COLCHESTER, VT- The Merrimack baseball team prevailed 8-5 in the third game of a weekend series at Saint Michael's Sunday afternoon. The Warriors improve to 16-18 on the season and 3-6 in the Northeast Division of the Northeast-10 Conference. The Purple Knights sink to 8-19 overall and 2-8 in divisional action with the loss.
Alan Pastyrnak (Bristol, CT) collected three base hits on the day to lead Merrimack at the dish. Tim Curran (Weymouth, MA) picked up two hits and a game-high four RBIs. CJ Flannery (Hudson, MA) drove in two RBIs and scored two runs while Alex Ciullo (Fall River, MA) crossed the plate twice on the day.
On the mound, Joe Mantoni (Northbridge, MA) went four innings in his eighth start of the 2012 campaign and struck out four batters while allowing three hits and two runs. Brett Julian (Weymouth, MA) earned his second win of the year as he tossed three relief innings, scattering three hits and one unearned run while fanning four on the afternoon. Brian Wolfendale (Methuen, MA) pitched the eighth inning before Beau Batchelor (Peabody, MA) recorded his third save of the season with a scoreless ninth.
The Warriors opened the scoring in the third inning, plating one run to grab a 1-0 edge. Alan Pastyrnak raked a two-out double to left center and Curran followed with a double to right center to drive in Pastyrnak.
Saint Michael's seized a 2-1 advantage in the bottom of the fourth. Corey Livingston tied the contest with a sacrifice fly to center to score Chadwick Estey. Nick Nelson gave the home team its first lead of the game as he scampered home while Don McGuirl was caught in a run-down between first and second.
Merrimack restored its one-run lead in the next half-inning, moving ahead 3-2. Flannery and Ciullo both reached base to start the fifth frame and Curran laced a single through the left side of the infield to score the two runners.
A four-run burst in the top of the sixth expanded the gap to five as the Warriors pushed their lead to 7-2. Flannery picked up a two-run single through the left side of the infield to drive in Eddie Newton (North Billerica, MA) and Mark O'Flynn (Ipswich, MA).
After Flannery stole second and advanced to third on a wild pitch, Ciullo singled to right to score Flannery. Ciullo came around to touch the plate on a groundout to the right side of the infield by Curran.
The Purple Knights cut the deficit to 7-3 in the home half of the seventh. Alec Tice lifted a sacrifice fly to right field to allow McGuirl to tag up and score from third.
The hosts added two runs in the eighth as a pair of runners crossed the plate on a single to center by McGuirl.
Merrimack tacked on its eighth run of the contest in the top of the ninth inning. Casey Cotter (North Hampton, NH) scored on a fielder's choice by Tom Lanzoni (Wallingford, CT) to lift the visitors' lead to three runs, 8-5.
Up next, the Warriors return home to face divisional foe UMass Lowell Tuesday, April 17.