The Washington & Jefferson College baseball team held off host Misericordia University for a 5-4 victory to secure the NCAA Division III South Super Regional Championship. With the series victory over the Cougars, W&J earns a spot in next week’s NCAA Division III College World Series.
The win is the ninth straight for the Presidents, who improved to 37-11 overall. Misericordia finished the season with a 35-13 overall record. The victory helps W&J keep intact its perfect 8-0 record during the 2019 postseason. This will mark W&J’s second appearance in the College World Series. The Presidents finished as the national runner-up in 2017.
The Presidents will be joined by the other seven super regional winners at the College World Series. The pool play double-elimination championship will be held at Perfect Game Field at Veterans Memorial Stadium in Cedar Rapids, Iowa, May 31 through June 5.
The Presidents put up three runs in the top of first inning and picked up a wire-to-wire victory in a matchup of perennial NCAA qualifiers. W&J recorded four consecutive singles to begin the game. With Dante Dalesandro on third and Mullen Socha on first, James Artale singled to left to score Dalesandro. Adam Moore then singled in Socha. Spencer Howell drove in the final run with a sacrifice fly to right.
With a 3-2 lead heading into the top of the fourth inning, the Presidents recorded their first extra-base hit of the game to get another run.
With Nick Guercio on first, Dalesandro smacked a double down the left field line to put two runners in scoring position. Guercio scored on a wild pitch to give W&J a 4-2 advantage.
The Cougars answered in the bottom of the inning with a leadoff single before taking advantage of a W&J defensive miscue that put the potential game-tying runner on first base. After a sacrifice bunt moved the Misericordia runners to second and third, an RBI groundout cut the Presidents’ lead to 4-3. Michael Zito escaped further damage with an inning ending groundout.
The score remained 4-3 until the top of the seventh inning. Artale led off with a bloop single into shallow right field before Moore reached base on an infield single. A successful sacrifice bunt by Joey Bolick advanced Artale and Moore. After a groundout retired Artale at home plate, Moore scored on a wild pitch to extend the lead to 5-3. That run proved costly for Misericordia later in the ballgame.
In the bottom of the eighth inning, the Cougars took advantage of an infield double on a pop-up that fell around the pitcher’s mound. A two-out RBI single closed the Cougars’ deficit to 5-4. W&J closer Clay Martin got a pop up for the third out to end the threat.
Martin retired the Cougars in order to secure the victory for the Presidents.
Martin tossed a season-high three innings of relief to earn his school-record 11th save. Martin allowed one unearned run on three hits. Zito picked up the win in relief, logging three strong innings. Zito allowed an unearned run on three hits.
W&J pounded out 12 hits, which included multi-hit efforts by Dalesandro, Artale, Moore and Bolick.