Late-Inning Magic Carries Baseball to Second Consecutive NCAA Tournament Regional Final
BABSON PARK, Mass.—Coming off of late-inning comebacks in each of its first two games, the Babson College baseball team erased a four-run deficit against Misericordia University with six unanswered runs to reach the championship round at the NCAA Tournament York (Pa.) Regional on May 20. The regional final appearance was the second in as many years for the Green and White, which won a school-record 35 games.
Trailing 5-1 in the top of the sixth inning, sophomore Sean Harrington (Walpole, Mass.) made the Cougars pay for a pair of hit batsmen with a two-out, three-run homer to right to pull the Beavers within a run. The Green and White scored three more times in the seventh thanks to RBI singles by juniors Brian McHale (Ramsey, N.J.) and Connor Gill (Sterling, Mass.) and a sacrifice fly by senior Mark Webber (Norwell, Mass.).
Junior Michael Genaro (Greenwich, Conn.) battled through 7.1 innings to set a new single-season program record with his ninth victory, while sophomore William Gallagher (Kingston, N.Y.) and senior Matt Cuneo (Ashland, Mass.) combined to record the final five outs in the Beavers' 7-5 win.
The win over Misericordia followed a familiar script for the Beavers, who rallied in the late innings to win each of their first three NCAA Tournament games. Babson erased three different deficits and scored twice in the bottom of the ninth to edge Catholic 12-11 in its opener, and were down to its final strike before McHale's triple drove in junior Eric Jaun (Loveland, Ohio) to tie the game in the top of the ninth against Union. Senior Drew Petillo (Bridgewater, N.J.) escaped a jam with back-to-back strikeouts in the bottom of the frame and Harrington scored the go-ahead run in the 10th for a 5-4 victory.
Overall, the Beavers rallied to win seven games when trailing entering the eighth inning, which was highlighted by taking the lead for good in their final at-bat on six occasions.