BELMONT, N.C. – Junior Mike Hayden (Cranston, R.I.) went 6-for-9 and drove in a pair of runs, but the Saint Anselm College baseball team dropped a pair of contests to Belmont Abbey College as it opened the 2014 season at Abbey Yard. Saint Anselm fell, 3-1, in the first game before Belmont Abbey came from behind to steal an 8-6 victory in game two.
The Hawks drop to 0-2, while the Crusaders improve to 3-3.
In the first game, Belmont Abbey grabbed two runs in the first inning on Anthony Dimino's single to left-center off Saint Anselm senior starter Zachary Brian (Stoneham Mass.).
The visitors grabbed one back in the fourth when sophomore Ken Morrisino (East Longmeadow, Mass.) walked, stole second and scored on Hayden's single to center.
The Crusaders re-instated their two-run lead in the sixth, however, when Lorenzo Wright doubled to left, stole third and crossed the plate on a wild pitch.
Brian worked 5.2 innings and gave up three runs on four hits, while striking out seven and walking three. Freshman Autrey Gates (Pembroke, N.H.) tossed a hitless inning and struck out two of the three batters he faced, in addition to talking two. Sophomore Terrence Walsh (Milton, Mass.) fanned the only batter he faced, while freshman Joseph Levasseur (Rowley, Mass.) pitched a perfect inning and struck out one.
Hayden and junior Joseph Morin (Salem, N.H.) were each 2-for-4.
In game two, Saint Anselm went ahead, 1-0, in the third on Hayden's RBI single to right that scored senior Dan Lagasse (Londonderry, N.H.), who walked and stole second. The Hawks doubled their lead in the following inning as freshman MacNeill Finnegan (Old Saybrook, Conn.) led off with a single to left, took two bases on an error and came around on a sacrifice fly by sophomore Thomas Murphy (Chelmsford, Mass.).
The Crusaders went ahead with four runs in the bottom of the fourth, which was highlighted by a three-run double to right from Wright. Dimino then hit a two-out solo shot to right in the fifth to expand the lead to 5-2.
Saint Anselm rallied in the eighth, loading the bases on singles by Finnegan and freshman Nick Bragole (Newburyport, Mass.), as well as a walk to Murphy. Junior Bobby Carkhuff (Amherst, Mass.) then came through with a two-run double to left that sliced the deficit to just one. Senior Kyle Grumoli (So. Hadley, Mass.) reached on a fielder's choice two batters later to knot the game before Lagasse singled to center to put the Hawks up, 6-5.
Belmony Abbey fought right back, however, answering with three runs in the bottom of the frame. Ian Vazquez drew a bases-loaded walk to knot the game at six, before Michael Falsetti padded the lead with a two-run double down the left field line.
Sophomore Tom Hudon (Merrimack, N.H.) started and allowed five runs on nine hits, while striking out three and walking one over five innings. Junior Seve Llanio (Glen Arm, Del.) was tagged with the loss as he relinquished a run on a hit and three walks, while failing to record an out.
Hayden was 4-for-5 in the game, while Finnegan was 2-for-5 and scored twice.
The Hawks return to action Sunday, Feb. 9 at 1 p.m. when they close out the three-game set with Belmont Abbey. Stay up-to-date with the latest news, including game previews and recaps, directly from the Saint Anselm College athletic department by liking us on Facebook and following us on Twitter @STAHawks.