WENHAM, Mass. — A seven-run third inning powered Gordon to a split with Curry on Monday afternoon in the conference finale for both squads. The Colonels shut down the Scots to the tune of 2-0 in game one before Gordon erupted for eight runs in the second for an 8-6 victory.
Curry changes its mark to 19-12 on the season and 10-6 in the Commonwealth Coast Conference, which earns them the third seed. Gordon will be the fourth seed after earning a conference record of 9-6-1 and 14-17-1 overall.
Game one breezed by with only two runs scored between the two teams in a contest hinging with major playoff implications.
Gordon starter Mark Fitzgerald (Camarillo, Calif.) was sharp early on, cutting down the first three batters of the game including two swinging K's. Dean Demers (Sandy Hook, Conn.) hit a laser to left field that the left fielder tracked down in a hurry to hold him to one base. The final two Scots popped out to end any type of early-inning threat.
Curry put two runners on base with only one out in the second inning, but Fitzgerald got Derek Pizarro (Cambridge, Mass.) to ground into a double play to end the inning.
Gordon's best chance at runs came in the bottom of the third, while Fitzgerald was holding the Curry offense at bay. Eric Walker (Danvers, Mass.) made it safely to first on a blooper just over the pitchers head, outrunning the play before Brian Burke (Swampscott, Mass.) was able to field it cleanly.
After Walker stole second base for to create Gordon's first real scoring opportunity, he got caught creeping toward third on Jared Kefalas' (Wenham, Mass.) lineout to third base. The Curry third baseman flipped over to second to double up Walker on the play. The unfortunate play was compounded when Demers launched a double to straight away center that would have scored Walker easily on the play.
The Colonels made Gordon pay in the next half inning. Anthony Sciaudone (York, Maine) reached base on an error at second and made it to third on a pair of groundouts. Nick Crivello (Millville, Mass.) ushered in Sciaudone on a ground ball up the middle of the diamond to give Curry a 1-0 lead.
Tanner Givens (Hamden, Conn.) increased Curry's lead to two in the sixth inning. After Fitzgerald stuck out of the leadoff batter, he walked Philip Perez (West Covina, Calif.) and Crivello. Givens punched a hit through the hole in right to easily play John O'Rourke (Falmouth, Mass.), who had pinch run for Perez.
Gordon was only able to knock one hit off Burke after the fourth inning, falling 2-0. Curry clinched a home game and the No. 3 seed in the Commonwealth Coast Conference with the game one win. Burke improved to 3-1 on the season, while Fitzgerald fell to 3-3.
The Colonels carried their offense over the opening frame of game two, putting runners on the corners with no outs. Evan Morris (Pembroke, Mass.) drew first blood with a single to the deep part of short and Pizarro later scored on a passed ball to open a 2-0 advantage.
Gordon struck back with a vengeance in the bottom of the third inning. Vincent LoPriore (Boston, Mass.) got Kefalas to groundout to start the inning, but the next eight Gordon batters reached base safely, including five consecutive hits starting with Demers' single to center. Travis Pullen (Las Vegas, Nev.) smacked a pitch a long way just inside the left field pole to tie the game at two.
Alex Smith (Wethersfield, Conn.) kept the hit parade going with a single and made it to third on a double down the left-field line by Fitzgerald. Alonzo Martinez (El Paso, Texas) gave the Scots the go-ahead run with a single to the gap in left to plate Smith. Jesse Amaya (South Gate, Calif.) knocked in Fitzgerald easily on a deep grounder to short, but Curry's through to first was too high to allow Amaya to make it all the way to second base. Addison Tarr (Oxnard, Calif.) doubled everyone in with a long fly ball to right center field that trickled to the wall to make it 6-2.
The Scots bat around in the inning, allowing Kefalas to add a sacrifice fly to score Tarr for a seven-run frame.
Curry scored three runs on four hits in the fifth inning, including another two RBI from Givens on a single down the line in left. Perez helped the Colonels creep even closer with a RBI single.
That would be as close as the Colonels would get as the two teams traded runs over the last two innings. Caleb Bae (Canyon Country, Calif.) earned the win, his second of the season, while Matt Amore (Pequannock, N.J.) picked up his first save of the season. (Recap courtesy of Gordon Sports Information)