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W&M's Jackson Shaver

W&M Advances To NCAA Regional Title Game

Courtesy: CAA
          Release: 06/02/2013
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N.C. State 9, William & Mary 2

RALEIGH, N.C. – After winning a school-record 39 games, which included the program's first-ever NCAA Tournament wins, the William and Mary baseball team fell to seventh-ranked N.C. State, 9-2, on Sunday night in the Raleigh Regional final at Doak Field. The Wolfpack jumped out to a three-run advantage after an inning of play and tacked on three-run innings in the sixth and eighth en route to advancing to next week’s Super Regionals. The Green and Gold’s magical and historic 2013 campaign came to a close at 39-24 as one of the final 32 teams playing in the NCAA Tournament, while N.C. State improves to 47-14.  

Freshman catcher Ryan Hissey and senior pitcher Brett Koehler were honored on the Raleigh All-Tournament Team for their performances. Hissey led the Tribe with four hits, including a double, in the regional to go along with two RBI’s and two runs scored. He was also a standout behind the plate, registering nine assists in a stellar defensive showing through W&M's four games at the event. In his final start for W&M earlier in the day on Sunday, Koehler, who was one of two pitchers named to the All-Regional Team, threw a 98-pitch, complete game in the Tribe's 4-1 over No. 23 Ole Miss, advancing the Green and Gold to the regional final.

On the night against N.C. State, Hissey led the Tribe attack at the plate, going 2-of-4 with a double and a run scored. Seniors Jackson Shaver and Ryan Williams picked up doubles in their final collegiate games, while Shaver drove home his third run of the NCAA Regional. Senior Ryan Brown and sophomore Michael Katz each finished with a hit, and Brown also tallied a run scored.

Senior left-hander Matt Wainman (4-4), who made his first start since March 27, took the loss in 5.1 innings, striking out three, but allowing six runs (five earned) on 10 hits. Junior John Sheehan worked the final 2.2 innings, finishing with one strikeout, while allowing three earned runs on four hits. N.C. State's freshman Brad Stone (3-2) picked up the win in 5.1 innings of scoreless baseball, striking out three and allowing four hits. Senior Grant Sasser came on in the eighth and picked the final five outs to earn his ninth save, while striking out three batters.

N.C. State got off to a fast start on Sunday evening with three runs in the bottom half of the first.  Sophomores Trea Turner and Jake Fincher, who were both named to the All-Regional Team, started off the inning with back-to-back singles, before a fielder’s choice from sophomore Brett Austin left runners at the corners with one out. Senior Tarran Senay followed with a three-run home run over the right field wall to give the Wolfpack an early cushion.

After N.C. State’s Stone retired the first seven Tribe hitters in order, the Green and Gold had chances with runners in scoring position in the third, fourth and sixth innings, but could not push any across the plate. Williams collected the Tribe’s first hit of the contest in the third inning as his grounder bounded inside the third-base bag and into the left field corner for a one-out double, but he was stranded at third base.

In the fourth, Katz and Hissey collected singles to put runners at the corner with two outs, but Stone fanned the final Tribe batter of the inning to get out of the jam. Brown singled for W&M to start the sixth and moved up to second base on a wild pitch with no one out, but was left at second base as Ryan Wilkins came out to collect the final two outs of the inning for the Wolfpack.

N.C. State tacked on three insurance runs in the bottom half of the sixth inning as sophomore second baseman Logan Ratledge and Fincher collected run-scoring singles.

The Tribe got on the scoreboard in the seventh inning and closed the gap to 6-1 on a pair of extra base hits. Hissey led off the inning with a double into the right field corner and came around to score on Shaver’s slicing double into the left field corner.

In the eighth, the Tribe used a trio of errors from the Wolfpack defense to draw closer. Brown and Katz reached on errors to put runners at first and second with just one out. Junior Ryan Lindemuth’s grounder to first base was fielded cleanly by N.C. State’s Tarran Senay, but his throw to second base ended up in left field, allowing Brown to come around from second for the Tribe’s second run of the contest. N.C. State went to the bullpen again with just one out and two on for W&M, and Sasser responded with a pair of strikeouts to close the eighth inning.

Senay made amends for his errant throw in the bottom of the inning as the Wolfpack added three more runs to put the game out of reach. After a run trotted home on a wild pitch, Senay lined a single to left center field with the bases loaded to drive in a pair and increase the N.C. State lead to the final margin of 9-2. Senay, who was named the Raleigh Regional Most Outstanding Player, finished with five RBI’s in the victory over W&M and seven for the tournament.

