The defense reached a championship level during the 2018 NEC Baseball Tournament.
Here’s a look at some of the top moments in the field…
Blackbird’s Big League Play
LIU Brooklyn second baseman Anthony Warneke produced a real eye-popper with his team protecting a 5-3 lead over Bryant in the sixth inning of Friday’s winners’ bracket game. Ranging deep to his right, Warneke snagged a ball that appeared destined for the outfield and made an acrobatic throw that beat Bryant’s Nick Angelini to first base.
Flashing Leather in the Outfield
It looked as if Nick Mascelli had just connected on Wagner’s first hit of the NEC Tournament. Batting with two out and no one on in the bottom of the first, the veteran infielder sent a sinking liner into right field. Coming in and moving fast to the foul line, LIU Brooklyn’s Dom Paiotti got there in the nick of time to snag a ball that seemed destined for the turf.
Silvestrone’s Snag In Center
Wagner’s centerfielder Joe Silvestrone began Saturday’s Championship Round contest with some championship caliber glove work. Leading off the game, LIU Brooklyn’s all-NEC outfielder Andrew Smith stroked a liner into shallow center. Silvestrone needed to slide but he made the catch at his shoe tops.
Loses Cap, But Makes The Play
Mount St. Mary’s leftfielder Myles Nicholson shows some speed while tracking down for this fly ball off the bat of Wagner’s Freddy Sabido during the fifth inning of Friday’s elimination game. His hat falls to the ground during the play, but the ball lands safely in his glove.
Two title games, two fantastic finishes, all on the same day.
Overtime was needed to determine a winner in both games.
First, top-seeded Saint Joseph’s erased a two-goal over the final 5:00 of regulation play in the NEC Men’s Lacrosse Championship Game. SJU’s Kyle Cain scored both goals, including the equalizer with 00:15 remaining, but those heroics will go down in history only as a footnote.
Overshadowing the host’s comeback effort, Tyson Gibson gave Robert Morris a sudden victory by rattling the cage with only 10 ticks left in overtime.
The NEC Women’s Championship Game, which began one hour after the men’s start, concluded in most-memorable fashion, too.
Bryant’s Lauren Britton scored the go-ahead goal with only 1:00 remaining, but NEC Rookie of the Year Ally Alliegro responded for Wagner.
After producing the equalizer in the final minute of regulation, Alliegro ended the game in the third overtime period.
Alliegro Ends It
Megan Smith (22) played the role of hero vs. SFU
The highly-anticipated Keystone State Clash lived up to its billing.
It was looking as if the headlines would be about a Jess Kovatch-led road win over the defending champions, but there were still 3:12 remaining.
Becoming the first NEC athlete to eclipse the 40-point mark this season, Kovatch buried a triple to run her single-game total to 42 points while bumping the Saint Francis U’s lead to 60-54.
Then, the Robert Morris defense, which leads the league in two major categories, clamped down. The Colonials allowed only an Ace Harrison layup over the final 3:12 and found themselves facing a 62-60 deficit with time for one final possession.
As the seconds ticked away with RMU controlling the ball in the frontcourt, Nina Augustin found senior Megan Smith who buried a buzzer-beating three-pointer.
The dramatic 63-62 victory was the Colonials fifth win in a row and the team’s 10th in its last 11 outings.
The defending champions now stand alone atop the NEC standings at 5-0 with SFU (4-1) sitting 1.0 game back in second place.
These two rivals will meet again in Loretto on February 3 in what will be the featured #NECWBB Game of the Week on ESPN3. They have split the regular season series each of the past four years.
Watch the Game-winner…
With the calendar year winding down and the conference hoops schedule on the horizon, the Northeast Conference unveiled its annual video promotional spot.
The :60 spot, which highlights the numerous successful traits of NEC student-athletes, can be seen by visiting the NECsports page on numerous social media platforms. The ad will also play during live NEC Front Row webcasts and will air during the league’s national basketball telecasts.
WATCH “The Journey”
- Central Connecticut, which owns a seven-game win streak for the first time as a FCS program, secured at least a share of its first NEC title since 2010 by edging NEC preseason favorite Duquesne, 28-27, in a Week 11 bout at Rooney Field. The CCSU Blue Devils, which have scored at least 26 points in each of its last seven victories, will make their first-ever FCS playoffs appearance after locking up the conference’s automatic berth.
- Central Connecticut’s regular season finale against Robert Morris will stand as the featured #NECFB Game of the Week on ESPN3 at 12:00 pm ET on November 18.
- Saint Francis, which owns the second-highest pass defense efficiency rating in the FCS, visits Eastern Kentucky with a chance to record the program’s third consecutive winning season.
- Duquesne WR Nehari Crawford, who made at least one TD reception in each of the season’s first six games, added two scores to his league-leading touchdown total (13) during a Week 11 bout vs. CCSU.
- RB Ryan Fulse (1,114) became Wagner’s first 1,000-yard rusher since the 2013 season when Dominique Williams totaled 1,126 yards on the ground.
Whole Nine Yards Video Preview