By Jim Fenton BRIDGEWATER, Mass. -- The third-seeded Johnson & Wales University baseball team has secured a spot in the championship round of the NCAA Division 3 Bridgewater Regional. The Wildcats improved to 2-0 in the tournament on Sunday afternoon with a 10-0 victory over fourth-seeded Bridgewater State University at Alumni Park. Johnson & Wales will play either Bridgewater State or top-seeded Endicott College in the title round on Monday at noon.
If a second game is needed to decide the double-elimination tournament, it would be played 50 minutes after the conclusion of the opener. The victory was a school-record 30th for the Wildcats, who have won two NCAA tourney games for the first time in program history. Bridgewater State (33-12) plays an elimination game against Endicott Sunday afternoon.
The Bears opened the regional on Friday with a 4-2 win over the nationally ranked Gulls. Winning pitcher Ryan Schultz, a junior from Hebron, Conn., improved to 6-0 for the Wildcats. He worked seven shutout innings, scattering eight hits while walking only one. Johnson & Wales (30-13) scored four runs each in the fourth and fifth innings to take control against the Bears in the first meeting between the teams since 2019. The Wildcats opened a 1-0 lead in the top of the first inning as Jack Obert, a freshman from Plymouth, led the game by drawing a walk, went to third on a single to right by Trevor Juan, a sophomore from Bolton, Conn., and scored on a sacrifice fly by Miles Kelly, a senior from East Setauket, N.Y. The lead went to 5-0 in the fourth inning when Johnson & Wales had four hits and took advantage of two walks. E.J.
Leone, a junior from Peabody, led by drawing a walk and went to third on a single to center by Riley Hasson, a junior from South Portland, Maine. Xavier Botelho, a sophomore from Rehoboth, drove in a run with a single to right and Hasson scored on a double play for 3-0 edge. Thorin Sanchez-Guerra, a junior from Lindenhurst, N.Y., walked, stole a base and scored from second on an infield hit by Jack Magane, a junior from Walpole. Magane then stole second and scored on a double to left by Obert. The four-run fifth inning began when Kelly walked and Leone was hit by a pitch.
Botelho brought in two runs with a double to right, went to third on a single by Owen Davis, a sophomore from Bristol, Conn., and scored on a wild pitch. Davis scored on a single to right-center by Magane. Juan made it 10-0 by leading off the eighth inning with a home run over the fence in left, his 10th of the second. Bridgewater State threatened against Schultz in the sixth when Jay Wladkowski, a junior from Norwood, and Cam James, a junior from Ipswich, led with singles and Riley Thornell, a freshman from Wareham, loaded the bases with a walk, but the Bears did not score. In the seventh, Kevin Lindsay, a junior from East Bridgewater, doubled and Scott Emerson, a sophomore from Peabody, reached on an infield hit with one out, but they were also stranded. Johnson & Wales had 12 hits against five BSU pitchers with Juan going 3-for-5 and Botelho (three RBI) and Magane chipping in with two hits each. Emerson, James and Lindsay had two hits each for the Bears.
Losing pitcher Matthew Seavey, a senior from North Attleboro, worked four-plus innings and fell to 4-3. Elijah Barber, a freshman from Rumford, R.I, worked the final two innings for the Wildcats, allowing no hits and striking out two. Johnson & Wales opened the tournament Friday with a 12-11 victory in 11 innings over second-seeded Middlebury.
The Wildcats needed a three-run rally with two outs in the top of the ninth inning to force extra innings.