CARY, N.C. – Junior shortstop Kyle Cummings (Hamden, Conn.) had three hits, drove in three runs and scored a run to lead a 14-hit attack as the No. 8 nationally ranked Southern Connecticut State University baseball team notched an 8-6 win over against No. 1 nationally ranked Grand Valley State on Tuesday afternoon. The Owls improved to 44-8-1 on the year with the win and will play either Sonoma State or West Florida in another elimination game on Wednesday night at 7 p.m.
The loss ends the season for Grand Valley State with a 52-5 record. The victory was the first in four tries in College World Series action all-time for the Owls, who were edged by GVSU in 2005, 3-2.
Both teams had runners on base in the first inning but couldn’t take the lead. The Owls then put together a scoring threat in the top of the second but were unable to score. Bryan Dorsey (Cheshire, Conn.), T.K. Kiernan (Wallingford, Conn.) and Michael Cleary (West Boylston, Mass.) strung together three straight singles to load the bases with one out. However, the Owls were unable to score.
Grand Valley also threatened in the bottom half, putting runners at second and third with one out courtesy of a pair of walks. However, Owls’ hurler Chris Zbin (Colchester, Conn.) struck out back-to-back batters to end the threat.
The Lakers pushed across three runs in the third, all of the unearned variety
Southern Connecticut answered with four runs of its own in the top of the fourth. Ryan Geffert (Plymouth, Pa.) doubled to lead off the inning. A.J. Rouleau (Westborough, Mass.) followed with a walk before Dorsey singled to drive in Geffert and move Rouleau to third. A RBI single by Kiernan made it 3-2 before Kyle Cummings (Hamden, Conn.) capped the frame with a two-run single that gave the Owls a 4-3 lead.
The Lakers added another unearned run in the fourth to even the score at 4-4. Southern Connecticut loaded the bases in the top of the fifth but couldn’t score.
The Owls regained the lead with three runs in the top of the sixth, keyed by a go-ahead RBI single by Kyle Rosadino (Berwyn, Pa.) and a two-run single by Rouleau down the right field line to push their lead to 7-4.
However, GVSU scored twice in the bottom of the frame to close within a run once again.
The Southern Connecticut bullpen held the Lakers off the board in the final three innings. Zbin went 3.2 innings without allowing an earned run before turning the ball over to Ryan Yerina (Trumbull, Conn.). Yerina allowed two runs over 2.1 innings of work but notched the win to improve to 3-1 on the year.
A.J. Turnier (Waterford, Conn.) threw a scoreless seventh and recorded the first two outs in the eighth before issuing back-to-back walks. Michael Johnston (Thomaston, Conn.) escaped the jam in the eighth with a strikeout and worked around an error in the bottom of the ninth to tally his 15th save of the season.
Rosadino, Geffert, Dorsey, Cleary and Kiernan all had two hits apiece for the Owls in the winning effort.