YORK, Pa.—No. 21 Collegeiate Baseball/No. 23 D3baseball.com Babson College saw its season come to a close one victory short of the Division III College World Series as it suffered back-to-back losses to Misericordia University in the championship round of the York Regional on Monday afternoon at PeoplesBank Park.
The Cougars won the opener 12-7 and then defeated the Beavers, 11-1, in a winner-take-all game to capture their first regional title.
Babson, which entered the day riding a 14-game winning streak, finishes the year at 35-13, while Misericordia, which won three straight elimination games, advances to the College World Series with an overall mark of 36-13.
YORK REGIONAL GAME #14: Misericordia 12, No. 21/23 Babson 7
Junior Brian McHale (Ramsey, N.J.) went 3-for-4 with a triple, an RBI and two runs scored, while senior Ryan Arena (Yorktown Heights, N.Y.) drove in three runs to go along with a double and a homer to become the program's single-season leader with 69 hits for the Green and White. Junior Connor Gill (Sterling, Mass.) also had two hits and three RBI, while first-year Alex Luka (Downers Grove, Ill.) took the loss and dropped to 3-2 after giving up three earned runs on six hits and two walks in 3.1 innings.
Junior Parker Abate (Malvern, Pa.), who stole four bases, and sophomore Tyler Holzapfel (Bridgewater, N.J.) both had three hits and drove in a pair of runs, while senior Alec Iurato (Chappaqua, N.Y.) went 2-for-4 with three RBI for the Cougars. Sophomore Sean Lyons (Apalachin, N.Y.) also had a pair of hits, drove in two runs and scored twice in support of junior Drake Koch (Reading, Pa.), who gave up four runs on seven hits on three days rest to improve to 7-0 with the victory.
Senior Dan Zurowski (Pottstown, Pa.) worked the final three innings to pick up his first save of the year for Misericorida.
The teams traded runs over the first three innings thanks to a squeeze bunt by Iurato and a sacrifice fly by Gill before Misericordia took the lead for good with a three-run fourth inning. Lyons doubled to right center to drive in a pair of runs and junior Kenny Jarema (Downingtown, Pa.) followed with an RBI knock to right to make it 4-1.
The Green and White cut its deficit to 4-2 in the bottom of the fifth when McHale drove in junior Eric Jaun (Loveland, Ohio) with a two-out single. The Cougars again responded though, scoring three times in the sixth and tacking on two more runs in the seventh to extend the margin to 9-2.
The Beavers rallied in the seventh to pull within two as Gill stroked a two-run single off the 40-foot wall in left and Arena followed with a three-run blast off the foul pole in left to make it 9-7. Misericordia again responded getting RBI singles from first-year Sean Boylan (Easton, Pa.) and Abate, and a sacrifice fly from Holzapfel to extend the its advantage back to 12-7 in the eighth.
YORK REGIONAL GAME #15: Misericordia 11, No. 21/23 Babson 1
Sophomore Jake Oliger (Newtown, Conn.) doubled and Arena, Jaun, senior Mark Webber (Norwell, Mass.), junior Edward Lehr (Byram Township, N.J.) and sophomore Matthew Valente (Wyckoff, N.J.) all singled for Babson. Gill shouldered the loss after allowing five runs on seven hits over 6.1 innings to fall to 6-2 on the year.
Holzapfel was 3-for-5 with two doubles, four RBI and two runs scored, Iurato drove in a pair of runs and Abate, junior Santo Guinta (Ridgefield, N.J.) and Boylan all scored twice for the Cougars. Junior Kyle Melahn (Succasunna, N.J.) made his first start of the year and tossed a season-best six innings to earn the win and improve to 4-2.
Iurato gave Misericordia a 1-0 lead in the top of the first before Oliger smacked a two-out double to left to Valente to get the Beavers on the board in the top of the second. The momentum was short-lived however, as Holzapfel drilled out a two-run double to right center and Weisensee followed with an RBI single to give the Cougars a 4-1 advantage in the third.
Holzapfel ripped another RBI base hit down the right field line in the fifth, junior Conor Smith (Easton, Pa.) executed a perfect squeeze bunt in the sixth and Holzapfel doubled home another run as Misericordia scored three times in the seventh to make it 9-1.
Babson was kept off balance by Melahn, who gave up just one run on five hits over six innings in his third appearance of the regional. The Green and White stranded a pair of runners in scoring position in the fifth and hit into a double play to end the sixth.
• The Beavers are now 1-2 all-time against Misericordia.
• Babson is 8-8 all-time in the NCAA Tournament, which includes seven victories and back-to-back regional final appearances over the last two seasons.
• Arena, who became the first player in Babson history to record 70 hits in a season, McHale and Gill were all named to the York Regional All-Tournament team. McHale batted .500 with two doubles, two triples, four RBI and seven runs scored, while Gill hit .462 (6-for-13) with a double and five runs batted in.
• The Beavers set single-season program records for wins, runs scored, doubles, total bases, walks, home runs this spring.
• Prior to Monday, the Green and White had won 16 of its last 18 games in the month of May.