Baseball mashes four homers, but Merrimack steals it late

MANCHESTER, N.H.Nick Bragole homered twice, while Jon McQuarrie and Shaine Carpenter also went deep, but the Saint Anselm College baseball team suffered a tough 9-7 setback to Merrimack College in Northeast-10 Conference action on Tuesday afternoon in Manchester, N.H.

Box Score

The Hawks drop to 8-17 on the year and 3-8 in the NE10 and will look to bounce back tomorrow afternoon when they travel to Franklin Pierce University for a 3:30 p.m. game. Merrimack improves to 13-12-1 overall and 7-2-1 in conference play.

Bragole ended the day going 2-for-5 with four RBI and two runs scored. Jon McQuarrie was a perfect 3-for-3 with two RBI and a run scored, while Shaine Carpenter was 1-for-4 with an RBI and a run. Max Wadington and John Marculitis each went 1-for-4 with a run scored, while Connor Parent went 1-for-3.

Autrey Gates earned a no decision for the Hawks, tossing six innings and allowing four runs on eight hits with a walk and six strikeouts. Zane Byrne gave up three runs on four hits in 1.2 innings of work, while Jared Ferris suffered the setback, giving up one run on one hit. Joseph Levasseur worked the ninth and also gave up one run on one hit.

Merrimack's Matthew Ronai (2-for-5) and Ricky Smith (2-for-4) each homered in the game and drove in three runs apiece. Aidan O'Leary went 2-for-3 with a pair of runs scored, while Mike Forgione added a 3-for-5 day.

The Warriors' starter Cam Monagle lasted six innings and gave up three runs on four hits with five walks and three strikeouts. Perry Kulaga had a rough outing giving up four runs on three hits in only a third of an inning. Garrett Hudson picked up his third win of the season, pitching the final 2.2 innings and only allowing two hits with a pair of strikeouts.

Both offenses were held in check until the top of the third when Merrimack scored the first run of the game on a bases-loaded hit by pitch by Tyler Lyne. Gates avoided any more trouble in the inning by striking out the next two batters and getting a fly out to end the inning and keep it a one run game.

Saint Anselm nearly answered in their half of the third as Aaron Crandall and Matthew Flynn walked to lead off the inning and then were sacrificed into scoring position by Max Wadington. Nick Bragole hit a tapper to first and Thomas Joyce came home to cut down Crandall at the plate, before the rally ended on a foul out to third.

Merrimack tacked on one more in the fourth on a solo homerun off the bat of Ricky Smith, but the Hawks knotted the game at 2-2 their next time up as Jon McQuarrie blasted a homerun to left field that also scored Marculitis who had doubled earlier in the inning.

Matthew Ronai put Merrimack back in front with a homer in the fifth, and Saint Anselm answered again in the bottom of the fifth with a solo shot from Bragole. Merrimack responded with another run in the sixth as Aidan O'Leary tripled to open the inning and came in to score on a Smith groundout.

Trailing 4-3 in the bottom of the seventh with one out, Matthew Flynn started the rally by working a walk. Wadington followed with a double to left field, and Nick Bragole emptied the bases with a three-run jack to left that put the Hawks in front 6-4. Carpenter followed suit with a towering shot to left center to make it a 7-4 lead.

Merrimack wasted no time with an answer as O'Leary singled to lead off the eighth and he came in to score on an RBI double from Smith. After an out moved Smith to third, he would come home on a wild pitch to make it a 7-6 game. Forgione eventually singled, moved to second on another wild pitch and ended up at third following a groundout. After a pitching change, Tyler Lyne walked and stole second to put runners at second and third, and Matthew Ronai doubled down the left field line to put the Warriors in front 8-7.

The Warriors added one more in the ninth as Michael Mercuri scored on a fielder's choice to give the game its final score of 9-7.

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