Hofstra teammates douse Santino Rosso after his game-winning double in...

Hofstra teammates douse Santino Rosso after his game-winning double in the 10th inning Saturday gave Hofstra an 8-7 win over Northeastern in the CAA baseball tournament. Credit: Abbey Lipcsik

The walk-off magic continues for the Hofstra baseball team. For the eighth time this season Hofstra won in walk-off fashion.

Santino Rosso drilled a line drive into the right field corner in the 10th inning to score Zack Bailey from second base to give Hofstra an 8-7 win over Northeastern in the winner’s bracket final of the Colonial Athletic Association’s double elimination tournament at Latham Park held at Elon University in Elon, North Carolina.

Third-seeded Hofstra (29-21) advanced to Sunday’s 11 a.m. championship and will play Northeastern once again. The Pride will be playing in its first conference title game in school history, and needs one win to earn the school’s first CAA title.

“I really think this team is so special,” Rosso said. “Whether we’re up or down, we have confident at bats and we believe in each other. We know somebody is going to get the job done. It could be a different guy every day.”

Hofstra is on an eight-game winning streak, its longest since a nine-game run in 2013.

The bottom of the 10th started with redemption for Northeastern transfer Zack Bailey. The first baseman, who came in to pinch run for Steve Harrington in the eighth inning, smacked a line drive double down the left field line.

“It was a first pitch changeup that he left over the plate and up in the zone and I smoked it over the third baseman’s head,” said Bailey, who transferred to Hofstra after his freshman year at Northeastern. “It was my first at bat in the tournament and I was so happy that I was able to contribute against my old team in such a big spot.”

Bailey’s big hit set up Rosso’s moment.

“It was my first walk off this season,” said Rosso, a redshirt sophomore second baseman. “It was a 1-0 fastball and I needed it to stay fair down the right field line.”

The comeback was typical of this Hofstra squad. They’d walked off on six opponents at home this season. And now they’ve earned two wins at a neutral site in the CAA tournament in the same fashion.

“This team just never gives up,” said redshirt sophomore left fielder Will Kennedy, who contributed a double and sac fly in the win. “We always have an answer when someone takes the lead on us. It could be anyone on the roster. It could be a starter or someone who got ready and came off the bench to contribute. Bailey was a perfect example of that.”

Bailey said the key to coming off the bench is preparedness.

“I knew the ball was down and I took my time scoring because I wanted to soak the big win,” Bailey said. “We have something special going on this year. I played summer ball in New Jersey. With a Hofstra Alec Sica.

“You have to be locked in mentally whether you’re on the bench or in the game from the very first pitch,” Bailey said. “When you come in late in the game you have to produce for your team.”

Notes: The Pride opened a 5-1 first inning lead on the strength of two home runs. Brian Morrell hit his team leading eighth four-bagger, a two-run blast and Jake Liberatore added a three-run shot later in the inning . . . Northeastern forged a 6-5 lead before Hofstra regained the lead in the seventh with back-to-back sacrifice flies from Kennedy and Morrell for the 7-6 lead . . . Brad Camarda (8-1), who started and threw seven innings in Hofstra’s tournament-opening win against Elon on Wednesday, came out of the bullpen and threw a perfect 10th inning to set up the Pride victory. Camarda’s eight wins tie him for second on the Hofstra single season wins list with All-American John Rooney (2018).

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