Cassella scores game-winning run on dropped fly ball
NEWPORT, R.I. (May 13, 2018) – After the second game of the Commonwealth Coast Conference (CCC) Baseball Tournament best-of-three championship series was suspended due to darkness with the score tied 6-6 through 11 innings on Friday night, it took just 19 minutes for Western New England University to walk off with a 7-6 victory over Salve Regina University on Sunday afternoon at Reynolds Field.
Junior outfielder Joe Cassella (Wallingford, Conn.) worked a leadoff walk in the bottom of the 12th inning and stole second base before coming in to score the game-winning run when senior infielder Jared Rosenblatt (Avon, Conn.) lifted a fly ball deep to center field that was dropped by Salve's outfielder.
The win, which completes Western New England's championship series sweep over the Seahawks, secures the Golden Bears' sixth CCC title and first since 2012.
Sophomore left-hander Jeff Zebrowski (South Hadley, Mass.) came on to pitch the top of the 12th for Western New England and gave up a leadoff single to Salve Regina freshman Michael DeFusco (East Greenwich, R.I.), but DeFusco was thrown out attempting to steal second base. Zebrowski retired the final two batters of the inning with a pop out and a strikeout, respectively, to send the contest to the bottom of the 12th.
Western New England won the championship series opener 11-3 on Friday, but the Golden Bears faced a late 5-0 deficit in game two before scoring three runs in the sixth and three more in the eighth to pull ahead 6-5. Salve Regina forced extra innings with a run in the ninth, and both teams were unable to capitalize on several scoring opportunities before the game was halted due to darkness.
The Golden Bears (31-13), who will be making their 11th all-time appearance in the NCAA Tournament next week, will find out their destination for the regional round when the NCAA releases its bracket at midnight.