William & Mary 4, Ole Miss 1

RALEIGH, N.C. – Using the same recipe its has throughout the 2013 campaign, the William and Mary baseball team received an exceptional pitching performance backed by strong defense and timely hitting to downed No. 23-ranked Ole Miss for the second time in three days, 4-1, in the Sunday elimination game of the Raleigh Regional. With its second NCAA Tournament victory, W&M extends it program-best mark to 39-23, while the Rebels finish the season at 38-24.

The Tribe will face No. 7-ranked N.C. State, who downed W&M 1-0 on Saturday night, in the Raleigh Regional Final later on this evening at 6 p.m.  The Green and Gold will need to defeat the Wolfpack twice to advance to Super Regional play, while N.C. State needs just one win to advance.  Fans can follow the action online at TribeAthletics.com with live audio and stats with Kris Sears on the call.  Additionally, fans can watch the live broadcast on ESPN3.com.

Senior right-hander Brett Koehler turned in an outstanding complete-game effort, scattering seven hits and surrendering just an unearned run over his 98 pitches. It was his third complete game of the season and the 11th overall for the Tribe pitching staff. Koehler struck out five Rebel batters, while lowering his ERA to 3.77.

Offensively, junior second baseman Ryan Lindemuth led the way, going 2-for-3 with a pair of doubles, two runs scored and an RBI, but it was senior designated hitter Jackson Shaver who came through with the game-winning RBI’s on a two-run single. Sophomore Michael Katz doubled and scored, while freshman catcher Ryan Hissey was 2-for-4 with a run scored and an RBI.

The Green and Gold struck first on Sunday afternoon with a run in the opening inning of play.  After Koehler retired the Ole Miss side in order, Katz got W&M going with a two-out double to right center field and scored on Lindemuth’s double down the left field chalk.

In the top of the fourth, Ole Miss responded by loading the bases with no outs, but could only push across a single tally. Junior Austin Anderson scored from third on a 5-4-3 double play by the Tribe defense after the Sorrento, Fla., native led the inning off with a single to left center field. Koehler worked through the remainder of the jam with a runner on third and two down, inducing a flyout to right field by Ole Miss' Will Jamison.

W&M countered in the bottom half with two runs as it created a 3-1 advantage. Lindemuth and Hissey reached on a hit-by-pitch and single to right, respectively, before freshman Jonathan Sarty advanced both runners into scoring position with a sacrifice bunt. Shaver delivered the key hit, lining one through the middle of the infield to bring around Lindemuth and Hissey for the Tribe’s second and third runs of the afternoon.

The Tribe tacked on an insurance run in the sixth as it pushed the margin to 4-1. Lindemuth led the inning off with a double down the left field line and scored on Hissey’s RBI single to right field. 

From there it was all Koehler as the Tribe right-hander retired 11 of the final 12 batters he faced with the lone hit over the stretch being erased on a 4-6-3 double play in the eighth inning. The Rebels went down in order in the ninth as Koehler struck out All-SEC first team catcher Stuart Turner swinging, before senior shortstop Ryan Williams made a nice defensive play, fielding a ground ball on the right side of second base and throwing out Andrew Mistone for the final out of the contest.

Florida Atlantic 6, Towson 5

CHAPEL HILL, N.C. – A run-scoring double by senior leftfielder Cory Keller with two outs in the top of the ninth inning enabled No. 23 Florida Atlantic (41-21) to pull out a 6-5 victory over the Tigers (30-30) in an elimination game at the NCAA Chapel Hill Regional at Boshamer Stadium on Sunday afternoon.

With the win, the Owls avenged a 7-2 loss to Towson in the opening round of the NCAA Tournament on Friday. Florida Atlantic advanced to the championship round of the Chapel Hill Regional where the Owls were scheduled to face No. 1 North Carolina on Sunday evening.

With the score tied at 5-5 in the top of the ninth inning, junior leftfielder Geoff Jiminez led off by reaching base when he was hit by a pitch from junior righthander Nik Nowottnick, the first base runner allowed by the Tiger relief pitcher in his third inning of work. With senior first baseman Mark Nelson at bat, Jiminez stole second base to give the Owls the go-ahead run in scoring position. When Nelson was retired on a fly ball to centerfield, Jiminez tagged up and advanced to third base. With junior designated hitter Tyler Rocklein coming to the plate, the Tigers elected to play the infield in as they tried to cut off a run at the plate.

