and moved to second and third on a sacrifice bunt. Roche lined a single back up the middle to drive in Graves.
Le Moyne picked up an insurance run in the top of the ninth to create the 4-2 final. With one out, Speicher was hit by a pitch and sophomore right fielder Nate Reynolds drew a four-pitch walk. Speicher would score when junior catcher Brian Stinson drove a double into the gap in left-center.
Horan made his first collegiate start and suffered the loss (1-1) on the hill for Horan. Over six-plus innings, he allowed two runs on four hits, walked one, hit three batters and struck out one.
Freshman left-hander Ryan Davis took the ball and did not factor in the decision for Le Moyne. In four innings of work, he allowed one run on four hits, walked one and struck out one. Fellow freshman left-hander Jon Dunn picked up the win (1-1) out of the bullpen for the Dolphins. He worked the fifth and sixth innings, did not allow a run, surrendered one hit and walked one. Marra moved from third base to the mound and pitched the final three innings without allowing a run to earn his first save of the season. He allowed two hits and walked one.
For more information on Franklin Pierce Athletics, please visit the official website of Franklin Pierce Athletics (http://athletics.franklinpierce.edu). Also be sure to follow the Ravens through the Department of Athletics' official Facebook page (http://www.facebook.com/FranklinPierceRavens), its YouTube channel (http://www.youtube.com/franklinpiercesports) and its Twitter feed (http://twitter.com/FPUathletics).