SPRINGFIELD, Mass. – The Saint Anselm College baseball team split Saturday's doubleheader against the Yellow Jackets from American International College, picking up a 10-2 victory in the first game before falling in the bottom of the ninth inning in game two, 4-3.
Saint Anselm moves to 5-12 overall and to 1-1 against Northeast-10 Conference opponents. The Yellow Jackets finish the day with an 8-7 record alongside a 1-1 mark in the league. The Hawks head to Franklin Pierce on Wednesday to battle the Ravens at 3 p.m.
The Hawks opened up its first conference doubleheader with a convincing victory. Saint Anselm was hit by a pitch 10 times, believed to be a program record, while also drawing six walks. Sophomore Will Conaton (Windham, N.H.) pitched six-and-a-third strong innings, striking out eight batters and yielding only four hits without allowing an earned run.
American International got on the board first in the second game, but the Hawks brought the game even with a seventh inning run to tie the game at three. The Yellow Jackets pulled away in the bottom of the ninth inning as a leadoff base hit came around to score on a walk-off single to right field.
Freshman Nick Berry (Beverly, Mass.) led all Hawks in the doubleheader, picking up four hits in six at-bats, with senior Connor Parent (Katy, Texas) tallying four hits in nine at-bats, rapping two doubles. Freshman Peyton Goodrich (Portsmouth, N.H.) had a team-best three runs batted in, going three-for-six and recording 15 errorless putouts in the field. Saint Anselm had 19 hits in 64 at-bats, hitting nearly .300 in the doubleheader.
Game 1 – Saint Anselm 10, American International 2 (Box Score)
After the Hawks escaped the bottom of the first inning with two runners on base, Saint Anselm hung two runs on the board in the top of the next inning. Goodrich picked up an RBI single and freshman Matt Collins (Beverly, Mass.) would tack on the game's second run, singling to drive in Goodrich for the early 2-0 advantage.
After American International tied the game at two in the top of the third, Saint Anselm picked up three runs off of two hits in the top of the sixth inning. Berry had an RBI single for the Hawks, who also plated two runs with a bases-loaded walk by freshman Drew Boli (Falmouth, Mass.). Berry later scampered home on a passed ball, putting the Hawks up by a 5-2 score.
A five-run eighth inning for the Hawks put the game out of reach for the hosts. Boli and Parent had RBI singles prior to a fielder's choice by freshman Enzo Merlonghi (Monroe, Conn.) that scored a run. Goodrich and Berry were hit by pitches with the bases loaded, rounding out the scoring.
Conaton picked up the win for the Hawks on the mound. Senior Preston Yerrington (Manchester, N.H.) pitched two-and-two-thirds scoreless relief, striking out three batters and allowing only one hit. Nick Kennedy drew the loss for American International, allowing four earned runs in five-and-two-thirds innings pitched.
Game 2 – American International 4, Saint Anselm 3 (Box Score)
The Yellow Jackets plated their leadoff batter, Josh Aviles, who reached on a walk to begin the home half of the first. With one out, Matt Krause doubled to left center to score the tilt's first run. In the top of the third inning, the Hawks tied the game with an RBI single from senior Tyler McKeon (Rutland, Mass.) that scored Berry, on third base after a passed ball.
The Hawks went ahead by a 2-1 score in the top of the fourth as Parent came around to score after a leadoff double. He was moved to third base on a groundout by junior Andre Gaudet (Lynn, Mass.) and crossed home plate on a Goodrich double.
After the Yellow Jackets went ahead 3-2, the Hawks tied the game at three with a Collins RBI single to right center in the top of the seventh, scoring Berry for his fourth run of the day.
American International won the game in the bottom of the ninth inning. The leadoff batter reached on a single to center and after being pushed to second base on a sacrifice bunt, a walk and a base hit to right center by Aviles ended the game with the Hawks on the losing end.
Freshman David Hunter (Middleton, Mass.) started the contest for the Hawks, walking five batters and punching out four Yellow Jackets. Junior Ryan Schworer (Medfield, Mass.) and sophomore Danny Graceffa (Duxbury, Mass.) pitched two-and-a-third strong innings of relief, allowing only three hits. Freshman Taylor French (Goffstown, N.H.) entered the bottom of the eighth inning, striking out both batters he faced, but allowed the game-winning run in the ninth inning after allowing two hits.
Mason St. Pierre pitched six innings, allowing only one earned run for the Yellow Jackets, before James Flahive picked up the victory for the hosts with three innings of one-run ball to conclude the contest.