Courtesy of Colby Sports Information
The Jumbos (30-8-1 overall) won back-to-back titles after beating Trinity College last year. Tufts also captured championships in 2002, 2010, and 2011.
The Jumbos had to do it the hard way this year. Tufts needed to beat Middlebury twice on Sunday to take the championship. Game 6 of the double-elimination tourney started at 8:45 a.m. due to a possibility of heavy rain in the afternoon. The Jumbos won 11-2 to set up a winner-take-all title game. The teams had to play in rain all day, but the seventh game finally ended at 3:15 p.m. with a winner.
The Panthers struck for the first run of the game in the first inning. Han had a two-out double to right field and scored on a double by Graf.
Frickman walked in the bottom of the third inning and took second on a single by Christian Zazzali. Brown followed with a triple to help the Jumbos go up 2-1. O'Hara had an RBI ground out to bring in Brown.
Middlebury (22-16) had lone runs in the fourth and fifth innings to tie the game at 3-3. Andrew Hennings had the lone homer of the seven games in the tourney with a blast to left field to cut the lead to 3-2 after four innings.
Alan Guild walked to lead off the fifth inning for the Panthers. He took second on a sacrifice bunt by Gray Goolsby and came around to score when Ryan Rizzo singled to center field and an error allowed the run to score from third.
The Jumbos took control at 6-3 with three runs in the bottom of the inning. Frickman reached on an infield error, Brown walked, and Kutch singled to plate Frickman for a 4-3 margin. O'Hara's RBI single brought in Brown with the second run of the inning, and Stephan White had an RBI when he was hit by a pitch with the bases loaded.
Tufts added three more runs in the sixth inning on a two-run double by O'Hara, who scored on a single by Nick Falkson for the ninth run.
The Panthers made it interesting with three runs in the top of the seventh inning. Han had an RBI single to left field to score Kevin Woodring, while Graf drove in Rizzo and Brooks Carroll with a two-run single. With the bases loaded, Varinos was able to get a strikeout to end the inning.
Tufts added an insurance run in the eighth inning on O'Hara's double to left field that brought in Kutch, who had a one-out single.