Beavers Sweep Through NEWMAC Tournament To Claim Second Straight Conference Title for First Time in 21 Years
BABSON PARK, Mass.—Babson College took the lead with a four-run third inning and pulled away with four more runs in the sixth on its way to defeating Wheaton College, 11-5, to claim its second consecutive New England Women's and Men's Athletic Conference (NEWMAC) Tournament championship on May 6 at Govoni Field.
The back-to-back league titles are the first for the Green and White since winning the Constitution Athletic Conference (CAC) in 1996 and 1997.
Junior Eric Jaun (Loveland, Ohio) had four hits and drove in three runs, while classmate Connor Gill (Sterling, Mass.) added three hits and scored three times for the Beavers on his way to earning NEWMAC Tournament Most Outstanding Player honors. Senior Ryan Arena (Yorktown Heights, N.Y.) also went 3-for-4 for Babson, which defeated the Lyons twice and MIT once over a three-day period to sweep through the conference playoffs for the second year in a row.
Senior Mark Webber (Norwell, Mass.) and sophomore Sean Harrington (Walpole, Mass.) drew back-to-back bases-loaded walks, Jaun came through with an RBI single and sophomore Jake Oliger (Newtown, Conn.) followed with a sacrifice fly to put Babson in front 5-4 after three innings. After stranding runners in both the fourth and fifth innings, the Beavers broke the game open with a four-run sixth. Six different players singled and four drove in a run, which included two-out RBI knocks by sophomore Matthew Valente (Wyckoff, N.J.), Jaun and Oliger to give junior pitcher Michael Genaro (Greenwich, Conn.) an 8-4 cushion.
Genaro, who tied the program's single season wins record against with his eighth victory of the year against Wheaton, settled in after giving up four early runs. He retired eight straight batters from the fifth to the seventh innings and allowed just five hits over his final 5.1 innings of work. Genaro would go on to become the Beavers' single-season wins leader in an NCAA Tournament triumph over Misericordia.