2000 NEC Baseball Tournament Game Recaps
Wagner 16, UMBC 1
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Atlantic City, NJ – Number four-seeded Wagner College defeated number one-seeded UMBC, 16-1, in the opening game of the Northeast Conference Tournament at The Sandcastle in Atlantic City, NJ.
Wagner righthander Justin Lucas (Stockton, NJ) pitched a complete game, seven-hitter and the Seahawks pounded out 15 hits to earn their first-ever NEC post-season tournament victory. The Seahawks move into the winners bracket and will take on the winner of the #2 Long Island vs. #3 Monmouth matchup. The winners bracket game will be played at 4:00 pm on Saturday, May 13.
UMBC pushed across their lone run in the first inning when Scott Crandell (Baltimore,MD) drove in Chad Gerben (Severn, MD) to give the Retrievers a 1-0 lead.
Wagner answered in their half of the third inning, when after leadoff batter Vinny Musso (Queens, NY) walked, rightfielder John Spinelli (Staten Island, NY) crushed a two-run homer over the left field fence.
The Seahawks pushed across four runs in the fourth on three hits and three UMBC errors to increase their lead to 6-1. In the top of the sixth, Wagner blew the game wide open when they tallied seven times on only one hit and two Retriever errors.
Wagner was led by Spinelli, who drove in four runs on three hits, including his ninth home run of the season. Junior first baseman Jamie Scholz (Piscataway, NJ) ripped four hits, including three doubles for the Green & White, who improved their record to 22-27 overall. Gil Barkman (Brooklyn, NY) laced three hits and drove in two runs for the Seahawks.
Gerben collected two hits as did Adam Hawkey (Joppa, MD) for UMBC, who fell to 29-20 overall. The Retrievers will play the loser of game two at 12:30 on Saturday.
Monmouth 11, Long Island 8
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Atlantic City, NJ – Monmouth University lefty Dan Severino (Audubon, NJ) threw seven innings, scattering nine hits to help lead the third-seeded Hawks to an 11-8 victory over second-seeded Long Island University in the first round of the NEC baseball championships at The Sandcastle.
Severino improved his record to 4-4, giving him 18 wins for his career, first all-time in school history.
Monmouth (23-25) jumped out to a 3-0 lead in the top of the second inning on only one hit as the Hawks benefited from three walks and a hit batsman.
After scoring two runs in their half of the third on a David Santana (Mt. Vernon, NY) two-run blast, LIU scored twice more in the fourth on an error and wild pitch to take the lead 4-3.
In the top of the seventh with the scored tied at 5-5, Monmouth tallied six times to go ahead 11-5 as Brian Moyer (Langhorne, PA) and Dan Coia (Buena, NJ) each collected RBI singles and Mike Thompson (Westmont, NJ) drove in a run with a sacrifice fly. The other runs scored when Greg Landis (Royersford, PA) and Pat Poehls (Delran, NJ) each walked with the bases loaded.
LIU (22-20) wouldn’t quit as the Blackbirds recorded three runs, highlighted by sacrifice flies by Gabriel Veloz (Upland, CA) and Charles Inserra (Brooklyn, NY) and a RBI single by Joe Sottile (West Islip, NY) to close the gap to 11-8.
That was as close as Long Island would get as Brian Gismonde (Cherry Hill, NJ) pitched two innings of one-hit ball to earn his seventh save of the season.
Moyer led the Hawks with two hits while Thompson and Ian Magley (Chester, NJ) each drove in a team-high two runs.
Matt Early (Brooklyn, NY) was 3-4 and Santana recorded two RBI with his third home run of the season.
Monmouth moves on to play Wagner at 4:00 pm in the winner’s bracket of the NEC tournament. LIU will play an elimination game against UMBC at 12:30 pm.
