Norwich University baseball player Nick Beavin stands next to the Montpelier Recreation Field last year. Beavin and the Cadets will kick off the 2021 GNAC playoffs with a 5 p.m. game Tuesday.

The fifth-seeded Norwich University baseball team will travel to face the fourth-seeded Falcons of Albertus Magnus on Tuesday at 5 p.m. in the first round of the Great Northeast Athletic Conference playoffs.

The winner of the nine-inning contest will travel to face the top-seeded Anna Maria AMCATS on Thursday. Due to the COVID-19 pandemic and inclement weather, the Cadets (4-2) have only played six conference games while the Falcons (3-11) have played 14. Norwich swept Rivier University in two doubleheaders while falling to Lasell University twice. The Cadets swept Colby-Sawyer as well. However, those games did not count as conference contests because the Chargers opted out of the GNAC playoffs. Norwich has not played a game since April 18.

The last time Norwich and Albertus Magnus faced off was on 2019 when the Falcons swept the Cadets 17-2 and 19-12 in a conference doubleheader. Norwcih swept Albertus Magnus at home in 2018 with 5-3 and 8-7 wins.

The Cadets are led offensively by junior third baseman Hayden Roberge. The Middlesex native and former U-32 product boasts a .385 batting average, 10 RBIs and two doubles. Senior center fielder Koby Foster carries a .333 batting average into the postseason. He recorded two doubles and five RBIs to go along with a team-high four stolen bases. Sophomore outfielder and pitcher PJ Morales sits second on the team with seven RBIs while batting .320 with three doubles.

On the mound, NU is led senior CJ Davis and junior Tanner Raymond. Davis boasts a 3.12 ERA (fifth in the GNAC) with a 2-1 record in 17.1 innings of work. He has allowed eight runs (six earned) on 18 hits and four walks while striking out 17 batters. Raymond posted a 2-0 record with five earned runs allowed on 15 hits in 15 innings. He struck out 20 while issuing eight walks. His 3.00 ERA sits fourth in the conference. Freshman Matt Ingraffia has appeared in four games and made one start for Norwich. He leads the GNAC with a 1.54 ERA over 11.2 innings. He has a record of 1-1 with one save and has struck out 19 batters in 11.2 innings of work.

The Cadets rank first in the GNAC with a team ERA of 2.33. The team’s on-base percentage of .388 is fourth in the conference. Junior catcher Connor McGee leads the conference after throwing out seven of the 14 runners attempting to steal a base.

The Falcons are paced offensively by senior Matt Warren, Justen Rodriguez and Brandon Clark. Warren leads the team with a .418 batting average. He has recorded 23 hits, including seven doubles. Rodriguez leads the team with four home runs to go along with a .340 batting average, 17 hits and 11 RBIs. Clark leads the Falcons with 15 RBIs and 15 runs scored.

Sophomore Ike Flannery, junior Michael Pepe and sophomore Sean Jefferson have all picked up a win on the mound for the Falcons. Jefferson leads the team with a 3.86 ERA.


Cadets honored

NORTHFIELD — Norwich seniors Payden Masaracchia and Nick Kandra collected honors Monday when the Great Northeast Athletic Conference announced its weekly awards.

Masaracchia played a key role in both of the Cadets’ wins last week. He scored eight goals and added five assists while collecting nine ground balls. The attackman scored six times and added an assist to help Norwich end a 22-game winless streak against New England College on Thursday. He scored twice and added four assists as Norwich clinched a berth in the GNAC semifinals with a win over Anna Maria on Friday.

Masaracchia ranks second within the GNAC in scoring. He has scored 35 goals on the season to held the Cadets rank first in the GNAC in team scoring. He ranks 46th in the nation with 3.5 goals per game.

Kandra was sterling in goal for the Cadets while recording a 64.4 save percentage. The netminder started the week by posting 15 saves to spark a 17-14 win over New England College. It was Norwich’s first win against the Pilgrims since 1983. Kandra followed up that performance with a 14-save effort, leading to a 17-3 win over Anna Maria in the GNAC quarterfinals. His three goals allowed and 82.4 save percentage were career bests for games in which he played a full 60 minutes.

Kandra tops the GNAC and ranks 28th in the nation in goals-against average (7.99). He ranks 35th in save percentage (.582). Norwich will host River at 7 p.m. Wednesday in the GNAC semifinals.

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