MANSFIELD, Conn. — The Saint Joseph’s baseball team will face elimination at the NCAA Division III New England Regional this morning.

Top-seeded Tufts (32-5) bumped the eighth-seeded Monks into the losers’ bracket with a 12-3 win Wednesday.

Sophomore left-hander Kevin Gilchrist pitched seven shutout innings for the Jumbos after surrendering three runs in the first two innings.

Tufts batted around the order in two innings on the way to a 12-hit performance. They also made use of three errors to score four unearned runs.

Saint Joseph’s (32-12) will face No. 5 Worcester State (31-10-1) at 10 a.m. today in an elimination game.

“(Gilchrist) was very good. He threw it over the plate and mixed speeds very well,” said Monks right fielder Todd Keneborus, who along with Mike Burdin went 2 for 4. “We got a little too aggressive (as the game went on). We started jumping at the ball.”

The Monks left eight runners on base, including three in the sixth inning, and hit into first-pitch outs in the sixth, seventh and eighth innings.

“I think our guys were a little frustrated,” said St. Joseph’s Coach Will Sanborn. “Tufts really played great defensively. It can be difficult to get something going in the game. They’re an excellent baseball team.”

Monks starter Sam Murray (7-2) took the loss after struggling with his command early.

The Monks went up 1-0 with three hits in the first inning, Burdin scoring on a groundout by Pat Moran.

In the bottom of the first, Murray hit leadoff hitter David LeResche, who promptly scored when Ben Walkley doubled to center. After Sam Sager singled, Walkley scored on a sacrifice fly by Chase Rose to give Tufts a 2-1 lead, and a bases-loaded walk later in the inning made it 3-1.

The Monks tied the game in the second when Mike Pratt drew a one-out walk and went to third on a double by Chris Campbell. Pratt scored on Burdin’s infield hit, and Keneborus chased home Campbell with a single.

The Jumbos got three straight hits off Murray to open the third and got four runs in the inning. Murray left with two outs and was charged with seven runs, five earned.

“Sometimes when you get in a negative funk as a pitcher, you need some help,” said Sanborn. “We didn’t provide solid defense when he needed it.”

The Jumbos got two more runs in the fourth on two hits against reliever Mason Roberge, who gave up five runs, three earned, in 32/3 innings.

Tufts scored three in the seventh on a walk, single, error and two hit batsmen.

Andrew Keirstead closed out the game for the Monks, pitching 12/3 innings and giving up no runs and just one hit.

“We just have to regroup and get back to doing what we do best,” said catcher Travis Adams. “We need to capitalize offensively.”

Said Keneborus: “We knew Tufts was going to be tough, but we know we’ve got a talented team and can come back (today.)”

The Monks last won an NCAA regional game in 2006, beating Bowdoin 9-7 in the first round.

 

Staff Writer Jenn Menendez can be contacted at 791-6426 or at:

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