HAMDEN, Conn. – The 2017 Fairfield University baseball team will be putting at least one more trophy in their trophy case. For the second-straight season and the third time in program history, the Stags have clinched the Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference (MAAC) regular season title with a 10-4 victory at Quinnipiac to conclude the regular season. Combined with Marist's 6-5 loss to Siena in the season finale, the Stags will enter next week's MAAC Tournament as the top overall seed.
The Stags (30-22, 17-7 MAAC) scored most of their runs in two innings, but put across nine runs during those frames. Mac Crispino got the Stags on the board with the first of four run-scoring hits for the Stags in the opening inning as Michael Conti, Tyler Gambardella, and Jack Gethings also recorded a RBI in the six-run frame. The Stags batted around in the opening inning as Gethings' RBI double brought home Tim Zeng, but Quinnipiac (18-32, 11-13 MAAC) was able to throw out the next runner at the plate.
Fairfield needed one more blast to put the game out of reach and they accomplished that in the very next inning. For the second-straight game Troy Scocca lifted a long fly ball over the right field wall for his seventh homer of the season. This long ball was a three-run shot and put the Fairfield lead to 9-0.
With the run support, Kyle Dube was able to cruise through seven innings, the fourth time in the last five outings he has gone at least seven frames. Over that span, Dube has a team-best 1.58 ERA going back to April 23. Dube was able to challenge hitters, leading to a season-high eight punch outs.
Brendan Harkin came in relief of Dube and pitched a scoreless eighth, before surrendering a lone run in the ninth. Five different Stags had multi-hit games, with Conti leading the way with three.
The Stags are the first MAAC team since to win back-to-back regular season titles since Manhattan accomplished the feat during the 2011-12 seasons.
With the victory, the Stags tied the 2000 and 2016 squads with a program-record 17 conference wins. The Stags will now have the task of defending their conference title when they take part in the MAAC Championships at Sal Maglie Stadium in Niagara Falls, N.Y. The opponent for Fairfield's first game is still to be determined, but the Stags will take to the field on Wednesday at 7pm.