BANGOR, Maine - The #1 Husson University baseball team (26-14) knocked off #3 Thomas College (14-24) by the final score of 3-1 in the 2019 North Atlantic Conference (NAC) Tournament Championship Game on The Harold Alfond Diamond at the Dr. John W. Winkin Sports Complex on Sunday afternoon. With the victory, Husson earns the program's first NAC Baseball Tournament title in six years.
HOW IT HAPPENED:
The Terriers got on the board early in the top of the first with a single run off one hit and one Eagle miscue. Alexander Miller led off the game with a double to left center, moved up to third on a groundout by Ryan Kappelman, and then scored on a Roberto Duran RBI groundout. Husson responded quickly in their bottom half of the opening inning when Ethan Stoddard tripled home David LeBlanc, who reached base on a double to left center, with the tying run.
With the game in a 1-1 deadlock, Husson plated two in the bottom of the third to take a 3-1 lead. Conor Maguire began the inning with a single through the left side and scored on a Terrier throwing error. Kobe Rogerson, who was credited with a bunt single, advanced to third on the same error to score the inning's second run when LeBlanc singled to left center.
The Terriers loaded the bases with two outs in the top of the seventh, but Jacob Gauvin came in and got Dominic Esposito to hit a comebacker to retire the side.
Gauvin and Nolan Dousa retired the final six batters to secure Coach Jason Harvey's 283rd career victory, tying him with John "JK" Kolasinski '85 for the most coaching victories in program history.
ON THE MOUND:
Husson starter Ryan Allender threw six innings, allowing four hits and one unearned run with four strikeouts to earn his fourth win of the season. Ben Bernier, Gauvin and Dousa pitched the final three innings, yielding just two hits and punching out three. Dousa was credited with his fifth save on the season, tying the program's record for saves in one season since the Eagles joined the NCAA.
Cody Cousins (1-4) took the loss for the Terriers after yielding three runs (one earned) and seven hits in 3.2 innings. Quinton Stebbins and Darren Kelly combined to toss 4.1 scoreless innings in relief allowing just one hit with one strikeout.
OFF THE BAT - HUSSON:
- Maguire went 2-4 with a run scored.
- LeBlanc was 2-4 with a run scored, an RBI, a double, and a stolen base.
- Alex Chapman finished the game with a 2-4 day, while adding a stolen base.
- Stoddard posted a 1-4 day with an RBI and a triple.
OFF THE BAT - THOMAS:
- Miller was 1-5 with a run scored and a double.
- Kappelmann went 1-5 for the Terriers.
- Duran had a 1-4 day with an RBI.
- Connor Rittenhouse finished the game with a 2-4 day, while adding a double.
- MVP - David LeBlanc, Husson
- Kobe Rogerson - Husson
- Conor Maguire - Husson
- Jesse Colford - Husson
- Connor Rittenhouse - Thomas (Maine)
- Ryan Scepansky - Thomas (Maine)
- Alexander Miller - Thomas (Maine)
- Jake Jourdain - Northern Vermont-Lyndon
- Noah Barton - Nothern Vermont-Lyndon
- Chase Malloy - UMaine-Farmington
- Gavin Arsenault - UMaine-Farmington
Earlier this year, the NAC and the City University of New York Athletic Conference (CUNYAC) announced a two-year agreement to align their respective baseball championships, beginning with the 2019 season. Husson will now advance to the NAC Championship against Baruch College, the winner of the CUNYAC Tournament and will host the Bearcats next weekend.
The format includes a single game on the first day of the series, and a maximum of two games on the second day. The exact dates and times for the series will be determined on Monday, May 6. The winner of the best-of three-series will earn the NAC's automatic qualification into the upcoming 2019 NCAA Division III Baseball Championship Tournament.