February 22, 2012

Baseball Drops Non-Conference Twinbill to #11 Southern Connecticut

HAVERHILL, MA- The Merrimack baseball team suffered a pair of losses Wednesday evening to #11 Southern Connecticut State in non-league play at Haverhill Stadium. The Warriors fell 2-1 and 3-1 to the Owls to sink to 1-3 on the year. With the two victories, Southern Connecticut improves to 3-1 on the season.

In the bottom of the fourth inning, Alan Pastyrnak (Bristol, CT) singled to lead off before stealing second. Pastyrnak advanced to third on a groundout before Tim Curran (Weymouth, MA) drew a two-out walk to give the Warriors runners on the corners. On the following pitch, Curran broke for second to draw a throw to the base. As the ball went to second, Pastyrnak scooted home and eluded the catcher's tag to give Merrimack a 1-0 lead.

A sacrifice fly by TJ Shea in the top half of the fifth frame plated the Owls' first run of the game to knot the score at 1-1. The visitors plated the go-ahead run in the top of the sixth inning to hold a 2-1 edge.

Joe Mantoni (Northbridge, MA) led off the ninth inning with a single through the left side before John Pastyrnak (Bristol, CT) entered the game as a pinch runner. Pastyrnak slid safely into third after a throwing attempt to record a force out at second sent the ball into right field. Merrimack had the tying run at third base with two outs in the ninth but was unable score its second of the contest.

In game one, Travis Terrill (Hudson, NH) tossed six innings on the mound and racked up six strikeouts while allowing just one run. Alek Morency (Nashua, NH) logged three innings on the hill in relief and struck out four batters while allowing no runs. Mark O'Flynn (Ipswich, MA) collected a pair of base hits and a stolen base in the opening game to lead the Warriors offensively.

Southern Connecticut claimed a 1-0 advantage in the top of the fifth after moving runners to first and third with one out.

Merrimack evened the game at 1-1 in the bottom of the seventh. Tom Lanzoni (Wallingford, CT) and Joe Burnahm (Woburn, MA) drew back-to-back walks before O'Flynn laced a two-out single to centerfield. Lanzoni crossed the plate for the equalizer while Flannery advanced into scoring position.

The Owls reclaimed the lead in the eighth inning on a two-run double to push the score to 3-1.

In his first start since early last spring, Mike Laracy (Weymouth, MA) went five innings and fanned four batters while surredering just one run. Beau Batchelor (Peabody, MA) held the Owls scoreless in two innings of relief action in his first collegiate pitching appearance. Brian Wolfendale (Methuen, MA) and Chris Pinette (Norwood, MA) combined to pitch the final two frames.

O'Flynn finished the night with four hits, one run batted in and a stolen base. Curran turned in three hits in the doubleheader after picking up two in the nightcap.

"We did a good job of battling tonight against a good team," said head coach Jim Martin. "We showed great determination and intensity tonight, especially in game two."

Up next, Merrimack hits the road for a trio of non-conference games March 3 and 4 as it travels to face Wilmington. The Warriors and Wildcats will square off in a doubleheader March 3 before wrapping up the series with a single contest March 4.