NCAA Division III New York Regional
Swarthmore Downs Southern Maine 9-3 to Win Regional Title
AUBURN, N.Y. -- Tournament MVP Charles Levitt (Minneapolis, Minn.) went 4 for 4 with two runs scored and an RBI as the fifth-seeded Swarthmore College Garnet defeated the third-seeded University of Southern Maine Huskies, 9-3, in the championship game of the NCAA Division III New York Regional Sunday night at Falcon Park.
The win vaults the Garnet, now 37-9, into the Division III College World Series that begins Friday (May 25) in Appleton, Wis. The Huskies, who reached the regional championship round for the second straight season, finish the year 30-15.
The Garnet, who were undefeated in the regional, moved into the championship round by beating the Huskies 9-6 Saturday night. The Huskies battled their way back into the championship round by beating top-seeded SUNY Cortland 12-10 and needed to defeat the Garnet twice to win the title
Levitt had a triple and scored a run in the first inning, and an RBI triple and scored in the fifth when the Garnet took the lead for good. Levitt also had two singles and a walk.
Sophomore AJ Liu (Plano, Texas) had a pair of hits and scored three runs and junior Jackson Roberts (Piedmont, Calif.) drove in three runs with a double and a sacrifice fly to complement Levitt.
For USM, sophomore Andrew Olszak (Danvers, Mass.) had three hits to pace an 11-hit attack. Junior Zach Quintal (Eliot, Maine/Marshwood) reached base four times on a single, a walk and twice being hit by pitch, and scored two runs. Both players were named to the all-tournament team.
Quintal, the hero in USM's win over SUNY Cortland earlier in the day, got the Huskies off on the foot leading off the game with a single, stealing second and eventually scoring on a two-out error.
Levitt had a one-out triple in the home half of the frame and scored on Roberts' sacrifice fly. Sophomore Cole Beeker (Lexington, N.C.), who walked after Levitt's triple, would score an unearned run on a two-out throwing error.
Southern Maine tied the game at 2-2 in the third as sophomore Andrew Hillier (Bangor, Maine) walked, moved to third on an Olszak single and scored on a sac fly from junior Jake Dexter (Oakland, Maine/Messalonskee).
In the fifth, Quintal put USM up 3-2 as he was hit by a pitch, moved to second on a wild pitch and third on a throwing error, and scored on Hillier's single up the middle.
The Garnet took the lead for good in the fifth as Liu was hit by a pitch from USM junior starter Dalton Rice (Waterford, Maine/Oxford Hills) and Levitt followed with his second triple to end Rice's day on the hill. The Garnet loaded the bases with one out on walks to Beeker and junior Conor Elliott (Charlotte, N.C.). After a strikeout, sophomore reliever Ben Lambert (Saco, Maine/Thornton Academy) walked consecutive batters to force home two runs.
Swarthmore added an insurance run in the sixth on Elliott's RBI ground out that scored Liu, and three more in the eighth on Roberts' two-run double and an infield error.
Southern Maine had chances in the seventh and eighth innings to get back into the game, but left the bases loaded in both frames. The Huskies would leave 15 runners stranded on base in the game.
Rice, the winner in USM's tournament opener on Thursday, took the loss. He worked four-plus innings giving up four runs (three earned) on four hits and two walks while striking out seven.
Junior starter Charles Groppe (Fall Church, Va.) was the winning pitcher upping his record to 6-0. He went five innings allowing three runs on seven hits and one walk while fanning five.