Courtesy of Tufts Sports Information
WATERVILLE, Mass. – The Tufts University baseball team will play for its sixth NESCAC title on Sunday after winning a pair of games on Saturday at the 2019 conference tournament hosted by Colby College.
The Jumbos (28-8) defeated Middlebury College 5-0 in Game 2 of the tournament and then won the winner's bracket Game 3 by a 6-1 score against Williams College. Middlebury and Williams will play Game 5 on Sunday starting at 9 am with the winner taking on Tufts in the championship round starting at 12:15 pm. In the double-elimination format, the Jumbos will need just one win to capture the title. The if necessary Game 7 would follow.
Tufts got a strong pitching performance in the winner's bracket game against Williams as Aidan Tucker went seven innings allowing just one run to also improve to 7-0. Casey Santos-Ocampo was 3-for-5 with three RBIs and a run in the game.
Santos-Ocampo's solo home run with one out in the first put Tufts up 1-0 early. The Ephs tied the score in the second when David Driscoll doubled to lead off and scored on a base hit by catcher Alex Panstares.
The Jumbos would take the lead for good by leading off the fourth with a pair of walks from Cortese and JP Knight that scored. Frickman had an RBI single and Will Shackelford brought home the third Tufts run with a sac fly.
Williams threated in the fourth when Erik Mini hit a lead-off double, and in the sixth when Mini doubled again and advanced to third. However, both times Tucker left him on base. Singles by Eric Pappas and Tom Benz with one out in the seventh were also wasted as Tucker finished his outing with a pop-up and a swinging strikeout.
The Jumbos then padded their lead with three in the bottom of the eighth highlighted by a Santos-Ocampo two-run double. Shackelford also had a run-scoring double in the frame as Tufts took a 6-1 advantage.
Spencer Langdon pitched the final two innings for the Jumbos and earned his sixth save by retiring six of the seven batters he faced.
Williams out-hit Tufts 11-8 as Benz finished with three hits while Driscoll and Mini both had two. John Lamont took the pitching loss for the Ephs (6.1 IP, 6 H, 3 R).