ALBANY, NY- The Merrimack baseball team snapped a five-game skid with a pair of two-run victories Sunday at The College of Saint Rose. The Warriors prevailed 9-7 and 2-0 to improve to 11-11 on the season while the Golden Knights dip to 6-12 overall.
Tim Curran (Weymouth, MA) and Casey Cotter (North Hampton, NH) paced Merrimack's offense with four base hits each. Curran added five runs and two walks in the doubleheader while Cotter scored three runs and drove in three RBIs. Mark O'Flynn (Ipswich, MA) picked up a pair of hits, three RBIs and one run. Joe Mantoni (Northbridge, MA) collected two hits, two runs batted in and one run scored. Alan Pastyrnak (Bristol, CT) chipped in with two base knocks while Eddie Newton (North Billerica, MA) finished with two hits, a pair of RBIs and crossed the plate once.
"It was a great job by our guys today. We beat a tough team on the road twice," said head coach Jim Martin. "I am proud of the way we competed and did what it took to win."
Merrimack opened the scoring early with two runs in the top of the first inning. Curran singled to center and Cotter drew a one-out walk to ignite the Warriors' offensive attack. Both runners moved up to third and second on a failed pick-off attempt before O'Flynn raked a two-run single to give the visitors a 2-0 lead.
Saint Rose answered with a pair of runs in the bottom of the frame to tie the contest at 2-2. A single by Brian Maynard to center plated Scott Hladik and Alex Ferenti.
Merrimack reclaimed a two-run edge in the third to take a 4-2 advantage. Curran earned a lead-off walk and Cotter followed with a triple to break up the tie. A drag-bunt with runners on the corners by O'Flynn allowed Cotter to scamper home for the Warriors' fourth score of the game.
The Golden Knights leveled the score once again with two runs in the home half of the third. Caleb Gleason scored on a wild pitch and Maynard came home on a groundout.
The visiting side grabbed a one-run edge in the fourth to move ahead 5-4. Curran tripled to right center and Cotter singled him home for his second RBI of the day. Merrimack added two runs in the sixth inning to seize a 7-4 lead. With Curran and Cotter in scoring position, Mantoni landed a double to clear the bases with two outs.
The hosts knotted the contest at 7-7 in the bottom of the sixth, scoring three times. After two base hits to start the home half, Jevnote Osterhout blasted a three-run homer to even the game.
The Warriors captured the lead back in the eighth with back-to-back doubles down the left field line by Curran and Cotter to score a run and take an 8-7 edge. Merrimack tacked on a run in the ninth as Newton tripled to left and Alex Ciullo (Fall River, MA) followed with an RBI single to lift the advantage to 9-7.
Mike Laracy (Weymouth, MA) went 5.2 innings in his fourth start of the season and struck out three batters. Alek Morency (Nashua, NH) tossed the final 3.1 innings and fanned three to earn his first win on the mound and rise to 1-0.
In game two, the Warriors plated the only two runs of the contest in the top of the fourth. Mantoni and O'Flynn reached base safely with one out in the inning before Newton sent a single to center to score both.
Joe Carnevale (East Providence, RI) went eight innings to pick up the victory and improve to 2-1 on the hill. The rookie allowed just three hits while striking out four and walking two. Beau Batchelor (Peabody, MA) closed the gate with a scoreless ninth inning to register his second save of the 2012 campaign.
Merrimack will open play in the Northeast Division of the Northeast-10 Conference March 28 at Bentley.