Dan D'Onofrio just ended up on the wrong side of this game.
That's how Suffolk CC's starting pitcher assessed the performance of his team and himself after their 5-4 first-round loss Saturday to Tyler Junior College in the NJCAA Division III Baseball World Series in Tyler, Texas.
The good news for the Clippers is that the loss didn't send them home.
Suffolk CC (22-11) will face Herkimer in the quarterfinals of the double-elimination tournament at 9 a.m. Sunday.
"They did a good job of staying back on my off-speed pitches and putting the ball in play," said D'Onofrio, who pitched six innings, allowing five hits and two earned runs, with five strikeouts and three walks. "I thought we gave it all we had today."
Trailing 2-0, Tyler (39-17) tied the score on leadoff hitter Cody Broussard's two-out, two run single with the bases loaded in the second.
That's the inning D'Onofrio would like to have back.
"There were a couple of tight calls on some at-bats that led to walks," D'Onofrio said. "I struck out the nine hitter and then [Broussard] fouled back a couple of fastballs before hitting a line drive over the second baseman's head."
That second baseman happened to be Jorge Ruiz, who led the Clippers offensively. He was 2-for-3 with two doubles and a run scored.
Travis George's RBI single scored Ryan Dollop in the top of the fifth to give the Clippers their final lead at 3-2.
Brendan Edwards' RBI fielder's choice scored Mike Carson to cut Suffolk CC's deficit to 5-4 in the ninth. With two outs and the tying run at third, the Clippers failed to capitalize.
"We really outplayed them for seven innings, we just lost two innings against them," Suffolk CC coach Eric Brown said. "When you're playing at this level, that's all it takes."