YAPHANK, N.Y. – Junior Joe Morin (Salem, N.H.) and freshman Nick Bragole (Newburyport, Mass.) each drove in four runs and combined for three during a four-run seventh inning that helped the Saint Anselm College baseball team rally for a 6-5 victory against Saint Thomas Aquinas College in the first game of a doubleheader Saturday afternoon at Baseball Heaven. Saint Thomas Aquinas won the second game, 5-2, in seven innings.
The Hawks move to 6-8 on the season, while the Spartans are now 4-5.
Saint Thomas Aquinas jumped out to a 2-0 lead in the first inning of game one against senior starter Zachary Brian (Stoneham, Mass.) on a sacrifice fly to left by C.J. Ferriggi and an RBI single to center by Derek Hirsch. Another run-scoring single to center by Hirsch in the third extended the Spartan's lead to 3-0.
Saint Anselm found the scoreboard in the sixth inning as an RBI double to left by Morin and a run-scoring single to right by senior Matt Wojichowski (Portsmouth, R.I.) cut the deficit to 3-2. Stephen Sunday's RBI double to left in the bottom of the frame gave the Spartans some breathing room at 4-2.
The Hawks then rallied for four runs in the seventh to take the lead. Senior Tito Lluberes (Lawrence, Mass.) drew a leadoff walk and stole second before sophomore Ken Morrisino (East Longmeadow, N.Y.) reached on a bunt single that moved Lluberes to third and then swiped second to put a pair in scoring position. Senior Dan Lagasse (Londonderry, N.H.) followed with a walk that loaded the bases with no one out.
Freshman MacNeill Finnegan (Old Saybrook Conn.) then drew another walk to push in the first run of the inning before Morin stroked a single to left to tie the game at four. Bragole kept the party going with a two-run double to left that put the Hawks on top, 6-4.
Brian issued a leadoff walk to Kenny Kirschner in the seventh before giving way to junior Dave Kent (No. Falmouth, Mass.). Kirschner then stole both second and third and then scored on Ferriggi's sac fly to right that cut it to 6-5. Kent nailed down the final out of the inning and put up two more scoreless frames to close it out.
Brian (3-1) allowed five runs on 10 hits, while striking out four and walking two over 6.0-plus innings. Kent picked up his first save of the season as he tossed three shutout innings, giving up just a hit, while fanning three.
Morin went 4-for-5, drove in a pair and scored a run, while Lagasse was 2-for-4 with a walk and two runs. Wojichowski went 1-for-2 with two walks and an RBI, with Finnegan going 1-for-3 with a walk, RBI and run. Bragole was 1-for-4 with a walk and two RBI.
In game two, Saint Anselm went up 1-0 in the fourth on the first career home run for Wojichowski. The Spartans took advantage of a two-error inning to score four unearned runs off sophomore starter Clayton Welch (Manchester, N.H.) in the fifth.
Lluberes' bases-loaded walk cut it to 4-2 in the sixth, but Rich Baerga's RBI single brought the score to 5-2 in the bottom of the frame.
Welch (1-3) gave up four runs – none earned – on five hits, while striking out three and walking one over 4.2 innings. Freshman Christopher Bunero (Budd Lake, N.J.) allowed one run on one hit, striking out a pair and walking one in 1.0 inning, while sophomore Seve Llanio (Glen Arm, Md.) used three pitches to force the only batter he faced to ground out.
The Hawks return to action Sunday, March 16 at noon in another doubleheader against Saint Thomas Aquinas. 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.