Baseball team wins conference championship
Salve Regina defeated Endicott College twice on May 11 to capture the 2016 Commonwealth Coast Conference baseball championship. With the pair of wins, the Seahawks earned the conference’s automatic bid into the NCAA Division III baseball tournament.
Game 1: Salve Regina 10, Endicott 3
Trailing 2-1 in the top of the third, the Seahawks’ offense exploded for nine runs on nine hits and zero errors, and never looked back. Zack Smith ’19 had a two-run double and Ryan Kelly ’16 added a two-run single to account for the majority of the scoring. Hunter Sleeper ’17, Alex Perry ’18 and Tristan Dacey ’19 also drove in solo runs in the inning.
Endicott got a run back in the bottom of the third, but Cory Poplawski ’17 blanked the Gulls’ offense the rest of the way to force a second game between the two clubs. Poplawski earned his fourth victory of the season with a complete-game effort on 118 pitches.
Game 2: Salve Regina 2, Endicott 1
In the winner-take-all game, Salve Regina won its eighth championship in program history behind strong pitching from Billy Humes ’18 and Dylan Jepsen ’18. Humes improved to 5-2 on the year by completing seven innings of work, while Jepsen picked up his first save of the season on two shutout innings out of the bullpen.
Deadlocked in a pitchers’ duel through the first five innings, Salve Regina finally cracked the scoreboard with two runs in the sixth inning. Smith gave the Seahawks a 1-0 lead when he drove home Kelly with a bases-loaded RBI single, while Dacey plated the second run on a fielder’s choice.
Endicott cut the deficit to 2-1 in the eighth, but Jepsen stranded the tying run at third with a strikeout to end the inning. The Gulls also put the tying run at second base in the ninth, although Jepsen squandered the scoring threat once again, this time with back-to-back strikeouts.