March 22, 2012

Walk-Off Hit Sinks Baseball in Conference Crossover Tilt at Assumption, 10-9

WORCESTER, MA- The Merrimack baseball team absorbed a 10-9 loss at Assumption Thursday afternoon as a two-out single in the ninth scored the game-winning run. The Warriors fall to 9-9 on the season while the Greyhounds improve to 6-5 overall.

"We battled again multiple times but couldn't hang on," said head coach Jim Martin. "It was another competitive game that we hope to learn from as we approach our division games."

Casey Cotter (North Hampton, NH) and Joe Mantoni (Northbridge, MA) each gathered three hits on the day as Mantoni drove in two runs and Cotter plated one. Dionys Quezada (Lawrence, MA), CJ Flannery (Hudson, MA) and Alan Pastyrnak (Bristol, CT) all recorded a pair of RBIs and one base knock in the contest.

Mantoni started on the hill for the visitors and pitched five innings with six strikeouts. Brian Wolfendale (Methuen, MA) and Beau Batchelor (Peabody, MA) each logged one inning of relief pitching. Connor Elmore (Billerica, MA) tossed the final 1.2 innings and fanned one batter.

Assumption pushed across three runs in the fourth inning to take a 3-0 lead. Billy Johnson and Joe Lopes each picked up RBI hits for the Greyhounds.

Merrimack answered with a four-run fifth inning to claim a 4-3 advantage. Flannery and Alex Ciullo (Fall River, MA) both reached base with one out before Pastyrnak raked a triple to right field to drive in a pair of runs. Tim Curran (Weymouth, MA) followed with an RBI single to left to plate Pastyrnak. Mantoni capped off the inning with a two-out RBI base knock to break a 3-3 tie.

The hosts knotted the game at 4-4 in the home half of the fifth as Shane Keddy's single down the left field line scored Ysander Figueroa from third.

The Warriors reclaimed the lead in the top of the sixth, 5-4. Quezada led off the frame with a double to left. Consecutive sacrifice bunts by Eddie Newton and Flannery allowed Quezada to cross the plate.

Nick Napoli leveled the score at 5-5 in the bottom of the sixth as he scampered home on a wild pitch. A sacrifice fly to right by Figueroa plated Johnson from third to give the Greyhounds their first lead in the game since the third inning. Keddy added to the home team's advantage in the inning with a two-out RBI single through the left side of the infield.

Merrimack plated four runs in a torrid seventh inning. Curran led off the inning by reaching on an error and came around to score on a triple by Cotter. Mantoni singled to drive in Cotter, tying the game at 7-7. Mantoni crossed the plate on a fielder's choice to restore the Warriors' lead to 8-7 Flannery singled in his second RBI of the day to push the visiting side's edge to two runs, 9-7.

Johnson picked up a sacrifice fly in the home portion of the seventh to cut the deficit to one, 9-8. Clark followed with an RBI single to left to even the score at 9-9.

In the bottom of the ninth, Johnson connected on a walk-off single to left to score the game-winning run with two away in the inning.

Merrimack will look to snap a three-game skid when it takes to the field against Le Moyne March 24 in a road doubleheader.