Saint Josephs College (ME) Crowned 2008 GNAC Baseball Champions
NASHUA, NH - Saint Joseph's College (25-13, 8-6 GNAC) defeated
top seed Suffolk University (25-10, 14-0 GNAC), 6-5, in the GNAC
Championship game on Sunday at Holman Stadium in Nashua, NH. The
conference title secures a bid to the NCAA Regional Tournament, the
Monks' third consecutive berth, which takes place May 14-17th.
Starting pitcher SO Pat Moran (Winterport, ME) allowed 5 hits and
struck out 4 in 7.2 strong innings against the Rams to pick up his
fourth win and SO Andrew Keirstead (Westbrook, ME) tossed 1.1
innings in relief to notch his second save of the season.
SR Luke Enman (Milan, NH), SO Ben Grant-Roy (Biddeford, ME) and FY Todd Keneborus (Hollis Center, ME) all had two hits apiece and Enman hit his seventh home run of the year, a solo shot in the eighth, in the victory.
Enman, Moran and JR Wade Oliver (Owls Head, ME), who made a handful of highlight-reel plays over the weekend, were all named to the All-Tournament Team and Keirstead was named the Tournament Most Valuable Player.
The Monks took advantage of two Suffolk errors in the first inning to stake an early 2-0 lead and Grant-Roy singled home two runs in the second to give the Royal Blue a 4-0 advantage.
Suffolk used a pair of SJC miscues in the fifth to score twice and decrease the Monks’ lead to 4-2.
St. Joe’s sophomore catcher and 2008 GNAC Rookie of the Year Ian Lee (Hampden, ME) led off the bottom of the fifth by lacing a ground-rule double down the left field line. With one out, Keneborus hit a single to move Lee to third and SO Mike Burdin (Gardiner, ME) hit a sac fly to center field off Rams reliever SR Steve Durant (Malden, MA) to give the Monks a 5-2 lead.
The Rams refused to accept elimination without a fight and made it a one-run game in the eighth when JR Keith Carter (Newburyport, MA) hit a two-run home run to deep left off Moran to make the score 5-4, St. Joe’s.
2008 GNAC Player of the Year Luke Enman provided the Monks with an insurance run in the bottom of the eighth with an opposite field solo blast. The run proved to be an important one as SR Greg DiMarco (Newton, MA) hit a solo shot off SJC reliever Andrew Keirstead with one out in the top of the ninth to again make it a one-run contest. The crafty southpaw whiffed the next Suffolk batter and induced a groundout for the final out of the game.
The conference title is the fourth straight for the Monks, as the Royal Blue captured three consecutive North Atlantic Conference titles (2005-07) prior to joining the GNAC this season.
Starting pitcher JR Tim Doyle (Milton, MA) takes the loss for the Rams and allowed 4 hits and 4 runs, 2 earned, in 1.2 innings. Carter was 2-4 with 2 RBI’s in the Suffolk setback.
Andrew Keirstead was named tournament MVP.
Courtesy: St. Joe’s ME Athletics