Beavers Win School-Record 13th Straight Game Behind 18-Hit Outburst
HARWICH, Mass.—Senior Jake Weiss (Irvine, Calif.) and sophomores Brian McHale (Ramsey, N.J.) and Eric Jaun (Loveland, Ohio) combined for 10 hits and nine runs batted in as fifth-seeded Babson College defeated fourth-seeded Salve Regina, 14-3, in the opening game of the NCAA Tournament Harwich Regional on Thursday at Whitehouse Field.
Babson (26-13), which has now won a school record 13 straight games, picked up its first NCAA Tournament win since 2009. No. 22 D3baseball.com/No. 20 Collegiate Baseball Salve Regina (34-11) is now 0-7 all-time in the NCAA Tournament.
McHale had four hits, including a triple, and drove in four runs, while Weiss went 3-for-5 with three RBI and three runs scored. Jaun was 3-for-5 with three RBI and two runs scored and fellow sophomore Connor Gill (Sterling, Mass.) added a pair of doubles and scored three times in the victory.
Junior Alex Perry (North Attleboro, Mass.) went 2-for-4 with an RBI for the Seahawks, who failed to register an extra-base hit for the first time in 11 games.
After trading runs in the first the Green and White took the lead for good with a three-run third. Gill led off with a double, Weiss and McHale drew back-to-back walks, and senior Jack Halpin (Glastonbury, Conn.) drove in the first of his two runs with a hard single to right. Weiss scored on a fielder's choice one batter later and Jaun plated Halpin with a sacrifice fly to make it 4-1.
McHale made it 5-1 with a two-out RBI single to center in the fourth, and the Beavers responded to a two-run rally by Salve Regina by scoring a pair of unearned runs to push their lead to 7-3 in the fifth.
Babson put the game away in the sixth by scoring six times with two outs. Junior Ryan Arena (Yorktown Heights, N.Y.) scored on an RBI single by Jaun, who later came in on a bases loaded walk to make it 9-3. Weiss smacked a two-run single to left and McHale tripled to deep center field to bring home two more runs for a 13-3 advantage.
Junior Teddy Carey (Upton, Mass.) went 7.0 innings and gave up three runs on five hits while fanning four to become the program's single-season leader strikeouts leader. He improves to 6-3 overall and has won three of his last four starts.
Seahawks' junior Jimmy Fitzgerald (Canton, Mass.), who suffered his first loss of the season, lasted just three innings after giving up four runs on five hits and two walks. Salve Regina, which allowed 18 hits and issued six walks, used six pitchers in the loss.
Babson will take on either top-seeded UMass Boston or eighth-seeded Penn State-Berks on Friday at 4:30 p.m., while Seahawks face an elimination contest against either the Beacons or Nittany Lions on Friday at 9:30 a.m.
• Babson is now 11-5 all-time against Salve Regina and has won two of its three regional openers.
• Junior Mark Webber (Norwell, Mass.) and Arena extended their hitting streaks to 13 and 12 games, respectively. Arena has also reached base in 29 straight outings.
• With his 21st multi-hit game of the season on Thursday, Halpin is up to 194 career knocks leaving just four shy of Babson Hall of Famer Kevin Higa's '03 198 and five away from Matt Delaney's '08 program record of 199.
• Carey, who has recorded 79 strikeouts in 11 starts this spring, passed Jason Kosow's '04 single-season record of 77 in the fifth inning.
• The Beavers' 26 wins are just one away from the program's single-season record of 27 set back in 2002.