CARY, N.C. – Five different players registered multiple hits, but the No. 8 nationally ranked Southern Connecticut State University baseball team was defeated by No. 16 nationally ranked Winona State on Thursday evening, 7-5. The Owls had the winning run at the plate in the bottom of the ninth but couldn’t connect. With the loss, the season concludes for the Owls with a 45-9-1 record.
Winona State (42-17) advances to Saturday’s championship game against West Florida.
It was a contrast for the Owls, who had to come-from-behind to win its last two games in the College World Series. On this night, Southern Connecticut jumped out with four runs in the bottom of the first inning to take a 4-0 lead.
Kyle Cummings (Hamden, Conn.) singled to start the inning and move to second base one out later on a single by Kyle Rosadino (Berwyn, Pa.). Ryan Geffert (Plymouth, Pa.) followed with another single that loaded the bases. A.J. Rouleau (Westborough, Mass.) then singled up the middle to drive in two runs. Bryan Dorsey (Cheshire, Conn.) followed with a sacrifice fly to make it 3-0 before T.K. Kiernan (Wallingford, Conn.) singled home Rouleau to make it 4-0.
However, Winona State scored four times in the top of the second to even the score. Three of those runs were unearned.
Southern Connecticut regained the lead with a run in the third. Rouleau, Dorsey and Michael Cleary (West Boylston, Mass.) all singled to load the bases with two outs. T.J. Shea (Hamden, Conn.) then bounded a ball to shortstop to allowed Rouleau to score.
Winona State countered with three runs in the fifth inning, all of which came with two outs, to take a 7-5 lead.
From there, the Owls had the tying run at the plate in the sixth and eighth inning, and a pair of hit batsmen in the ninth put the winning run at the plate.
Rouleau, Rosadino, Kiernan, Cleary and Shea all finished with two hits apiece for the Owls.