The NYIT baseball team learned Saturday what facing the top-ranked team in the nation feels like.
After winning five straight playoff games to qualify for its first College World Series in school history, NYIT found a tough test in Colorado Mesa, which was making its fourth appearance since 2009.
DJ Masuck gave up seven earned runs in 1 2/3 innings as No. 8 NYIT (37-15) fell to No. 1 Colorado Mesa, 11-4, in the opening round of the Division II College world series at the USA Baseball Training Center in Cary, North Carolina. The Bears face No. 4 Ashland in an elimination game Monday.
Caleb Farmer’s bunt single down the third base line to leadoff the second inning sparked a six-hit, seven-run rally off Masuck (12-2). Farmer hit an RBI double on his second at-bat of the inning to give Mesa (51-10) a 7-0 lead.
“In the second inning it seemed like a bunch went wrong, he [Masuck] didn’t hit his spots like he did in the first inning,” NYIT coach Frank Catalanotto said. “And sometimes when it gets rolling like that, it’s hard to stop.”
NYIT got two back in the top of the third when Jake Lebel reached on a throwing error by the third baseman, allowing John LaRocca and Ben McNeill to score. But Mesa added two more in the bottom-half aided by two balks and a hit-by-pitch from reliever Moises Robles.
Kieran Dowd (3-for-4) scored on an error in the fourth inning to make it 9-3, but that was the closest NYIT would get. The Bears threatened in the seventh, down 11-4 with the bases-loaded, but Ryan Kuskowski struck-out swinging to end the inning.