The Memorial Day weekend marks the unofficial start to summer, but for North Kingstown graduate Patrick Maybach and South Kingstown alum Liam McGill, it signaled the end of their sparkling collegiate baseball careers.
Maybach’s swan song came in the Hartford regional of the NCAA Division III baseball tournament, as Salve Regina saw its campaign conclude with a pair of defeats to Wheaton, with the ex-Skipper seeing action in both contests versus the Lyons.
Salve started their run last Thursday by dropping a tight 5-4 decision to Wheaton as Maybach struck out six in seven innings of work, but sloppy fielding saw the southpaw’s efforts go for naught as the Seahawks committed four errors, tying a season high.
The last miscue of the day proved to be the costliest of all, as the Lyons’ Jacob Studley took full advantage of an errant throw from Salve second baseman Anthony Cieszko to cross home with the go-ahead run in the bottom of the seventh.
Relegated to the losers’ bracket, the Seahawks dusted themselves off to claim victories over Southern Maine and Johnson & Wales to set up a rematch with Wheaton, which was initially scheduled for Sunday but was pushed back a day due to rain.
In the end, the Lyons once again got the better of the Salve nine, batting around in a five-run third inning before adding a pair of runs in the next frame to give starter Josh Roberge all the offense he needed to ensure a 7-4 triumph.
Late in the contest, Maybach was summoned from the bullpen to make his first relief appearance since 2017, adding four more strikeouts to his program record total of 276 in his final two innings as a Seahawk.
As for McGill, his dreams of a second appearance in the Division I NCAA tournament were dashed on Sunday night as Bryant dropped the if game of the Northeast Conference tournament to Central Connecticut, losing 5-2 to the Blue Devils.
For the Bulldogs, a lingering sense of what might have been filled the skies in the aftermath of the season-ending defeat as 15 runners were left on base, including a full assortment in the eighth with the potential tying run at the plate.
McGill did all he could to try and get Bryant over the line, going 3-for-5 with a pair of extra-base hits while also scoring both Bulldog runs, recovering strongly after going hitless in the previous day’s 7-5 setback to CCSU.
Those final hits in a Bryant jersey for the former Rebel ensured that his batting average for the campaign would stay at a lofty .471, setting the pace for all of Division I and the highest by any Bulldog in a single season this century.
Unsurprisingly, McGill was the easy choice for the NEC’s Player of the Year honor, as he also led the nation with a .541 on-base percentage while adding nine home runs and 50 runs batted in to his personal ledger.
The graduate transfer from Columbia was also a first-team all-conference selection, the first time that McGill earned a first-team nod after three second-team berths during his time as a Lion, which was punctuated by an Ivy League title in the 2018 season.