Baseball Edged by Eckerd, 4-2

ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. – Sophomore Clayton Welch (Manchester, N.H.) gave up three runs over six innings and senior Kyle Grumoli (So. Hadley, Mass.) and freshman MacNeill Finnegan (Old Saybrook, Conn.) each drove in runs, but the Saint Anselm College baseball team dropped a 4-2 decision to Eckerd College on Monday evening at the Turley Complex.

The Hawks fall to 2-4 on the season, while the Tritons improve to 8-3.

Eckerd used RBI doubles from Chris Hanson and Shane Bishop in the bottom of the first to grab an early 2-0 lead against Welch. The Tritons then added an unearned run in the second when Lucas Luopa led off by reaching on an error, scampered to third on a James Petika single and then scored on Lincoln Dunham's groundout.

The Hawks found the scoreboard in the fourth when senior Dan Lagasse (Londonderry, N.H.) led off with a single up the middle, was followed by a double to left by junior Mike Hayden (Cranston, R.I.) and then scored on Finnegan's groundout to third.

The Tritons made it 4-1 in the sixth on a double to center by Matt MacMahon that scored Bishop, who had led off with a single to center. Saint Anselm then looked to have a big inning brewing in the seventh with runners on second and third with no outs, but Grumoli's run-scoring grounder to short was the only run the Hawks would get as they left the bases loaded with two outs.

After sophomore Ken Morrisino (East Longmeadow, Mass.) led off the ninth by reaching on an error to bring the tying run to the plate, Taylor Owens, who had struck out the side in order in the eighth, fanned the next three batters to record the save.

Welch (0-2) allowed four runs – three earned – on seven hits, while striking out five and walking none. Freshman Christopher Bunero (Budd Lake, N.J.) worked a pair of scoreless innings in relief, giving up just one hit with three strikeouts and no walks.

In 26.0 Florida innings thus far, the Saint Anselm pitching staff has posted a 1.04 ERA and held opponents to a .214 batting average, while racking up 20 strikeouts and walking just three.

Hayden went 2-for-3, while Lagasse was 1-for-2 with a run scored. Morrisino was also 1-for-2.

Mike Eagan (2-0) picked up the win for Eckerd as he relinquished two runs – one earned – on six hits, while striking out eight and walking just one in 6.1 innings.

The Hawks return to action Tuesday, March 4 at 2:30 p.m. when they meet the College of Saint Rose again at Rollins College's Alfond Stadium. The Hawks then battle Rollins at 6 p.m. 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.