NASHUA, N.H. – The Saint Anselm College baseball team halved Saturday's Northeast-10 Conference doubleheader with the Warriors from Merrimack College at historic Holman Stadium.
The Hawks were toppled by Merrimack in the first game by a 7-2 score before rallying to win the second game, 4-3.
Saint Anselm sees its overall record stand at 9-17 following the Saturday split. Merrimack's overall record stands at 15-14 after taking two out of the three meetings between both programs on Friday and Saturday.
Across the three-game series with Merrimack, the Hawks were led by six hits in nine at-bats by outfielder/designated hitter John Marculitis. Outfielder Connor Parent picked up four runs batted in, collecting five hits in 12 at-bats while swiping a base.
The Hawks host Franklin Pierce this Tuesday, Apr. 17 at 3 p.m.
The Hawks dropped the game's opening contest by a 7-2 margin as pitcher JJ Dunn yielded three runs to the Warriors in the bottom of the third inning. Saint Anselm scored two runs in the top of the seventh inning but four additional runs in the home half of the eighth inning doomed any chance of a Hawks comeback.
With one out in the bottom of the third inning, Dunn recorded the inning's first out but a single to center field by Nick Shumski started the Merrimack scoring run. Joey Porricelli and Tyler Lyne followed with a double and a triple, respectively, to drive in runs before Matthew Ronai grounded out to short, driving in Lyne with the third run of the frame.
Outfielders Oscar Larranaga and Parent led off the top of the seventh inning with back-to-back singles. Paul McGunigle was struck by a pitch, loading the bases for Marculitis – the senior hit a sacrifice fly, plating Larranaga, and left fielder Aaron Crandall had a productive out of his own, grounding out to second and scoring Parent.
Four Merrimack runs came in the bottom of the eighth inning thanks to three hits. Matt Nicholson had the big hit of the inning, smacking a two-run double down the right field line. Thomas Joyce and Ricky Smith picked up RBI's with a sacrifice fly and a single through the left side, respectively, to round out the game's offensive performances for Merrimack.
Dunn drew the loss, striking out five Warriors batters in seven innings. Danny Graceffa allowed one run on one hit and Ryan Schworer yielded a hit in the eighth inning, but picked up a strikeout in his relief appearance.
Anthony Lupi picked up the win for Merrimack as he struck out two batters and allowed only five Hawks hits on the day. Daniel Amidon threw two scoreless frames in relief to help the Warriors lock down its second-straight win over the Hawks.
Freshman Brian Wojichowski picked up his first collegiate victory for the Hawks on the mound in game two, striking out four batters while pitching eight-and-a-third innings. Junior Zane Byrne earned his first collegiate save, recording the game's final two outs to preserve the Saint Anselm victory.
Parent put the Hawks ahead by a 1-0 margin in the top of the first inning as he drove home senior Max Wadington with an RBI single through the right side with two outs. Wadington led off the inning with a hit by pitch and advanced to third base on a wild pitch by Merrimack starter Vin Zappulla.
Saint Anselm grew its lead to 2-0 as a bases-loaded hit by pitch against junior Tyler McKeon saw Parent cross the plate. The inning began with a Parent walk and was followed by a Marculitis single and catcher Jason Turner reaching on an error by the Warriors third baseman.
Merrimack scored single runs in the bottom of the fourth and fifth innings as a Nicholson sacrifice fly and a home run by Paul Buckley quickly tied the game at two.
The Hawks went ahead for good in the top of the seventh inning as Parent hit a single through the left side, scoring Wadington and Larranaga who reached on a hit by pitch and a walk, respectively.
Nicholson stroked a leadoff double in the bottom of the ninth inning and later came around to score on a wild pitch by Wojichowski. With a runner on first base following a Merrimack single, Byrne came in and picked off a Warriors baserunner and induced a fly out to left field to end the game in favor of the visitors.
Stephen Fleury was saddled with the loss for Merrimack, allowing two earned runs on four hits and two talks. Garrett Hudson pitched two-and-two-thirds innings of relief for the Warriors, striking out two batters in the defeat.