Long Island 2, UMBC 0
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Atlantic City, NJ – Second-seeded Long Island University junior lefty Roger Kalinowski (West Islip, NY) pitched a six-hit complete game shutout to lead the Blackbirds to a 2-0 victory over the top-seeded University of Maryland Baltimore County Retrievers in the 2000 Northeast Conference baseball tournament at The Sandcastle. LIU advances and will take on the loser of the Monmouth University and Wagner College winner’s bracket game.
Kalinowski, who improved to 7-3, scattered six hits, struck out five and walked only two batters.
Long Island immediately got on the scoreboard in the first inning. David Santana (Mt. Vernon, NY) singled to lead off the game and proceeded to steal both second and third base. Santana scored when Matt Early (Brooklyn, NY) reached base on a UMBC error. Mike Wilson (Brooklyn, NY) then scored when Gabriel Veloz (Upland, CA) hit a sacrifice fly to right field to give the Blackbirds a 2-0 lead.
The game remained scoreless as Kalinowski and UMBC pitchers Bill Kasten (Cherry Hill, NJ) and Eric Weltmer (New Cumberland, PA) engaged in a pitcher’s duel.
UMBC’s Kasten pitched five innings, giving up only three hits and one earned run. Weltmer threw four innings and didn’t allow a run as he scattered three hits.
The Blackbirds, who improve to 23-20 overall, received two hits from Joe Sottile (West Islip, NY). Catcher Chris Severo (Brooklyn, NY) went 1-2 with a walk while Veloz and Nick Burzynski (H. Beach, NY) each went 1-3.
The Retrievers, who left eight runners on base, were led by Chad Gerben (Severn, MD), Greg Deboy (Linthicum, MD) and Peter Tshiffely (Elkridge, MD) who each went 1-3. UMBC finished the season at 29-21-1.
Wagner 5, Monmouth 0
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Atlantic City, NJ – Wagner College righthander Steve Coppola (Staten Island, NY) pitched a complete game two-hit shutout to lead the #4 seeded Wagner College Seahawks to a 5-0 victory over #3 seeded Monmouth University in the 2000 Northeast Conference baseball championships at The Sandcastle. With the win, Wagner, who is 2-0 in the tournament, advances to the championship round of the tourney. Monmouth now must face Long Island University in an elimination game to be played at 7:00 pm tonight.
Coppola, who defeated Monmouth 1-0 earlier in the season, stretched his scoreless streak against the Hawks to 15 consecutive innings. He gave up just two hits while striking out 11 batters, a season and career high.
The Seahawks tallied four runs in the first inning on two hits and one Monmouth error. Leadoff batter Vinny Musso (Queens, NY) was hit by a pitch. Junior Mike Cerminaro (Howell, NJ) followed with an RBI triple to the right-centerfield gap to give Wagner a 1-0 lead. Senior John Spinelli (Staten Island, NY) reached on a throwing error, which scored Cerminaro for a 2-0 advantage. After Kevin Rugg (Staten Island, NY) reached on a fielder’s choice, junior Jamie Scholz (Piscataway, NJ) beat out an infield single to drive in Spinelli. Then with the bases loaded, Brian Camus (Queens, NY) was hit by a pitch to drive in Rugg to give Coppola and the Seahawks a 4-0 lead.
The game went scoreless until the Seahawks pushed a cross another run off of Monmouth starter Mike Benfield (Laurel Springs, NJ). Again it was the leadoff tandem of Musso and Cerminaro who did the damage. Musso reached on a infield single and Cerminaro doubled to left center and Musso scored just ahead of the relay throw. Cerminaro extended his current hitting streak to 23 games.
Wagner was led offensively by Cerminaro who collected two hits and drove in two runs. Senior second baseman Bobby Weiss (Suffern, NY) also ripped two hits for the Seahawks who improve to 23-27-1.
Monmouth (23-26) received their two hits from Brian Moyer (Langhorne, PA) and Pat Poehls (Delran, NJ) who doubled to lead off the sixth inning.
