Manchester, N.H. - The St. Thomas Aquinas
College baseball team saw its record-breaking season come to a
conclusion after an 8-1 loss to Wilmington University at the NCAA
East Regional in Manchester, New Hampshire. The Spartans season
concludes with a school record for wins and an 39-14 record, which
included the program's first-ever national ranking and NCAA
Tournament appearance. Wilmington, the top seed in the region,
advances in the loser's bracket and improved to 41-12.
As they had the day before in a loss against Pace University, the Spartans helped dig an early hole for themselves, with an error leading to a pair of unearned runs and a 3-0 deficit. Another unearned marker spelled and early end of the day for STAC's Rob Naughton, who worked just 1.2 innings and allowed four runs, one earned.
Wilmington tacked on a pair in the fourth and two more in the seventh, which was more than enough for starter Ray Gambone, who dominated STAC in allowing just two hits over eight innings of work. The Spartans got on the board in the final frame with Efrian Bautista's single bringing home Nick Barbalato. Naughton, the ECC Co-Rookie-of-the-Year, was tagged with his first collegiate loss, falling to 6-1 overall.
The Spartans received their just reward for their memorable campaign. In addition to their East Coast Conference championship and NCAA appearance, STAC captured major conference awards as Mike Russo was named ECC Player-of-the-Year, Naughton earned Rookie honors, and Scott Muscat was tapped as Coach-of-the-Year. The team is sure to be well represented as additional awards are named in the coming weeks.
Provided by the St. Thomas Aquinas Sports Information Department.