UNION, N.J. --- The Shenandoah University baseball team has advanced to the championship of the Union Regional with a 7-1 victory over Westfield (Mass.) State Saturday night.
Shenandoah (33-13) faces host Kean University on Sunday at noon in the first of what could be two games against the Cougars. The Hornets need to sweep Kean in order to advance to next week's Super Regional.
Freshman Carson Kulina was outstanding Saturday evening in throwing a complete game victory over Westfield (28-16).
Kulina held the Owls hitless for the initial 5 2/3, facing the minimum in that time, and struck out eight to improve to 6-0 on the season.
Michael Cruz, who played for SU in 2017 and 2018, had the first hit of the game for Westfield with a two-out single through the right side in the sixth.
The Owls scored their lone run in the bottom of the ninth on a bases loaded single. Kulina struck the next hitter out looking to end the game.
Shenandoah scored its first run in the fourth as Grant Thompson had a double down the right field line and scored on Matt Moon's single to right center.
A squeeze, the Hornets third in two games Saturday, led to the squad's second run. Thompson struck out to lead off the inning, but reached first as the ball went into the dirt and Westfield catcher Jake Gibb could not make the play. Thompson then advanced to second on a stolen base and third on a wild pitch, setting the stage for the squeeze.
Henry Delavergne laid it down perfectly, bunting it up the first base line as Thompson scored standing up.
In the eighth, Keegan Woolford crushed a 2-0 pitch over the 375-foot sign in right center for his 13th home run of the season. Woolford's blast also plated Tristan Baker, who had singled to left for his second hit of the game.
Baker's hit streak now stands at 24 games and he is six hits from the all-time lead at Shenandoah.
The Hornets capped their scoring in the ninth with three runs on one hit, three walks and one crucial Owls error that led to the final run being unearned. Baker had a sacrifice fly in the frame while Robert Marcelle drove in a run on a bases loaded walk.
Moon finished the night 3-for-4 with the RBI and a run score while Robert Marcelle and Baker both had two hits.
Alex Honey (6-1) took the loss for Westfield. He allowed two runs on six hits and two walks in 7.0 innings.
Shenandoah faces Kean at noon in the first of what it hopes are two games Sunday. The Hornets are the visiting team in the first game.