NEWTON, Mass. (4/22/14) – The Lasell College baseball team got a complete game shutout from junior Ryan Bowen (Hudson, Mass.) as they advanced to the Great Northeast Athletic Conference final Four with a 4-0 victory over Norwich University. The third-seeded Lasers improved to 18-10 with the win while sixth-seeded Norwich slipped to 7-15 on the season.
Bowen threw all nine innings, allowing five hits and one walk while fanning four, recording his fourth complete game and second shutout of the season as he improved his record to 4-2 on the mound. Dan Gagnon (Pomfret Center, Conn.) tripled, drove in two runs and scored once, Billy Uberti (Newton, Mass.) singled, walked and knocked in a run and Bobby Ellard (Medfield, Mass.) reached in all four plate appearances, with two singles and being hit by a pitch twice.
Brian Baker (Keene, N.H.) and Charles Schaub (East Hampton, Conn.) each notched a pair of singles for Norwich, and Brandon Place (Concord, N.H.) singled once in two at-bats as the Cadets were shutout for only the fourth time this season. Billy Whaley (Northfield, Vt.) battled for seven and two-third innings, allowing four runs on six hits and six walks while striking out seven to take the loss.
After a scoreless opening inning, Lasell got on the board in the bottom of the second inning. Hector Coscione (Newton, Mass.) singled with one out to get things started for Lasell, Rob Madden (Hingham, Mass.) walked and Ellard was hit by a pitch to load the bases with one out for Lasell. Brandon Valentin (Meriden, Conn.) walked to force in Coscione and give Lasell a 1-0 lead, but Whaley escaped without further damage as Madden was thrown out at the plate on a failed squeeze and Whaley fanned the next hitter to get out of the inning.
Bowen set down Norwich in order in the top of the third, and Lasell put runners on first and second with one out in the home half of the inning, but Whaley again escaped without allowing a run, keeping Norwich in the game, trailing just 1-0.
Bowen and some solid defense kept Norwich in check, as Lasell erased a lead-off single by Brian Baker when a hit and run by the Cadets resulted in a groundout by Billy Whaley saw Baker get caught trying to go from first to third resulting in a 6-3-5 double play and ending the Norwich threat. Lasell was retired in the bottom of the fourth inning, and Norwich got Brandon Place on with one out when he was hit by a pitch but Wes Hurty (Windsor, Conn.) threw Place out at second on an attempted steal and Norwich failed to score.
Lasell went down in order again in the bottom of the fifth inning, and Norwich threatened again in the top of the sixth. Charles Schaub lead off with a single, advanced to second on a sacrifice bunt and moved to third on a groundout, but Bowen recorded a strikeout to keep the Cadets off the board.
Lasell held their 1-0 lead through a scoreless home half of the sixth, and Norwich failed to score in the top of the seventh. Bobby Ellard singled and stole second to lead off the bottom of the seventh inning, and Brandon Valentin walked while Ellard advanced to third on a wild pitch followed by Valentin stealing second to give Lasell runners on second and third with nobody out. Dan Gagnon ripped an 0-2 pitch into the right center field gap for a triple that scored two and put Lasell in front 3-0. A run-scoring groundout by Billy Uberti made it a 4-0 lead for the Lasers.
Brandon Place led off with a single for Norwich in the top of the eighth inning followed by Tim Haggerty (Medfield, Mass.) reaching on an error and Scahub reaching on a bunt that rolled along the chalk on the third baseline but stayed in play for a single that loaded the bases with nobody out. A comebacker from LaShawn Thomas (San Antonio, Tex.) resulted in Bowen nipping Place on a force out at the plate, leaving the bases loaded with one out. Sean Gerich (Chicago, ill.) grounded the ball up the middle, but Coscione ranged to his left, scooped up the grounder stepping on second and firing to first for an inning-ending double play.
Bowen retired Norwich in order on three fly-outs to centerfield to seal the victory and send Lasell on in the GNAC playoffs. Lasell will play at St. Joseph's College of Maine on Thursday April 24th at 3:30 p.m. at the beginning of the four-team double elimination portion of the tournament.