Baseball Drops Two One-Run Contests to Close the Season

Baseball Drops Two One-Run Contests to Close the Season

BEVERLY, Mass. – Senior Josh Drew (Intervale, N.H.) reached on an error with the bases loaded and two outs to cap off a seventh inning rally as the Endicott College baseball team completed a sweep of a Commonwealth Coast Conference doubleheader of Wentworth Institute of Technology. The Gulls took the first game by a 1-0 final and won the nightcap, 2-1.

With the pair of wins the Gulls improve to 25-12 overall and remains in a first-place tie in league play with a 13-3 mark. The Leopards, who needed to sweep to stay in playoff contention, see their season come to a close with a 10-24 (4-12) mark. Eleven of the Black & Gold's 24 losses – including seven in conference play – came by a single run.

GAME ONE:  Endicott 1, Wentworth 0
Leopard senior Corey Jerolmon (New Milford, Conn.) and Gull senior JJ Branch (Milford, Mass.) were locked in a pitcher's duel for the entire game. In the top of the fourth, Wentworth had a chance to get on the board after sophomore Tyler Weninger (Chandler, Ariz.) doubled down the right field line with one out. After a popup, the threat ended when Weninger was picked off to end the inning.

The Gulls scored the only run of the game in the home half of the inning. Sophomore Michael DeDonato (Chelmsford, Mass.) led off with a single to right and subsequently stole second base. After a fly out by senior Anthony Serina (Portsmouth, R.I.) moved DeDonato to third, he was brought in when junior Mike Kochiss (Fairfield, Conn.) hit a sacrifice fly to left center.

In the sixth inning, Wentworth had a chance to tie the game. Sophomore Bryon Kucharski (East Haven, Conn.) led off with a walk and was lifted for freshman pinch runner Anthony de la Cruz (Lynn, Mass.). De la Cruz was erased when freshman Matt Smith (Horsehead, N.Y.) hit into a fielder's choice. Smith would be erased on a caught stealing before junior Christian Ferri (Bloomfield, N.J.) reached on an infield single. However, Ferri was stranded when a fly out ended the inning.

Endicott had a chance to increase its lead in the sixth when DeDonato and Sernia had back-to-back singles with two outs. DeDonato went to third on Sernia's hit and was stranded there on a fly out.  Down to its last at-bat, Branch set the Leopards down in order.

Branch, who tied the program record for victories (24) improved to 6-1 on the season as he pitched a three-hit shutout with four strikeouts. DeDonato had two of the Gulls' three hits.

In his final appearance in the Wentworth uniform, Jerolmon pitched well, but fell to 2-4 as he allowed one run on three hits and struck out a batter. Ferri, Weninger, and Smith accounted for the Leopard offense.

GAME TWO:  Endicott 2, Wentworth 1
Endicott had a chance to take a 1-0 lead in the first inning after Sernia singled and stole second with two outs. However, the threat ended on a groundout to second.

Wentworth broke the ice in the third inning as freshman Jake Smith (Orange, Conn.) doubled down the left field line and went to third on a Matt Smith single up the middle. Ferri laced a single to center field to drive in Jake Smith and, after a strikeout, Ferri stole second however was stranded there on a ground out.

After Weninger and senior Darren Nova (Buzzards Bay, Mass.) combined to set down the next 15 consecutive batter, Wentworth nearly added to its lead in the sixth. Ferri led off with a walk, however was thrown out trying to steal. With two outs, junior Jordan Burst (Jackson, N.J.) and senior Johnny Ryan (Brandt Rock, Mass.) had back-to-back singles, however junior Colby Morris (Newburyport, Mass.) was summoned from the bullpen and got a strikeout to end the inning.

Serina led off the bottom of the seventh with a single through the left side and freshman pinch runner Matt Bald (De Pere, Wisc.) went to second when Kochiss singled. A bunt single from sophomore Brad Rebello (Bellingham, Mass.) loaded the bases and junior Aaron Denis (Dover, N.H.) was summoned to relieve Weninger. Denis got junior Cam Farnham (Andover, Mass.) to hit into a fielder's choice, which forced Bald out at the plate and senior Matthew Paola (Middlebury, Conn.) popped up for the second out. Senior Cody Hall (Rutland, Mass.) drew a bases-loaded walk and Drew, who came on as a pinch hitter, would reach on a fielding error which scored freshman pinch runner Dan Cacciola (Saugus, Mass.) with the game-winning run.

Morris improved to 4-0 with his win in relief as he didn't allow a hit or a run and struck out three batters in 1.1 innings of work. Nova went 5.2 innings allowing one run on five hits and struck out six batters. Sernia had two hits for the Gulls.

Weninger fell to 2-6 on the year after allowing two runs (one earned) on five hits and striking out a pair in six-plus innings. Denis pitched two-thirds of an inning. Ferri, Burst, Ryan, Jake Smith, and Matt Smith had a hit apiece for the Leopards.