AMCATS Nipped by Gulls in ECAC Final
BEVERLY, Mass. – A two-run double by shortstop E.J. Martinez (Brooklyn, N.Y.) helped the Endicott Gulls come from behind to beat Anna Maria 3-2 and win their second consecutive ECAC Division III New England Baseball Championship.
A year after sharing the ECAC crown with the AMCATS due to a rained-out final game, Endicott made sure that it was theirs alone on Saturday in the final baseball game on grass at North Field.
Endicott, the top-seed in the tournament, sees their record improve to 29-16, while the third-seeded AMCATS finish their season with a mark of 24-18.
The Gulls grabbed a 1-0 lead in the bottom of the first when third baseman Danny Mello (Peabody, Mass.) led off with an infield single, stole second and went to third on a groundout before scoring on a wild pitch by Anna Maria starter Dean Diamantopolous (Shrewsbury, Mass.).
The visitors plated both of their runs in the fifth inning with three hits, including RBI singles by first baseman Padraig Gilman (Leominster, Mass.) and second baseman Justin Hyland (Spencer, Mass.). Joe McNeil (Sutton, Mass.), who led off the inning with a single came across the plate, as did designated hitter Matt Nelson (Framingham, Mass.), who had walked.
An inning later, Endicott would take the lead for good with two on and one out. After first baseman Colin Sitarz (W. Hartford, Conn.) reached on a fielder's choice and center fielder Tad Gold (Martha's Vineyard, Mass.) singled to center, Martinez unleashed a shot to left that chased home the two Gulls on the base-paths.
The AMCATS threatened in the final frame, getting two runners on with only one out, thanks to a walk and a single by catcher John Sullivan (Soutbury, Conn.), one of two AMCATS with multiple hit games, but Endicott reliever Connor McLaughlin came on to get the final two outs all on one pitch, inducing a 4-3 double play from Nelson for his third save of the year.
Endicott starter Benjamin Petrides (Belchertown, Mass.) went four and a third innings, allowing two earned runs on four hits and one walk with two strikeouts.
Kevin Dupras (Belchertown, Mass.) improved to 2-0 on the year, pitching a scoreless seventh inning and striking out two AMCATS.
Diamantopolous pitched well but dropped to 3-3 on the year with a six-inning effort allowing six hits and two walks with no strikeouts.
Anna Maria senior pitcher Tim Henderson (Wayland, Mass.) pitched two clean innings of relief and struck out two Gulls.
This is the third ECAC baseball championship for the Gulls, who were also victorious in the 2005 event.
Martinez was named the Most Outstanding Player of the Tournament. He went 1-4 with a run scored in Endicott's semifinal win over Newbury College.
Release courtesy of Endicott Sports Information.