ALBANY, Ga. – The Saint Anselm College baseball team slugged five home runs in Saturday's doubleheader against Albany State University, picking up a split after dropping the first game and coming from behind to win the second game.
The Hawks and Golden Rams played to a 4-4 tie through the first two and half innings, but the hosts pulled away in the late stages of the game for a 10-7 victory. The Hawks trailed by as many as four runs in the second game, but scored eight runs across the final two stanzas to earn a 12-7 victory.
Saint Anselm exited the day with a 1-4 overall record while Albany State finished with a 6-11 record. The Hawks conclude the four-game series against the Golden Rams on Sunday, Mar. 3 at 1 p.m.
Game 1 – Albany State 10, Saint Anselm 7 (BOX SCORE)
The Golden Rams jumped ahead into a 4-0 lead after scoring three runs in the first and another run in the second inning. An RBI triple and two run-scoring singles paced the Golden Rams in the first and a Hawks error in the second inning staked Albany State to the early advantage.
The Hawks countered with four runs in the visiting half of the third inning as a miscue by the Golden Rams defense scored senior Tyler McKeon (Rutland, Mass.) with two outs. After a hit-by-pitch, a three-run home run by senior Oscar Larranaga (Tucson, Ariz.), the first of his Saint Anselm career, tied the score at four.
With the score deadlocked at four, Albany State produced four runs of its own in the next half inning. With two outs, the Golden Rams scored their first run of the stanza with an RBI single and later tacked on two runs with the help of a balk and a wild pitch.
Freshman Mike Pierro (North Andover, Mass.) led off the top of the fourth inning with his first career home run, cutting the Albany State lead to 8-5. The Golden Rams lead swelled to 10-5 in the bottom of the fifth thanks to a two-out single.
Freshman Chris Schworer (Medfield, Mass.) made things interesting in the bottom of the next inning, singling home Pierro and freshman Peyton Goodrich (Portsmouth, N.H.) to create a manageable three-run deficit in the top of the sixth inning.
Junior Jared Ferris (Methuen, Mass.) pitched a scoreless sixth inning, retiring the side in order to give the Hawks a chance to come back in the top of the seventh inning. The Hawks posted three consecutive ground outs as Albany State was able to close out a three-run victory, 10-7.
Freshman Shawn Morrow (Melrose, Mass.) drew the loss for the Hawks, yielding six earned runs in two-and-two-thirds innings. Freshman Andy Grygorcewicz (Northampton, Mass.) and classmate Taylor French (Goffstown, N.H.) followed, combining to allow three earned runs in one-and-a-third innings before senior Preston Yerrington (Manchester, N.H.) and Ferris blanked the home team across the final two innings.
Game 2 – Saint Anselm 12, Albany State 7 (BOX SCORE)
The Golden Rams scored five runs in the first three innings with the first three Golden Rams scoring on an error and two balks. The two runs in the bottom of the third inning came on a home run, but the Hawks scored their one run as Goodrich came around to score after a miscue by the Albany State right fielder in the second inning.
Saint Anselm homered twice in the visiting half of the fourth inning as Pierro slammed his second long ball of the afternoon, followed by the second career home run by freshman Enzo Merlonghi (Monroe, Conn.) to shrink the Albany State lead to 5-4. All three of Pierro's hits to date have gone for extra bases.
The Golden Rams scored twice on a Hawks error in the bottom of the fifth, bumping their lead to 7-4.
Saint Anselm took complete control from the sixth inning onward as Merlonghi had a triple to drive home Goodrich, who led off the top of the sixth with a hit-by-pitch. Merlonghi scored on a passed ball and, after McKeon also reached after being struck by a pitch, the pinch runner, freshman Jack Dunklee (Wilbraham, Mass.), scored on a sacrifice fly by Larranaga with two outs to tie the score at seven.
A five-run top of the seventh inning was fueled by an RBI double by Dunklee and a two-run home run by freshman Matt Collins (Beverly, Mass.) as his first collegiate big fly capped the strong inning. Other Hawks runs came on a passed ball and an error by the right fielder. In total, three defensive miscues by the Golden Rams in the inning kept the Saint Anselm rally alive.
Sophomore Brian Wojichowski (Portsmouth, R.I.) threw five innings, striking out five batters and allowing only six hits and three earned runs. Freshman David Hunter (Middleton, Mass.) closed the door with two strong innings, striking out three batters and allowing only one hit.