Hempstead, NY – The Hofstra Baseball team clinched the two seed in the upcoming Colonial Athletic Association (CAA) Championship with a 10-9 11-inning victory over William & Mary in game one of a CAA doubleheader on Friday afternoon at University Field.
Hofstra, which improved to 32-19 overall and 19-9 in the CAA with the win, needed just one victory this weekend to clinch the two seed and will first be in action at the tournament at 3:30 p.m. on Thursday, May 24. The entire CAA Championship will take place at Veterans Memorial Park in Harrisonburg, Virginia and will be hosted by James Madison University.
William & Mary falls to 30-24 and 11-17 in league play with the loss.
Senior designated hitter T.J. Thomas and junior shortstop Dalton Rouleau were huge for the Pride as they combined for eight RBIs in the contest.
Thomas, in fact, came up in several key spots in the game as he tied the game at eight with a two-run single to left in the eighth inning and then had the game-winning RBI in the 11th when he hit a shallow sacrifice fly to right that brought home sophomore left fielder Kenny Jackson with the winning run.
Junior pitcher Andrew Barbarino worked the final two innings for the Pride, allowing just one hit, and improved to 4-2 this season with the win. He also struck out four.
John Farrell fell to 2-3 for the Tribe as he went three innings and allowed five hits and two runs.
Junior second baseman Matt Ford gave Hofstra an early 2-0 lead in the game as he slammed a home run to right field in the bottom of the first, scoring Rouleau, who had reached on an error. The home run was the second of the season for Ford.
William & Mary would rally and score five runs over the next three innings to lead 5-2 heading into the bottom of the fourth. Shortstop Ryan Williams had the big hit in the third inning for the Tribe as his single to right scored a pair of runs as William & Mary put up a three-spot in the third.
The fifth inning would see the Pride work some two-out magic. With a runner on and two outs, senior right fielder Danny Poma got the rally started with a single to left that put runners at first and second. Rouleau would then follow with his fifth home run of the season, knotting the score up at five.
William & Mary would continue to take leads as the contest wore on, but each time Hofstra had an answer for the Tribe.
In the decisive 11th inning, Jackson kick-started the inning with a one-out walk and senior third baseman/catcher Kevin Flynn followed with a single to right. The Pride would then load the bases as junior center fielder Taylor Stuart walked, setting up Hofstra for the exciting finish. After a pitching change by the Tribe, Thomas sent the 1-0 offering into shallow right center but it was plenty deep enough to allow Jackson to come home and score the winning run as Hofstra continues its magical 2012 campaign.
Ford finished with three hits, two runs scored and a pair of RBIs for the Pride, while Rouleau was 3-6 with two runs scored and four RBIs. Flynn also had three hits for the Pride.
Sean Aiken led William & Mary offensively with four hits, while Williams was 3-6 with two runs scored and three RBIs. Brett Koehler started on the mound for the Tribe and went 7.1 innings, allowing nine hits and eight runs (three earned).
Junior pitcher Joe Burg started for Hofstra and went four innings before the bullpen took over. Burg allowed eight hits and five runs.