Monmouth 5, Long Island 4
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Atlantic City, NJ -- Senior Brian Moyer (Langhorne, PA) drove in the game-winning run with a single over a drawn-in outfield to score Greg Landis (Royersford, PA) to give #3 Monmouth a come-from-behind 5-4 victory over #2 Long Island University in Game 5 of the 2000 Northeast Conference baseball tournament at The Sandcastle.
Monmouth, who has been the NEC Champion the past two seasons, moves on the championship round of the tournament where they will face #4 seeded Wagner College at 12:30 pm. Wagner defeated Monmouth earlier in the afternoon, 5-0.
With the scored tied at 4-4, Landis led off the ninth inning with a walk. Mike Thompson (Westmont, NJ) bunted Landis to second and then Landis stole third base to bring Moyer to the plate with only one out. Moyer hit a deep fly ball to right center that the LIU centerfielder could only watch go over his head as Landis scored the winning run.
LIU got on the scoreboard immediately in the first inning. David Santana (Mt. Vernon, NY) singled to lead off the game. Mike Wilson (Brooklyn, NY) picked up the game’s first RBI when he grounded out to drive in Santana who had moved around to third on a Monmouth error and a balk. The Blackbirds went ahead 2-0 when Matt Early (Brooklyn, NY) hit a sacrifice fly to drive in Nick Burzynski (Howard Beach, NY) who had earlier walked.
The Hawks answered with a run in their half of the second inning as Dan Coia (Buena, NJ) reached on a fielder’s choice and scored on a single by senior Pat Poehls (Delran, NJ).
Long Island extended their lead to 4 -1 after pushing across single runs on both the fifth and sixth innings. Chris Severo (Brooklyn, NY) laced a RBI single in the fifth and Gabriel Veloz (Upland, CA) ripped a RBI triple to right field to plate Wilson who had singled to lead off the sixth.
Monmouth wouldn’t quit though as they tallied three runs in the bottom of the seventh inning. Poehls led off the inning with a double and Ian Magley (Chester, NJ) followed with a single. Junior Greg Landis (Royersford, PA) then crushed a dramatic three-run home run over the leftfield fence to knot the game at 4-4.
Brian Gismonde (Cherry Hill, NJ) pitched 2.2 shutout innings for the win, improving to 8-5. Glen Keeton (Middletown, NY) started and pitched 6.1 innings, giving up four earned runs on six hits. Landis finished with two hits and three RBI for Monmouth who improved to 24-26 overall. Brian Collins (Voorhees, NJ) and Poehls each collected two hits.
Dan Barrios (Riverside, CA) threw 8.1 innings, allowing five earned runs while striking out seven. LIU, which fell to 23-21, was led by Santana who went 2-5.
Monmouth 14, Wagner 3
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Atlantic City, NJ – Two days after pitching seven innings in the Northeast Conference baseball tournament’s opening round, Monmouth University senior lefthander Dan Severino (Audubon, NJ) threw a complete game seven hitter, giving up only two earned runs to pace the Hawks to 14-3 victory over previously-unbeated Wagner College at The Sandcastle. With the win, Monmouth forces a winner-take-all final game to decide the NEC championship and a trip to the NCAA Regional.
It didn’t take long for the Hawks long to get to Wagner starter John Gregg (Belmar, NJ). In the second inning, Jeff Toth (Beachwood, NJ) singled with one out and one batter later, junior Brian Collins (Voorhees, NJ) jacked his second home run of the season over the left-centerfield fence to give Monmouth a 2-0 advantage.
In the Hawks half of the third, Monmouth pushed across six runs on six hits and two Wagner errors. Ian Magley (Chester, NJ) led off the inning with a walk. After Greg Landis (Royersford, PA) bunted Magley to second, Magley moved to third on passed ball. Five consecutive singles by Brian Moyer (Langhorne, PA), Paul Grasso (Somers Point, NJ), Dan Coia (Buena, NJ), Collins, Pat Poehls (Delran, NJ) and a fielder’s choice later, and the Hawks had tallied six runs to increase their lead to 8-0.
