Cary, N.C. — Captain Jake Lebel led the NYIT baseball team onto Coleman Field at the USA Baseball National Training Complex for a parade of teams on Saturday afternoon.
Hours later, though, NYIT baseball stumbled in the program's first-ever College World Series game.
Top-seed Colorado Mesa handed the Bears their first NCAA Tournament loss of 2019 — 11-4 on Saturday night.
The eighth-seeded Bears now will play fourth-seeded Ashland in an elimination game on Monday at 3 p.m.
Against Colorado Mesa, No. 1 starter DJ Masuck breezed through a 1-2-3 first inning. However, Masuck surrendered seven second-inning runs and was knocked out with two outs in the frame.
NYIT tried to climb out of the 7-0 hole with a pair of third-inning runs as John LaRocca and Ben McNeill scored. But the Mavericks answered with two runs against Moises Robles in the bottom half to restore a seven-run advantage.
"We kind of ran into a little bit of a buzz saw there," coach Frank Catalanotto said. "That's a really good team. Their pitching is outstanding. There were some guys throwing in the 90s. We don't see that much in the Northeast. We see mid-80s. For us, it was tough to make that adjustment. I felt like we had a few plays that didn't go our way, and the game could have been a little different. I think our guys battled. I'm proud of them."
Trailing 11-3 in the seventh, NYIT plated a run on Kieran Dowd's RBI single and ultimately loaded the bases with two outs. But the threat stalled as Ryan Kuskowski struck out.
Dowd went 3-for-4 in the defeat.
Masuck (12-2), a first-team All-East Coast Conference selection, suffered only his second loss of the season.
NYIT had been 5-0 in the NCAA Tournament after sweeping through the East Region.
The Bears dropped to 37-15 with Saturday's defeat.
"We had that chance to get that big hit a few times," Catalanotto said. "We had a bunch of runners on base and we couldn't get that big hit. That's disappointing. We've been doing that all year long, getting that big hit. But the guys, they keep battling. This team never gives up. I do feel good going into the next game that these guys aren't going to give up."
Provided by the NYIT Sports Information Department.