HARWICH, Mass. — Kyle Slinger quelled St. Joseph’s offense Wednesday, allowing just three hits in bolstering Tufts to a 3-1 win in the opening game of the New England baseball regionals at Whitehouse Field.
“We ran into a buzz saw of a pitcher tonight, no doubt about it,” said St. Joe’s Coach Will Sanborn, whose team fell to 28-14. “He could really hit his spots to locate. We made some good adjustments at the plate, but not good enough to get the job done.”
Slinger had nine strikeouts and no walks.
“We’ve been here a lot and have a veteran crew with great leadership,” said Sanborn, whose team will play Worcester State at 1 p.m. Thursday. “I’m pleased by the way we competed. We played a pretty good baseball game, but it wasn’t good enough.”
Slinger, a junior lefty from Danville, California, struck out the side in the first. He finished with 116 pitches, 82 strikes.
St. Joe’s starter Nick Whittaker (6-3) worked 71/3 innings. The 6-foot-4 senior from Yarmouth, who had been unbeaten in May, fanned eight and walked five.
Tufts scored in the bottom of the second on a two-out RBI double by catcher Nick Cutsumpas.
“So often these tournaments come down to making the plays defensively and getting those clutch hits, but for whatever reason, we couldn’t accomplish that,” said Sanborn, whose team stranded five runners on base against Slinger, who entered with a 1.21 ERA in 10 starts.
The Monks evened the score at 1-1 in the fourth on an opposite-field single by Taylor Reuillard that scored Alex Lorenc from second.
Tufts quickly regained the lead in the bottom of the fourth on a one-out single by Bryan Egan, a wild pitch and a single by right fielder James Howard.
The Jumbos added a run in the fifth when Tom Petry scored on a sacrifice fly.
Sophomore right-hander Riley Cox got the final two outs in the eighth after relieving Whittaker.
“He was tough,” said Lorenc, who had two hits off Slinger. “We were able to put the ball in play throughout the game, but obviously we would have liked to see a lot more.”
The game’s start was delayed for more than an hour as the preceding game between Mitchell College and Eastern Connecticut State University went 11 innings with Mitchell winning 4-3.