Manchester, N.H. - The Dowling College baseball team took down top seeded Southern New Hampshire University 4-3 this evening eliminating the Penmen from the NCAA Division II East Regional Tournament. The Golden Lions improve to 36-15 on the season and advance to the Championship game tomorrow afternoon. SNHU finishes their season at 41-14.
After a scoreless first inning, the Golden Lions jumped out in front with two runs in the top of the second. One out singles from John Cruz and Michael Rizzitello set Rob Veltre up for an RBI double down the left field line bringing in Cruz and keeping runners in scoring position. A groundball to the short stop by Vinny Orlando brought in Rizzitello for a 2-0 lead.
Dowling left the bases loaded in the third, but extended their lead with a run in the top of the fifth. Back-to-back walks to RJ Going and Daniel Parisi chased SNHU starter Mike Robert from the game bringing in Joe McCarthy from the bullpen. A double steal moved both runners up 90 feet and after Going was cut down at the plate, a fielder's choice off the bat of Cruz allowed for Parisi to score DC's third run of the game.
After getting just one base hit through the first four innings, the Penmen got back-to-back singles to the left side followed by a walk to Tyler Fortanascio to load the bases with one out. SNHU's Bryan Toland worked a walk to bring in Michael Mastroberti for their first run of the evening. A wild pitch went to the backstop inching the Penmen to within one, 3-2 before Dowling starter JJ Bessell retired the next two outs via the fly ball.
The Golden Lions pushed the lead back up to two, 4-2, after JC Brandmaier took a pitch off the arm with the bases loaded to bring in Andrew Abreu who reached earlier in the inning with a base hit through the right side.
SNHU strung together consecutive doubles with two outs cutting the deficit back to one, 4-3, but Bessell got Alejandro Diaz to swing through a fastball ending the threat stranding Mastroberti on second.
Bessell pitched around a lead off hit in the bottom of the eighth with three straight strikeouts and after the Golden Lions went down in order in the top of the ninth, a one out walk was left stranded as Abreu camped under a pop up on the infield dirt recording the final out.
Bessell tossed a complete game for his seventh win of the season allowing three runs on six hits while striking out ten.
SNHU's Mike Robert was on the losing end surrendering three runs on six hits in four innings of work.
Abreu went 3 for 4 at the dish with a walk, stolen base and run scored.
The Golden Lions will face East Coast Conference opponent St. Thomas Aquinas College in the Championship game tomorrow, May 19th at 12:00 PM.
Dowling needs just one win to advance to the NCAA Championships in Cary, N.C. while the Spartans will need two. Tomorrow's game marks the seventh time these two teams will face each other this season with the most recent meetings in last week's ECC Tournament.
Provided by the Dowling Sports Information Department.