Thursday, May 17, 2012
MARIETTA, Ohio - The Westminster College baseball team finished its 2012 season with a 3-2 heartbreaker loss to La Roche in the elimination game of the NCAA Division III Mideast Regionals on Thursday at Marietta College. The Titans were up 2-0 going into the eighth inning, however La Roche rallied late and scored three runs to take the lead.
"That's why you play nine innings," said Westminster head coach and Presidents' Athletic Conference Coach of the Year Carmen Nocera, who is resigning after 14 years with the Titans. "Sometimes you can dominate a game and in a matter of five minutes it can turn around that's pretty much what happened."
The No. 5-seeded Titans (28-17) end the year with a school-record in wins, while the No. 8-seeded Redhawks (25-18) will play tomorrow in another elimination game.
In the eighth inning, La Roche cut Westminster's lead to 2-1 with a sacrifice fly. The Redhawks then tied the game 2-2 off a Titan throwing error and would take the lead with an RBI-single to right field.
Westminster senior pitcher Patrick Mulligan (Brookfield, OH / Brookfield) threw a complete game, while giving up three runs (two earned) off 10 hits. Mulligan (6-3) fanned five batters and walked one.
Westminster scored its two runs in the top of the sixth inning. Senior David Schafer (Hermitage, PA / Hickory) led off with a walk, followed by a single from senior Steve Perrotta (New Castle, PA / New Castle). The Titans then would have bases loaded after a perfect bunt from senior Justin King (Fombell, PA / Riverside). Junior Kyle Allen then knocked in Schafer with a fielder's choice, followed by a sacrifice fly from senior Tim Wiand (Pottstown, PA / Owen J. Roberts), scoring Perrotta.
In the first inning, La Roche threatened with a runner on third base with only one out, however Wiand turned a double play with a line-out catch and a throw out to third base to end the threat.
The Redhawks had another scoring opportunity in the second inning with runners on the corners with two outs, however Mulligan forced a ground out to end the inning.
Westminster's first scoring opportunity came in the top of the fifth inning with one out when junior Chris Ross (West Pittsburg, PA / New Castle) singled and advanced to second base after a sacrifice bunt from senior Ethan Yeager (Pottstown, PA / Owen J. Roberts).
"Those seniors had a heck of a run and I was very proud how we fought the whole year," Nocera said. "God has blessed me and I am very humbled an honored to be a college head coach at a great institution like Westminster, along with being a principal of two elementary schools. No regrets, nothing to look back on but fond memories and I was proud of what we accomplished and hopefully coach [Tim] Mulligan will continue that throughout his tenure."
Westminster won its second PAC Title in school history and clinched its first ever birth in the NCAA Tournament.
About Westminster College...
Founded in 1852 and related to the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.), Westminster College ranks first in the nation as "Best College for Women in Science, Technology, Engineering and Math," according to Forbes.com. Westminster, a top-tier liberal arts college, ranks third in graduation rate performance, according to U.S. News Best Colleges guide. Westminster ranked 6th among liberal arts colleges in social mobility, according to the Washington Monthly College Guide, and is one of the most affordable national liberal arts colleges in Pennsylvania. Westminster is also honored as one of "The Best 376 Colleges" by The Princeton Review, and is named to the President's Honor Roll for excellence in service learning.
Nearly 1,600 undergraduate and graduate students benefit from individualized attention from dedicated faculty while choosing from 42 majors and nearly 100 organizations on the New Wilmington, Pa., campus. Visit www.westminster.edu/advantage to view "Advantage: Westminster" A Strategic Plan 2010-2020.