HAVERHILL, Mass. – The Saint Anselm College baseball team beat the rain to get in a pair of games Sunday, but then lost both to Merrimack College at Haverhill Stadium. The Hawks fell 16-2 in the first game, before Merrimack rallied for a 9-8 victory in game two.
The Hawks, who beat Merrimack, 6-5, in 11 innings Saturday, drop to 8-13 on the season, including 2-2 in both the Northeast-10 and the Northeast Division. The Warriors, who have won six of their last eight, jump to 12-7, 6-2 NE-10, 2-1 NE-10 NE.
In game two, Saint Anselm grabbed a 1-0 lead in the top of the first when junior Joe Morin (Salem, N.H.) singled to score senior Dan Lagasse (Londonderry, N.H.), who began the two-out rally with a triple.
Merrimack answered in the bottom of the frame on a run-scoring single by Sean O'Neill off sophomore starter Clayton Welch (Manchester, N.H.), but the Hawks scored a run on an error and plated another on a sacrifice fly from senior Andrew Chandler (Westford, Mass.) to grab a 3-1 lead in the fourth.
A sac fly from sophomore Thomas Murphy (Chelmsford, Mass.) in the fifth, followed by an RBI double from freshman Nick Bragole (Newburyport, Mass.) and RBI single from Morin in the sixth, stretched the lead to 6-1.
The Warriors responded with two in the bottom of the frame against freshman Christopher Bunero (Budd Lake, N.J.), who had finished off the fifth inning for Welch. Run-scoring singles from Ryan Petrone and Frank Crinella sliced the deficit to 6-3. Merrimack trimmed it to two in the seventh when Dionys Quezada led off by reaching on an error and then scoring on a single by Eddie Newton.
Saint Anselm seemed to deflate the comeback in the eighth when Morin made the Warriors pay for leadoff walks to Bragole and Lagasse by singling them in later in the inning to pump the lead back up to 8-4.
Freshman Autrey Gates (Pembroke, N.H.), who collected his first career win in Saturday's dramatic victory, entered to begin the eighth and was greeted by Crinella with a home run that injected life back into the Warriors. Gates induced a ground out from the next batter, but then hit Quezada before Newton reached on an error. Cam DiSarcina then came through with a two-run triple that pulled Merrimack within 8-7. Gates struck out the final two batters of the inning to preserve the one-run lead.
In the top of the ninth, freshman Matthew Flynn (Saratoga Springs, N.Y.) led off with a single and stole second following back-to-back strikeouts, but was stranded there as the Hawks went to the bottom of the ninth with Gates on the mound with a one-run lead, much like they had in the bottom of the 11th the day before.
This time, however, things did not work out so smoothly. A double by Petrone to start the inning, followed by a single from Mike Forgione and another single from Crinella tied the game. A sac bunt and intentional walk loaded the bases with one out. Gates fanned Newton, but DiSarcina again came through as he singled to plate Forgione and lift Merrimack to victory.
Welch allowed one run on seven hits, while striking out two and walking two over 4.2 innings. Bunero was tagged with two runs on two hits, as he struck out two and walked one in 1.0 inning. Sophomore Tyler Buck (Franklin, Mass.) worked 1.1 innings and gave up one run – unearned – on four hits and three walks, while striking out one. Gates (1-2) relinquished five runs – three earned – on six hits, while striking out three and walking one over 1.2 innings.
Morin went 3-for-4 with four RBI, while Flynn was 3-for-5 with a run scored. Senior Matt Wojichowski (Portsmouth, R.I.) went 2-for-5 with a pair of runs scored. Bragole (RBI, two runs) and Lagasse (two runs) were each 1-for-3.
In game two, Merrimack leapt out to a 3-0 lead in the first against junior Dave Kent (N. Falmouth, Mass.), who was making his first start of the year, following three scoreless appearances in which he picked up a pair of saves out of the bullpen. A two-run triple from Quezada and an RBI single from Newton did the damage.
But five-run innings in both the second and third did the real damage as the Warriors blew it open early at 13-0. Run-scoring singles in the fourth from O'Neill and John Pastyrnak and an RBI triple from O'Neill in the fifth brought the score to 16-0.
Flynn's sacrifice fly in the sixth put the Hawks on the board. They would add one more in the ninth when Morin led off with a double and scored on a groundout to third by junior Bobby Carkhuff (Amherst, Mass.).
Kent (0-1) allowed eight runs – five earned – on seven hits, while striking out two and walking two in 1.0-plus inning of work. Freshman Joseph Levasseur (Rowley, Mass.) 1.2 innings and was hit for five runs on six hits and a pair of walks. Classmate Bryan Even (Great Falls, Va.) gave up three runs on four hits and a walk in 2.1 innings, while junior Ryan Cosmopulos (Seekonk, Mass.) tossed three shutout innings, allowing just three hits, while striking out three and walking none.
Morin (run), freshman MacNeill Finnegan (Old Saybrook, Conn.) and sophomore Allan McQuarrie (Salem, N.H.) were all 1-for-4. Bragole was 1-for-2 with a walk, while freshman Frank D'Amato (Cranston, R.I.) went 1-for-1 to push his season average to .429 (3-7).
The Hawks return to action Tuesday, April 1 at 7 p.m. when they play host to Saint Michael's College at Haverhill Stadium. 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.