Bryant University freshman and Warwick native Robby Rinn was named the Northeast Conference Co-Rookie of the Week on Monday.
Rinn hit .387 (7-18) with four doubles and seven RBI in five games last week to earn his first-career weekly honor. He started the week with two hits and an RBI in a victory over Northeastern and ended it with a sensational four games against Central Connecticut State. After picking up an RBI in the series opener Friday, Rinn helped the Bulldogs earn a doubleheader sweep on Saturday. In the second game of the series, he provided all the offense Bryant would need with a two-run double in the first inning. In game three, Rinn broke a 1-1 tie by hammering a 3-1 pitch off the top of the center field wall to help the Bulldogs earn a victory. Rinn collected his fourth double of the weekend on Sunday and this one plated a pair of runs to open Bryant’s scoring. Rinn has now collected an RBI in each of his last six games and is hitting a season-high .277.
The Bulldogs return to action this weekend when they host Monmouth in a four-game series. First pitch on Friday, May 10 is scheduled for 3 p.m. Bryant leads the NEC with a 20-4 conference mark and a 33-14-1 overall record.
Vescera leads title run
Former Hendricken standout Alex Vescera played a key role as Franklin and Marshall were crowned as champions of the Centennial Conference last weekend, twice upsetting nationally-ranked Johns Hopkins in the process.
After defeating the sixth-ranked Blue Jays 3-0 in the tournament opener, the Diplomats took on Gettysburg with the winner advancing straight to the championship.
It took 11 innings, but F&M got the job done, with Vescera taking center stage at the plate and on the hill.
In the top of the ninth and with the Diplomats down 3-2, the ex-Hawk drove home a pair of runs to put Franklin and Marshall ahead 4-3.
The lead was short-lived however, as the Bullets tied the score with two out in the bottom of the frame to force extra innings.
The deadlock was broken in the top of the 11th with Vescera crossing home with the go-ahead run courtesy of a wild pitch.
Vescera finished the contest on the mound, pitching the final 2.1 innings for F&M and picking up his first win at the collegiate level, striking out two of the 10 batters he faced.
The reward for the Diplomats was a direct pass to the championship, where they locked horns with Johns Hopkins, which carved its way through the losers’ bracket by eliminating Haverford and Gettysburg to set up the rematch.
The Blue Jays exacted a level of revenge by downing Franklin and Marshall 8-1, but their mission was far from over; in order to win the championship, Johns Hopkins had to beat F&M a second time.
To say that the Johns Hopkins nine failed in their mission would have been a major understatement, as the Diplomats rode the crest of an 11-run second inning all the way to a 16-1 annihilation.
Vescera went 3-for-4 in the decider, including a bases-clearing double with the bases loaded in the second that put F&M up 5-0 at the time.
For his timely hitting during the Diplomats’ run to the title, Vescera was honored at the national level with a place in D3Baseball.com’s team of the week, where he was joined by teammate Brendan DeMond.
By winning the Centennial Conference tournament, Franklin and Marshall secured the loop’s automatic bid for the Division III edition of the NCAA tournament.
Muscatelli wins scholar-athlete honor
Toll Gate graduate Stefano Muscatelli earned recognition for his accomplishments in the classroom by recently being named the Male Scholar-Athlete of the Year at St. Mary’s College of Maryland.
The senior backstop received the honor by accruing a 3.98 grade point average while majoring in biology, earning a place on the dean’s list every semester and acquiring membership in three national honors societies.
On the diamond, the former Titan lettered all four years while assuming the starting role behind the plate for the latter three seasons for the Seahawks, who finished 2013 with a 14-24 record.
Muscatelli finished his final campaign at the plate with a .302 batting average, a pair of doubles and a home run.