CNU Baseball Wins NCAA South Region Championship, Earns Berth in Finals
NEWPORT NEWS, Va. – The Christopher Newport University baseball team defeated second seeded Salisbury in the South Region Championship, 12-3 to earn the program's third trip to the NCAA Division III finals. The Captains will travel to Fox City Stadium in Appleton, Wisconsin and begin play in the finals on Friday, May 25, 2012.
After dropping the very first game of the Newport News Regional Wednesday morning to the sixth seed, Messiah College, the Captains bounced back to win four elimination games in three days to clinch the regional championship. In the first game of the day, CNU defeated rival Shenandoah in a seesaw affair, 9-5 to earn the right to play Salisbury in the championship game.
The Captains led from the beginning scoring once in the first, and twice in the second. It wasn't until the Sea Gulls trimmed the lead to one in the fifth that CNU's bats really came to life.
Shannon Mark's two-run single in the sixth scored Ben Lenda and the South Region tournament MVP, Steven Keener, building the Captains' advantage to 5-2. While Salisbury was able to escape the sixth without any further damage, CNU tacked on three more in the seventh when Keener blasted his second home run of the game, and third of the day, with Connor Madden and Billy Steel already on base.
Luke Saunders added a two-run double down the left field line in the eighth, Billy Steel drove in Preston Grissom in the ninth and Madden followed suit with an RBI single to right that brought home designated hitter, Chris McDougal to provide the final margin.
Salisbury starter, Andrew Levy pitched on two days rest and went 6 1/3 giving up six earned runs. His counterpart, freshman, James Walsh, made his third start of the year for CNU earning the win after going five innings and giving up only two earned runs.
Salisbury finishes their season with an overall 31-13 record. CNU improves to 33-8.
Release courtesy of the Christopher Newport sports information department.