MANCHESTER, N.H. – The Saint Anselm College baseball team battled the reigning Northeast-10 Conference Tournament Champions on Sunday, falling to the Warriors from Merrimack College in back-to-back games played at Sullivan Park.
Saint Anselm falls to 6-23 overall on the year and to 2-12 against NE10 opponents. Merrimack, who posted wins of 14-5 and 14-3, improves to 18-12 overall and to 11-3 versus league opponents. The Hawks host Saint Michael's on Tuesday at 3:30 p.m. in a single NE10 fixture.
Merrimack pounded 15 hits in game one and 16 hits in the finale, logging 14 runs in each contest. The Hawks also committed eight errors on the afternoon. Senior Oscar Larranaga (Tucson, Ariz.) and freshman Matt Collins (Beverly, Mass.) each had three hits for the Hawks across the doubleheader.
Game 1 – Merrimack 14, Saint Anselm 5 (BOX SCORE)
A four-pitch walk to the game's leadoff batter, Joey Porricelli, would set the tone for the inning as two runs came across for Merrimack on two hits. The Warriors tacked on five additional runs in the top of the second inning, scoring on a combination of three hits and three Hawks miscues. Porricelli added two RBI in the second stanza with a single to left field.
Ahead by a 7-0 margin through three complete innings, Merrimack notched at least one run across the fourth, fifth and six innings to build a 11-2 advantage. The Hawks plated their two runs with a two-RBI single through the left side by freshman Enzo Merlonghi (Monroe, Conn.).
In the home half of the seventh inning, Collins had an RBI single to right center prior to an RBI groundout by Merlonghi, doubling the Hawks run total. Freshman Peyton Goodrich (Portsmouth, R.I.) added another run for the Hawks in the bottom of the eighth inning, homering to deep center field for the first long ball of his collegiate career.
Merrimack logged three more runs in the top of the ninth inning with the help of only one hit and a Hawks miscue.
Sophomore Will Conaton (Windham, N.H.) drew the loss for the Hawks, yielding four earned runs in only one inning of work. Freshman David Hunter (Middleton, Mass.) threw five innings of relief, allowing four earned runs on seven hits and two walks, before sophomore Danny Graceffa (Duxbury, Mass.) came on to pitch the final three innings.
Vin Zappulla earned the win for Merrimack, allowing two earned runs in six innings while striking out four batters. Stephen Fleury, Sean Thompson and Jeremy Blake-Johnson rounded out the relief corps for Merrimack – the trio combined for three earned runs and four walks.
Game 2 – Merrimack 14, Saint Anselm 3 (BOX SCORE)
Saint Anselm allowed a first inning run that was aided across the plate by a failed pickoff attempt, putting the hosts in an early 1-0 hole. The Hawks scored a leadoff walk by Collins in the home half of the second inning as a double play allowed the game-tying run to score.
Merrimack would capture the lead for good in the top of the third inning as Porricelli struck a leadoff double to left-center field and came around with an RBI single by the very next batter, Nick Shumski. The Warriors added five runs in the top of the fourth inning with the big blow coming off the bat of Michael Golankiewicz and his three-run home run, the second for the freshman on the day.
An RBI triple by sophomore Matthew Butigian (Plainview, N.Y.) scored classmate Max Silverman (Westford, Mass.), who reached on an error to begin the home half of the fifth inning. The Hawks ground out another run in the sixth inning as Goodrich scampered home on a passed ball for the team's third and final run.
Merrimack saw six men score in the top of the ninth inning with four hits and a bases-loaded walk fueling the Warriors rally.
The Hawks used five pitchers in the second game of the doubleheader. Senior Preston Yerrington (Manchester, N.H.) drew his first loss of the season, pitching three innings and allowing four earned runs. Sophomore Brian Wojichowski (Portsmouth, R.I.), freshman Taylor French (Goffstown, N.H.), freshman Shawn Morrow (Melrose, Mass.) and junior Ryan Schworer (Medfield, Mass.) saw relief work in the defeat.
Timmy Kalantzakos pitched eight strong innings for the Warriors, fanning 11 batters. Trevor Cooley fanned the side in the bottom of the ninth inning, tiptoeing around a base hit and a walk.