Waterbury, Conn. (5/1317) Dominican College shook off a 4-3, 11-inning loss on Saturday morning to Chestnut Hill College, and rallied with a thorough 12-1 victory over the Griffins to claim the 2017 Central Atlantic Collegiate Conference (CACC) Baseball Championship at Municipal Stadium in Waterbury, Conn.
With the championship secured, Dominican (21-27) also locked up the CACC's automatic bid to next week's NCAA Division II East Region Championship at a site to be determined.
Game One: The Griffins, the fourth-seed in the tournament, scored runs in the first, fourth and seventh innings to jump ahead 3-0.
Dominican rallied with three runs on three hits and one error in the top of the ninth to send the contest into extra innings. Second basemen Justin Decker (Rotterdam, N.Y.) brought home Anthony Bartolomei (Oakhurst, N.J.) on a single to right field. Two batters later, catcher Tyler Malia (Delran, N.J.) hit a RBI single to center field. The game tying run came when senior Jayson Gray (New Rochelle, N.Y.) was hit by-a-pitch with the bases loaded.
CHC forced the if necessary game as they scored the game-winner on a wild pitch in the bottom of the eleventh inning.
Nathanial Popiel (Mechanicville, N.Y.) suffered the loss (3-4), despite pitching 10.1 innings. He allowed four runs (three earned) on 10 hits and nine strikeouts.
Senior Max Franzone (Nanuet, N.Y.) had three hits, while Decker had to hits.
Game Two: The Chargers plated three runs in the second, followed with four more in the fifth and then tacked on five more in the sixth to put the game out of reach and bring home the 12-1 win.
Decker knocked in four runs to lead the Charger offense in game two, while Gray went 3-for-5 with a pair of runs scored. Malia was 3-for-4 at the dish with three RBI, while Jordan Bernacet (Schenectday, N.Y.) drove in a run and scored twice.
John-Michael Broderick (Spring Lake Heights, N.J.) got the start on the mound for Dominican and turned in seven superb innings by yielding just one run on six hits to earn the win and improve to 5-2 on the season.
Nicholas Galese (Totowa, N.J.) pitched the final two frames, scattering a hit and collecting three strikeouts.
Junior Kraigen Rasalla (Scranton, Pa.) earned the tournament's Most Valuable Player Award for his two shut out pitching performances in the tournament. He was also named to the CACC All-Tournament Team.