MANCHESTER, N.H. – Leading by a 6-1 margin, the Saint Anselm College baseball team allowed six unanswered runs to the Purple Knights from Saint Michael's College in a 7-6 loss at Sullivan Park on Wednesday.
Saint Anselm drops to 6-24 on the year, having lost 13 of its 15 games against Northeast-10 Conference opponents. Saint Michael's improves to 7-19 overall and to 4-12 versus the league. The Hawks will play their next three games at Assumption with a single game to be played on Thursday, Apr. 18 at 3:30 p.m.
With the Hawks ahead by a 7-6 margin heading into the ninth inning, a leadoff walk by Sebastian Oetterer preceded a three-base throwing error on a Trevor Allen bunt attempt that allowed Oetterer to score, drawing the game even at seven. With Allen standing on third with less than two outs, a sacrifice fly by Cameron Kroeger put the Purple Knights ahead for good, 7-6.
After freshman Taylor French (Goffstown, N.H.) struck out the final two batters of the ninth inning, the Hawks led off the bottom half of the stanza with a leadoff double by freshman Nick Berry (Beverly, Mass.). Advancing to third on a wild pitch, senior Tyler McKeon (Rutland, Mass.) drew a walk. After a strikeout, freshman Peyton Goodrich (Portsmouth, R.I.) drew a one-out walk to load the bases.
Deployed to start the inning with his team in search of a victory, sophomore Zach Rodgers went on to earn his first save of the season, logging a strikeout and a fly out to center field to preserve the Saint Michael's victory. He came into the contest ranked third in both the country and the NE10 with a 1.17 earned-run average.
For the second consecutive game, a leadoff walk to begin the contest came around to score, putting the Hawks in an early 1-0 hole. Saint Anselm rebounded to push across two runs in the second inning as a throwing error by Saint Michael's pitcher, Dante Moran, propelled the hosts into the lead.
Four runs came around to score for the Hawks in the bottom of the fourth inning, the final two coming on a mammoth home run by freshman Enzo Merlonghi (Monroe, Conn.). The first two runs were plated on a sacrifice fly by Goodrich and an RBI double by sophomore Max Silverman (Westford, Mass.). The Hawks would carry a 6-1 lead through the middle portion of Wednesday's affair.
Saint Michael's scored four runs in the top of the fifth, using a two-RBI single from Kroeger and back-to-back RBI singles by Moran and Gomez. All of the runs were plated with two outs before French came in to strike out Julien Giroux-Harvey with two runners on base.
French drew the tough-luck loss, allowing only one hit while striking out six batters. The two runs he allowed to score were unearned. Hawks starter JJ Dunn (Nashua, N.H.) yielded five hits in four-and-two-thirds innings pitched, walking five batters and giving up as many hits.
Moran departed after four innings pitched for the Purple Knights, striking out four batters. The threesome of Dan Favicchio, Cameron Cuellar and Rodgers combined for five scoreless innings of relief along with six strikeouts and only three hits allowed. Cuellar earned the pitching victory while Rodgers secured the save.