Walsh's Extra Inning Double Forces Second Championship Game As Baseball Falls In MASCAC Tournament Title Round At Salem State

Walsh's Extra Inning Double Forces Second Championship Game As Baseball Falls In MASCAC Tournament Title Round At Salem State


2016 MASCAC Championship

Sunday, May 8, 2016

Central Campus Field, Salem, Mass.






SALEM, Mass. --  Senior Richard Fecteau (Newbury, Mass.) earned tournament Most Valuable Player honors after belting a pair of homers and driving in three runs to lead top-seeded Salem State to its second straight Massachusetts State Collegiate Athletic Conference baseball championship with a 16-8 victory over second-seeded Massachusetts Maritime in Sunday’s title game played at Central Campus Field.  The visiting Buccaneers forced a deciding championship round contest earlier in the day with a 6-5 10-inning victory provided by an RBI double off the bat of senior Everett Walsh (Marstons Mills, Mass.).


The host Vikings, who have won three of the last four MASCAC tournament crowns, improve to 23-18-1 overall and earned the conference’s automatic berth into the NCAA Division III Baseball Championships, which begin with regional play on May 18th.  The visiting Buccaneers, who were making their first-ever appearance in the league championship round, fall to 23-15 overall and await word on possible selection to the ECAC New England Championships, as that field will be announced on Monday afternoon.


Salem State grabbed a 2-0 second inning lead in the opening contest on a bunt single by junior Teghan Malionek (Salem, Mass.) and an RBI triple from junior Mac Daniel Singleton (Everett, Mass.), and the Vikings extended that margin to 4-0 in the fifth on Fecteau’s fourth home run of the spring and a run-scoring groundout off the bat of sophomore Jose Cedano (Lawrence, Mass.).  Massachusetts Maritime sliced its deficit in half in the top of the seventh, as singles by senior Greg Downs (Marshfield, Mass.) and freshman Riley Fusaro (Nantucket, Mass.) were followed by a two-run double from sophomore Billy Keane (Braintree, Mass.), and the Buccaneers took a 5-4 eighth inning lead following a three-run rally that featured four hits.  Sophomore Cobie Gerbis (Holmes Beach, Fla.) and freshman Paul Sances (Middleboro, Mass.) led off the frame for the visitors with singles, and after a walk to Fusaro loaded the bases, Keane again came through with a two-run single to center that knotted matters at 4-4.  After a single to right by sophomore Connor Kennedy (West Barnstable, Mass.) again loaded the bases, Walsh lofted a sacrifice fly to center that plated Fusaro for the lead run, but the hosts quickly evened things once again in the bottom of the inning with a one-out single by sophomore Alex Toomey (Beverly, Mass.) that was followed by an RBI double off the bat of junior Andrew Deloury (Andover, Mass.).  Salem State loaded the bases in the bottom of the ninth on singles by Fecteau and senior Mike Davis (Peabody, Mass.) that were followed by a walk to sophomore Dan Connors (Danvers, Mass.), but Massachusetts Maritime senior Kyle Kennedy (Woodbury, Conn.) kept the winning run from scoring by inducing three straight groundouts to send the game to extra innings.  After Fusaro singled to lead off the 10th, Keane reached on a throwing error, and one batter later Walsh delivered a double down the right field line to plate Keane with what would be the deciding tally, as Kyle Kennedy retired the side in order to force the second championship game.


Fusaro accounted for three of the Buccaneers’ 13 hits in the opening triumph, as Walsh and Keane combined for four hits and six RBI for the visitors.  Gerbis also rapped out two hits for Massachusetts Maritime, as Kyle Kennedy struck out a pair over the final three innings of work to pick up his third win of the tournament and improve to 4-1 on the spring.  Fecteau was a perfect 5-for-5 at the plate to go with his homer in the opening setback for the Vikings, as sophomore Will Twiss (Middleton, Mass.), the fifth Salem State hurler of the contest, suffered the setback to fall to 0-6 on the season.


The Vikings again jumped out to a 2-0 second inning lead in the second game on a Singleton RBI single and an error, but the Buccaneers squared things at 2-2 with two outs in the bottom of the frame on Fusaro’s RBI triple that was followed by Keane’s single (his fifth RBI of the day).  Fecteau gave Salem State a 3-2 cushion in the top of the third with his second home run of the afternoon, and after the hosts extended their edge to 4-2 in the inning on Toomey’s RBI single, Massachusetts Maritime put together five hits as part of a four-run rally in the bottom of the frame to take a 6-5 lead.  A one-out double by Walsh set the stage for sophomore Logan Sullo’s (Acushnet, Mass.) two-run homer (his seventh of the season) to cut the visitors’ deficit to one, and after singles by Sances and junior Jake Petruzzelli (Abington, Mass.) put runners at the corners, the duo executed a double-steal, with Petruzzelli stealing home to tie the game.  Sances then scored on a fielding error to give the Buccaneers their last lead of the contest, however, as the Vikings again tied the score at 6-6 in the fifth when Connors doubled and later scored on Toomey’s sacrifice fly.


Salem State took control of things with a six-run sixth inning rally, as a Connors RBI single was followed by a two-run single off the bat of freshman Joe White (Bellingham, Mass.) that gave the hosts a 9-6 lead.  Cedano then ripped an RBI triple to left center, and Toomey followed with a two-run homer (his second of the spring) that capped the outburst.  Fecteau’s third round-tripper of the day (a two-run shot to right) extended the Vikings’ advantage to 14-6, and Salem State capped its scoring in the eighth on a wild pitch and a Singleton fielder’s choice.  Massachusetts Maritime accounted for the final margin with a pair of ninth inning RBI singles by Petruzzelli and Downs as part of a three-hit final frame.


Toomey collected three hits and drove in four total runs as part of an 18-hit second game attack for Salem State, which also received three hits from Connors to go with two hits each from Fecteau, Deloury, Malionek and Singleton.  Senior Cato LaCroix (Holliston, Mass.) tossed the final 6 1/3 frames in relief for the Vikings to earn his third win in four decisions on the season, as he scattered seven hits and struck out five along the way.  Petruzelli rapped out three of Massachusetts Maritime’s 15 nightcap hits, as Walsh, Sullo, Sances, Fusaro and Keane each collected a pair of hits for the visitors.  Senior Alex Rozak (Plymouth, Mass.), making his second relief of appearance of the day after tossing six innings as a starter in Saturday’s 6-3 elimination game win over Westfield State, suffered the setback on the mound for the Buccaneers with three innings of work to fall to 3-6 on the spring.