May 26, 2001
The Red Fox baseball team (33-20-1) jumped out to an early 7-0 lead and never looked back, as Marist held on to edge Long Beach State, 7-6, to eliminate the 49ers from the Palo Alto, CA regional and advance to the semi-final game later tonight. Marist will await the loser of Stanford/Texas in a chance to advance to the regional championship on Sunday afternoon.
The fourth seeded Red Foxes came one run from knocking off Stanford in game one yesterday and eliminated the second seeded team this afternoon. Winning pitcher Tim Bittner (Wilmington, DE) commented about coming in as the lowest seeded team in the bracket. "I don't feel like the underdog, we came in last night and even though we came out with a loss, we played tough. We came out today a little hungry, we played tough against a good team."
Long Beach State's Bobby Crosby went 4-for-4 in the game with two runs and one RBI. The 49ers had six runs on 12 hits, but left 11 runners on base. Marist's seven runs on seve3n hits were aided by outfielders Anthony Bocchino (Brooklyn, NY) and Jimmy Board (Shrewsbury, MA), who both went 2-for-4 with a RBI.
Bittner (8-3) grabbed the win for the Red Foxes in his first NCAA start. Bittner logged 6.1 innings, giving up four runs on eight hits. His nine strikeouts on the day set a new team NCAA record in a single game. Kevin Ool (Middletown, NY) snagged his second save of the year with 2.2 innings. Ool allowed two runs on three hits before closing out the game. Starting pitcher Al Thielemann lasted just one inning and gave3 up one run on one hit to take the loss (0-1). Nate Beucler later shut down the Marist offense, going 5.0 innings and allowing no runs and no hits and only one walk with five strikeouts.
Marist opened up the game with a RBI fielder's choice in the first and second innings. Marist then tallied five runs in the third, while Long Beach committed two errors. Demaria also balked in a run before recording the third out to end the inning. A Tod Jennings double then put the 49ers on the board as Bryan Kennedy scored. Long Beach continued to struggle offensivel until the seventh when two hit batsman and two hits earned the 49ers' three runs. With the game on the line, Long Beach junior shortstop obby Brosby started things out with a solo homerun. Jeff Jones then tripled to right center. Kennedy grounded out to second, but Jones scored to put the 49ers within one. Ool walked one runner, but the tying run was left on base when Ool got Chris Wright to fly out for the third out.
Marist's win improves the Red Foxes' overall record to 33-20-1, tying the school record for wins in a season. Last season's NCAA squad also achieved 33 victories to set the mark. The "W" also marked the second ever victory in a NCAA Tournament by a Marist squad. The 2000 Red Fox baseball team recorded the very first win for the school in a NCAA format with a 6-5 victory over McNeese State in the Lafayette, Lousiana regional. The Red Foxes will