2008 Great Northeast Athletic Conference Championship
Sunday, April 27, 2008
Holman Stadium, Nashua, N.H.
FINAL: SAINT JOSEPH’S (MAINE) 6, SUFFOLK 5
NASHUA, N.H.-- Senior Luke Enman (Milan, N.H.) and sophomore Ben Grant-Roy (Biddeford, Maine) combined for four hits and three RBI as fourth-seeded Saint Joseph’s (Maine) captured its first-ever Great Northeast Athletic Conference baseball championship with a 6-5 victory over top-seeded Suffolk in the title game played Sunday afternoon at Holman Stadium.
The Monks, who improve to 25-13 en route to picking up the crown in their first year in the league, took advantage of a pair of first inning errors to plate two unearned runs in their first at-bat, and Grant-Roy extended Saint Joseph’s’ lead to 4-0 in the second with a two-run single that followed an infield hit, a walk and a sacrifice. The Rams, who fall to 25-10 overall in their bid for their fourth Great Northeast tournament championship of the decade, closed back to within two at 4-2 in the fifth when sophomore Mike Kenneally (Georgetown, Mass.) doubled and scored on an error. Sophomore Rory Gentile (Gloucester, Mass.) crossed the plate as well for Suffolk on a miscue, but the Monks responded with a single run in the bottom of the frame on a sacrifice fly off the bat of sophomore Mike Burdin (Gardiner, Maine) to take a 5-2 lead into the late innings.
The Rams closed to within one (5-4) in the top of the eighth when sophomore Tim Corcoran (Beverly, Mass.) drew a two-out walk and scored on junior Keith Carter’s (Newburyport, Mass.) third homer of the spring, but Enman gave Saint Joseph’s what proved to be the margin of victory in the bottom of the inning with a two-out solo home run of his own and a 6-4 advantage. That run proved to be valuable for the Monks, as senior Greg DiMarco (Newton, Mass.) belted his second round-tripper of the season with one out in the ninth to make it a one run game once again, but sophomore Andrew Keirstead (Westbrook, Maine), who earned Tournament Most Valuable Player honors, recorded a strikeout and a groundout to close out the contest.
Freshman Todd Keneborus (Hollis Center, Maine) joined Enman and Grant-Roy with two hits in the win for Saint Joseph’s, which earned the league’s automatic berth into the NCAA Division III Baseball Championships. Sophomore Pat Moran (Winterport, Maine) picked up his fourth victory of the season on the mound for the Monks, scattering five hits and allowed two earned runs over 7 2/3 innings with five strikeouts and 86 pitches. Keirstead, who threw 140 pitches in a complete-game first round win over Suffolk on Thursday, allowed DiMarco’s home run and fanned one to collect his second save. Cater had two of the Rams’ six hits in the setback, as junior Tim Doyle (Milton, Mass.) allowed four hits and a pair of earned runs while fanning one to fall to 3-2 on the mound.
Suffolk continues its regular season next Saturday afternoon when the Rams head to Waltham, Mass. to take on Brandeis in a non-league doubleheader that begins at 1:00.
123 456 789 R H E
Suffolk (25-10) 000 020 021 - 5 6 4
Saint Joseph’s (Maine) (25-13) 220 010 01x - 6 7 3
SUF: Tim Doyle, Steve Healey (2), Steve Durant (5) and Bobby Barrett
SJM: Pat Moran, Andrew Keirstead (8) and Ian Lee
WP: Moran (4-4) LP: Doyle (3-2) Save: Keirstead (2)
Home Runs: SUF – Keith Carter (3), Greg DiMarco (2) SJM – Luke Enman