HARWICH, Mass. — The season ended this afternoon for the St. Joseph’s College baseball team, but not before a late-inning rally came a hit or two shy of another magical run in the NCAA Division III New England Regional.

The No. 6 Monks were eliminated by No. 3 Wheaton College 5-3, in a game that was played over the course of two days.

The game started at 8 p.m. Friday, suspended for fog at 11 p.m., and resumed at noon today. St. Joseph’s trailed 2-0 with a Wheaton runner on second and one out in the seventh when play resumed.

“We knew it was gonna be a short chance,” said senior righ fielder Todd Keneborus. “We knew we would have to man up.”

The Lyons drove in a on their first at-bat, but the Monks rallied to tie it 3-3 in a wild eighth inning.

Alex Markakis singled to center to start the rally, and went to third on shortstop Dan Achorn’s double to left-center. Markakis scored on a groundout to short, then Sam Butts of Saco singled to left and an error in the outfield allowed Achron to score, making it 3-2.

Chris Campbell was beaned by reliever Ryan Grant and Nate Martin of Chebeague Island then bunted with a throwing error by Grant allowing Butts to score the tying run.

Martin was originally called safe on the play, but after umpire deliberations was called out for not touching the base.

Wheaton won it by scoring twice in the ninth on two hits and a walk and a sacrifice fy.

“It’s another step, now we have to see if we can take the next,” said Monks Coach Will Sanborn. “You did wonder was last year just a nice run or will we be able to do it again? I don’t think anybody wants to play St. Joe’s down here now. And that’s exciting going forward.”

St. Joe’s finished the tournament with a 2-2 record, facing only the No. 1, No. 2, No. 3 seeds. St. Joe’s split with Wheaton, beat No. 1 Tufts, and lost to No. 2 Western New England, which will play for the title today at noon.

The Monks’ tourney effort follows their run to the championship round in 2010, when it went 3-2.

Sanborn said he was proud of his team’s ability to respond after such a strange set of circumstances.

“That eighth inning showed a lot of character. It was the bottom of the order, and it shows you the resiliency of these guys,” said Sanborn. “Sometimes it comes down to breaks.

“I think the guys forget how special it is to get into this tournament. There’s a lot of good teams that don’t make it.”

Butts, who went 3 for 3 with a run scored, said the experience was strange – starting, stopping, to restart a day later.

“It’s definitely not something we’ve done all year,” said Butts. “We looked at it as an opportunity to see another pitcher.”

But, he said, the tourney run felt like a building block he and his teammates will remember next year.
“We got back here again which shows the consistency of this program,” said Butts.

Said Keneborus: “We went 2-2 in very close games. We feel like we belong here. And from when I came in, I think we’ve grown from being just a good Maine team, to more of a regional team. We’ve grown a lot.”