The Dominican College baseball team won the 2021 Central Atlantic Collegiate Conference (CACC) Championship on May 15, 2021 with a stunning 6-5 victory over the south second seed, Thomas Jefferson University, in a game played at Alumni Field in Philadelphia, PA. DC’s win secured the 18th CACC Championship in program history
The game was scoreless until the top of the fifth inning when Dominican struck for a run on the two-out solo home run off the bat of second basemen Carmine Giordano (New Rochelle, N.Y.). Jefferson would counter in the bottom half of the inning with the RBI single up the middle to make the score 1-1. Dominican scored in their half of the sixth inning as catcher Bobby Garbuio (Chappaqua, N.Y.) singled up the middle to plate Richard Paulino (San Pedro de Macoris, Dominican Republic), who had led off the inning with an infield single and had moved into scoring position on an error to re-take a 2-1 advantage. TJU led off the bottom of the seventh with a solo home run over the left field fence to retie the score at 2-all and the game would remain tied until the ninth inning.
In the top of the ninth, right fielder Brian Sanders (La Ceiba, Honduras) led off the inning with a single up-the-middle and later moved to second as Paulino was hit by a pitch to put two runners on with one out. A walk issued to Garbuio loaded the bases for freshman left fielder Shane Hewlette (Deer Park, N.Y.) who delivered what would be a game-winning triple to center field that brought home all three runners to lift the Chargers to a 5-2 lead. Two batters later, designated hitter Benjamin Meza (Miami, Fla.) scored Hewlette with a double down the left field line for the 6-2 lead.
Jefferson rallied in the bottom of the ninth with three runs on two hits and a wild pitch and had the tying run on second base with two outs, but reliever William Espinal (Bronx, N.Y.) recorded the game ending strikeout for the win. Hewlette, Sanders and Paulino all had two hits in the game, while Hewlette had a game best three RBI. Espinal picked up the win in two innings of relief, allowing three runs (none earned) on three hits and collecting five strikeouts. Starter Jaden Diaz-Lambert (Erial, N.J.) went five innings, allowing one run on four hits and recording seven strikeouts.
For his outstanding play in the tournament, Hewlette was named the 2021 CACC Baseball Championship Most Valuable Player (MVP) and to the All-Tournament Team. Joining him on the all-tournament team from DC were: Sanders, Paulino, Diaz-Lambert and Espinal.
The Chargers (19-13) earn the conference’s automatic bid into the NCAA Division II East Regional Tournament slated to begin on May 27th.