DWC eliminated on Day 2 of tournament
LAKEWOOD, N.J. – The greatest season in Daniel Webster College baseball history came to a close Thursday afternoon as Neumann College of Pennsylvania used a five-run second inning to jump start its way to an 11-4 victory, eliminating the Eagles from the Mid-Atlantic Regional at FirstEnergy Park.
Daniel Webster, making its NCAA tournament debut after winning the New England Collegiate Conference (NECC) title 11 days ago, saw its best season conclude with a record of 23-19. The 23 victories is a single-season program record as the program has now posted three-straight 20-win seasons under fifth-year head coach J.P. Pyne.
“I was very happy with the way we played in the tournament,” said Pyne of his team’s effort in the double-elimination event. “Sure, looking at it on the surface, we got knocked out in two games. But eight of Neumann’s hits were bunts, and (on Wednesday) Keystone knew they were in a battle right from the start.”
Once again, DWC had no trouble at the plate, racking up 12 hits, but the Knights (31-14) made the most of their 12 hits to remain alive in the tournament. Elliot Kilgore had two hits and knocked in a run for the Eagles, while Darrik Marstaller had two hits with a double and Korey LeLievre registered a pair of singles.
Tyler Bonin and Josh Chasse added RBI singles. Aaron Agrelo was touched for the loss, finishing 5-3.
The Knights pushed five across in the bottom of the second on singles to gain control early.
“Their hits were well placed,” Pyne said. “It was like watching a slow death.”
DWC got on the board in the top of the third as Bonin notched a one-out single to left to score Marstaller, who had led off with an infield hit.
The Knights upped it to 6-1 in the bottom of the fourth and broke it open with three unearned runs in the seventh for a 9-1 game.
DWC would get two back in the top of the eighth as Rich Lizotte singled and scored on a Chasse single to right and Chasse later came home on a Kilgore single to right.
Neumann would tack on two more unearned in the bottom of the frame and Kyle Brigham closed the DWC scoring for the year, doubling to lead off the ninth and later scored on a wild pitch.
“They won 31 games,” Pyne said of the Knights, “and (on Thursday) they were able to play their game.”
In the two regional games – which included an opening 13-7 setback to third-ranked Keystone (Pa.) College – Marstaller finished 5 for 9 (.556) with two RBIs, while LeLievre hit .400 (4-10) and Kilgore finished .375 (3-8).
“I had a couple of coaches tell me they thought we were the best offensive team in the regional,” Pyne said. “Now, of course, you know how people want to be nice. But you take a step back and look at it, we started off 2-8, 0-3 (in the NECC), and we made the NCAAs. How crazy is that.
“Next year, we want to get back to a regional, win some games and make some noise.”