Baseball tripped up by Pace in NE10 doubleheader

MANCHESTER, N.H. – The Saint Anselm College baseball team was downed by the Setters from Pace University on Sunday in a Northeast-10 Conference doubleheader. Pace rallied for a 6-2 victory in the first game before cruising to a 14-1 result in the finale.

The Hawks fell to 6-20 overall with the result having lost nine of their first 11 games within the NE10 this season. Pace moves to 19-9 on the year and to 8-5 against league foes. Saint Anselm heads to Franklin Pierce this Wednesday, Apr. 10 for a single game beginning at 3 p.m.

Senior Preston Yerrington (Manchester, N.H.) pitched a gem in the first game of the afternoon, throwing six-and-two-thirds innings of three-hit ball. He struck out five and did not allow an earned run, but was saddled with the no-decision after Hawks relievers allowed five runs in the top of the eighth inning.

Game 1 – Pace 6, Saint Anselm 2 (Box Score)

Pace got its first run on a failed pickoff attempt at second base. Yerrington attempted to make a throw to an unoccupied second base and the throw back in from center field trickled into the Hawks dugout, allowing the runner to advance two bases.

The Hawks answered immediately in the home half of the second. Freshman Jack Dunklee (Wilbraham, Mass.) laid down a bunt that was not fielded properly by the Pace first baseman, allowing sophomore Matthew Butigian (Plainview, N.Y.) to scamper home from third base. The Hawks loaded the bases with two outs, but the Setters were able to escape with limited damage.

Saint Anselm took the lead in the bottom of the sixth inning as freshman Enzo Merlonghi (Monroe, Conn.) had an RBI groundout to second base, scoring freshman Peyton Goodrich (Portsmouth, N.H.) who began the inning with a walk. He was later moved to second on a sacrifice bunt by freshman Matt Collins (Beverly, Mass.) and another miscue by the Setters first baseman.

In the top of the eighth, Pace pounded five hits and scored five runs with two outs in the inning. The big hit came off the bat of shortstop Rafael Figuereo, who laced a two-run double to left center that put the Setters ahead for good.

Hawks hurler JJ Dunn (Nashua, N.H.) drew the loss, allowing one earned run across one-and-a-third inning. In total, four unearned runs came across before sophomore Danny Graceffa (Duxbury, Mass.) struck out the side in his inning of relief, allowing only one hit and one walk to Pace.

Thomas Ippolito pitched six innings and allowed only two hits and two unearned runs to score. Pace relievers, including winning pitcher Nelson Arroyo, combined for three scoreless and hitless innings to lock down the victory.

Game 2 – Pace 14, Saint Anselm 1 (Box Score)

Pace put up six runs in the first two innings, never looking back in a 13-run victory over the Hawks to conclude the doubleheader. The Setters used four hits and two Hawks errors to build their early advantage.

Saint Anselm cut the lead to 6-1 in the home half of the third inning as a fielder's choice by senior Tyler McKeon (Rutland, Mass.) scored freshman Chris Schworer (Medfield, Mass.), who led off the stanza with a walk.

Pace produced four runs in the top of the fourth and four more in the top of the fifth, drawing a total of 12 walks on the afternoon that included four with the bases loaded.

Greg Najar earned the win for Pace, pitching five innings and allowing only one unearned run. John DiMartino, Jr. pitched two innings of relief, yielding one hit and fanning three Hawks batters.

Junior Ryan Schworer (Medfield, Mass.) drew the loss for Saint Anselm, yielding four earned runs in one-and-one-third innings pitched. Freshman Shawn Morrow (Melrose, Mass.) threw one-and-two-thirds innings, allowing only one hit, and classmate Andy Grygorcewicz (Northampton, Mass.) was touched for eight earned runs in one inning.

Junior Jared Ferris (Methuen, Mass.) came on in relief, throwing three scoreless frames and striking out two batters.