Shenandoah Wins Twice to Force Winner Take All Regional Championship

Neil Dutton got the win in both contests on Sunday, his first two victories of the season.
Neil Dutton got the win in both contests on Sunday, his first two victories of the season.

YORK, Pa. --- No. 10/10 Shenandoah University won twice on Sunday afternoon, forcing a winner-take-all showdown with Wheaton (Mass.) College on Monday for a spot in the NCAA Division III Baseball Championship in Appleton, Wisc. Monday's contest is scheduled for 10:00 a.m. at PEOPLEsBank Park in York. If rain delays the contest, it will be moved to York College (Pa.) and a 3:00 p.m. start.

Should that prove to be unplayable, the contest will be moved to Ephrata High School in Lancaster, Pennsylvania at 7 p.m.

Senior righthander Neil Dutton got the win in both games, marking his first two victories of the season. The Hornets opened with a 4-2 victory over Johns Hopkins University, and then held on for a 5-4 decision over Wheaton.

Junior Dylan Stouffer had the game-winning RBI against Hopkins (38-8), lining a double into the gap in left center in the bottom of the eighth to score Dan Cameron and Luke Nussman from second and first, respectively.

Stauffer was put in position to get the game winning hit as Jake Loew got a two-out rally started with a single to right off of Hopkins starter Sean McCracken (3-2).

Cameron followed with a single to center, putting Loew in scoring position before Nussman knotted the game at 2-2 with a single through the right side.

Stouffer, pinch hitting for Christian Rice, sent the 0-1 fastball all the way to the wall to put the Hornets back on top to stay.

Dutton, who came on in relief of classmate Ryan Kinter with two outs in the seventh, then got the final three outs in order in the ninth to lock down the win. Dutton was perfect against his seven hitters overall.

Kinter pitched very well, allowing two runs on eight hits in 6 2/3 innings. He struck out four.

Shenandoah scored the first run of the game as Tristan Baker led off the game with a double into the right field corner, advanced to third on Nick Goode's fielder's choice groundout and scored when the relay throw attempting to eliminate Goode sailed wide of first base.

Hopkins scored its two runs on a two-run home run in the sixth.

"What a win against a very good club," head coach Kevin Anderson said. "They kept coming at us but we had our best focus today."

In game two, Shenandoah scored one run in the second, and after Wheaton tied it with one in the third, plated two runs in both the fifth and seventh to bring itself one win from a return trip to Appleton, Wisconsin for the national championships.

Dutton won his second game of the day with 7.0 innings of relief work. Dutton came on with the bases loaded and no outs in the third and got out of that jam by inducing a double play ball and a line out to third.

He held the Lyons scoreless after that until Wheaton scored three unearned runs with two outs in the ninth – Dutton ended up closing the door by inducing a groundball to second.

The Wheaton ninth was extended due to an overthrow at first base following a strikeout with the first run scored on a sacrifice fly and the second and third on a two-run home run.

Fifteen of the 19 outs Dutton recorded were via fly balls.

"My defense was outstanding today," Dutton said. "Without them, my pitching performance is nothing special."

Loew provided the game-winning RBI on a two-run ground rule double in the seventh. Baker and Abel Arocho led off with consecutive infield singles before being sacrificed to third and second, respectively, by Goode.

Loew then drilled a 2-0 offering off the wall in center to put SU up, 5-1.

"What a job by Neil Dutton," Anderson said. "He came up big versus Hopkins (earlier Saturday) and he came in today in the third inning and executed against a good Wheaton club.

"Jake Loew had the big hit, which turned out to be huge because they had a big fly in the ninth."

Shenandoah had 13 hits in the win, including three each from Loew and Arocho. Baker had two hits and scored one run.

For Arocho, his third inning single extended his hitting streak to 20 games.

--- This release is a combination courtesy of the Shenandoah University department of athletic communications. ---