The strategy worked well when Rocklein hit a line drive at junior second baseman Pat Fitzgerald. Fitzgerald caught the ball initially but it fell out of his glove. With Jiminez remaining at third base, Fitzgerald retired Rocklein for the second out. With two outs and the go-ahead run at third base, the Tigers elected to issue an intentional walk to freshman second baseman Brendon Sanger, the Owls’ leading hitter. That put runners at the corners for Keller. He drove Nowottnick’s first pitch off the left field fence for a double, scoring Jiminez and putting runners on second and third. With the Owls leading by 6-5, junior catcher Levi Meyer made a strong bid for a home run. But sophomore leftfielder Peter Bowles went back to the fence, jumped up and caught the ball to end the inning.

In the bottom of the ninth, senior righthander Hugh Adams retired Fitzgerald on a fly ball to centerfield. After junior designated hitter Kurt Wertz struck out, he issued a walk to Bowles. That brought junior rightfielder Dominic Fratantuono to the plate. On a 3-2 pitch, it looked like Fratantuono had drawn a walk but third base umpire John Bullock ruled that Fratantuono swung at the pitch, ending the game in controversial fashion.

“I had no problem with that call,” admitted Coach Mike Gottlieb. “He had a good angle and it was a fair call.

“Not to take anything away from Florida Atlantic, but somebody once told me that you don’t win one-run games as often as the other team loses them,” he added. “We made too many mistakes to win a one-run game in an NCAA regional tournament. The mistakes that we made on the base paths really hurt us. They took us out of several innings. Branch Rickey used to call them ‘mistakes of enthusiasm’ and that sounds right to me.”

Explaining his decision to walk Sanger intentionally, Gottlieb said, “We were playing the percentages. Sanger is a left-handed hitter who had a batting average about 100 points higher than Keller. By pitching to Keller, we had a righthanded pitcher facing a righthanded hitter. But, it didn’t work and Keller hit a shot. We took a chance and it didn’t work out.”

The game started out as if it would be an offensive slugfest as the Tigers took a 3-0 lead in the bottom of the first inning. Third baseman Zach Fisher and Fitzgerald started the inning with back-to-back singles. After Wertz struck out, Bowles singled to left, loading the bases. When senior righthander Jake Meiers of FAU walked Fratantuono with the bases loaded, Fisher scored the first run of the game. The Tigers extended their lead to 3-0 when sophomore first baseman Brendan Butler lined a two-run single to centerfield. However, Meiers escaped the jam when senior catcher Andrew Parker grounded into an inning-ending double play.

Elon 6, UNCW 4

CHARLOTTESVILLE, Virginia – Elon’s Alex Swim’s two-run single in the bottom of the eighth broke a 4-all deadlock as the Phoenix eliminated UNCW with a 6-4 win on Sunday at the NCAA Charlottesville Regional at Davenport Stadium.

The Phoenix (34-29) advanced to the 6 p.m. game where they’ll take on top-seeded Virginia. The Seahawks concluded their season with a 38-23 mark.

Elon reliever Ryan Pennell (3-2) picked up the win after shutting out the Seahawks on a hit and a walk in two innings out of the bullpen.

Justin Livengood (1-3) was saddled with the loss, allowing two runs on two hits and only facing two batters.

Casey Jones held game-high honors with three hits as the Phoenix outhit the Seahawks, 14-9.

Luke Dunlap and Ryan LaGrange had two hits apiece for UNCW while Terence Connelly knocked in two runs on a single and hit by pitch late in the game.

How it happened: Christian MacDonald allowed a leadoff single in the eighth, but erased that runner with a double play. He walked the following and pinch runner Blaine Bower stole second to move into scoring position. Livengood came on and Chris Bresnahan singled through the leftside to plate Bower with the tying run. Quinn Bower followed with a single and both runners moved up on a wild pitch. Swim followed with a single to center off UNCW reliever Kelly Secrest to provide the winning margin.

Inside the numbers: The Seahawks advanced runners in 12-of-19 opportunities, but went 2-for-11 with RISP … Elon collected five hits in 11 at bats with two out and plated three two-out RBI’s … UNCW starter Blaze Tart and MacDonald combined for 14 ground ball outs … Both teams combined for just three strikeouts on the game.

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