Severino improved his record to 5-4 this season and upped his career win total to 19, which is now first all-time in Monmouth history.
Monmouth (25-26) pounded out 18 hits. Collins led the charge going 4-5 with three runs batted in. Coia laced three hits and drove in a run. Landis, Moyer, Grasso and Toth (2 RBI) each rapped two hits.
Wagner (23-28-1) received two hits from senior Bobby Weiss (Suffern, NY). Junior shortstop Mike Cerminaro (Howell, NJ) singled in the eighth inning to extend his current hit streak to 24 consecutive games.
Wagner 7, Monmouth 3
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Atlantic City, NJ – Wagner College freshman Mike Windstein (S. Hampton, NJ) pitched seven solid innings, giving up only one earned run to lead Wagner College to their first-ever Northeast Conference baseball championship with a 7-3 victory over two-time defending champion Monmouth University this afternoon at The Sandcastle. Fourth-seeded Wagner moves on to their first-ever NCAA Division I appearance in any sport. The Seahawks will advance to the NCAA Division I Regional at a site to be announced on May 22nd. Steve Coppola (Staten Island, NY), who threw a two-hit gem earlier in the tournament, earned Tourney MVP Honors.
With Wagner ahead 7-3 in the ninth, Monmouth threatened, as they placed runners on first and second base with nobody out. Senior closer Chris Pariseau (Staten Island, NY), who had come on to start the eighth, got a strikeout before giving up a base hit to load the bases. Pariseau got another strikeout and induced Dan Coia (Buena, NJ) to fly out to left field to begin the celebration.
“This is a great feeling, especially for the kids,”said first-year Wagner head coach Joe Litterio. “They hung in there and seized the momentum after a tough first game (a 14-3 Monmouth victory). The kids have worked really hard and it is great to seen them be rewarded like this.”
Wagner, the lowest seed to ever win the NEC tournament, tallied twice in the bottom of the second inning. Senior Gil Barkman (Brooklyn, NY) singled to lead off the inning. Kevin Rugg (Staten Island, NY) bunted Barkman over to second base. Senior Bobby Weiss (Suffern, NY) then smoked a line drive over the Monmouth centerfielder’s head to score Barkman to give the Seahawks a 1-0 lead. Jamie Scholz (Piscataway, NJ) hit a ground ball to the right side just out of the reach of the Hawks second baseman to plate Weiss, giving the Seahawks a 2-0 lead.
Monmouth pushed across an unearned run in the top of the third inning before Wagner padded their lead to 6-1 in the bottom of the frame. Leadoff batter Vinny Musso (Queens, NY) worked out a walk. Junior Mike Cerminaro (Howell, NJ) followed with a single to place runners at first and second with nobody out. Senior John Spinelli (Staten Island, NY) ripped a double to centerfield to score both runners as Cerminaro raced home all the way from first. Monmouth starter Mike Hoffmann (Mineola, NY) was then replaced with junior Mike Benfield (Laurel Springs, NJ). After getting an out, Wagner senior Kevin Rugg (Staten Island, NY) crushed a two-run homer over the leftfield fence for the 6-1 advantage.
Monmouth cut into the lead with a run in their half of the sixth when senior Dan Coia (Buena, NJ) singled home Paul Grasso (Somers Point, NJ) who had earlier reached with a base hit.
Wagner (25-27) was led by Rugg who went 2-3 with two RBI. Spinelli (2 RBI) and Scholz each went 2-4. Pariseau finished with two innings pitched giving up one earned run.
Tournament MVP Coppola, pitched a complete-game two hitter against Monmouth in the winner’s bracket game on Saturday. Coppola who struck out 11 batters tied a NEC tournament record when he gave up just two hits over nine innings.
Monmouth finishes their season with a 25-27 overall record. Benfield threw four innings in relief, allowing three hits and one earned run.