NORTH ANDOVER, MA- The Merrimack baseball team suffered a 13-10 setback at home to non-divisional foe American International Thursday afternoon. The Warriors drop to 17-20 on the year while the Yellow Jackets improve to 12-19-1.
Tim Curran (Weymouth, MA) paced Merrimack with five RBIs in the game on three hits. Alan Pastyrnak (Bristol, CT) collected a game-high four base knocks on the day while also scoring three runs. Casey Cotter (North Hampton, NH) and Joe Mantoni (Northbridge, MA) each picked up three base hits in the contest.
American International claimed a quick 1-0 lead in the top of the first frame. Lucas Vallas drew a bases-loaded walk to allow Dave Clark to trot home from third.
The Warriors responded in the home half of the inning with a pair of runs to capture a 2-1 edge. Alan Pastyrnak led off the bottom of the frame with a single to center and advanced to second on a balk. Curran followed with a double down the right field line to score Pastyrnak from second and tie the game. Mantoni's single through the left side of the infield plated Curran to give the hosts their first lead of the day.
The Yellow Jackets reclaimed the lead in the second with a six-run outburst. Three-straight walks loaded the bases for the visitors and an error allowed Dan Asselin and Dave Julian to cross the plate. Kyle McNiff and Julian Concepcion recorded back-to-back RBIs before Dave Coyne earned a bases-loaded walk to drive in a run. Julian capped off the scoring in the inning with a sacrifice fly to center.
American International added a run in the third inning as Concepcion picked up his second RBI of the game with a single through the left side.
Merrimack struck for three runs in the bottom of the third to cut the deficit to 8-5. After Alan Pastyrnak opened the frame with a double to left, Curran laced a single through the left side of the infield to register his second RBI of the day. Mark O'Flynn (Ipswich, MA) reached base on a fielder's choice as Curran scampered home. John Pastyrnak (Bristol, CT) lifted a sacrifice fly to right to allow Cotter to score on a tag-up.
The Warriors sliced the margin to two runs, 8-6, with a tally in the fourth. Curran rolled a groundout to the right side of the infield as Alex Ciullo (Fall River, MA) scootered home.
The Yellow Jackets posted a pair of scores in the fifth to take a four-run advantage, 10-6. McNiff doubled to left center to drive in Cam MacDonald. Concepcion followed with an RBI single up the middle to plate McNiff.
The visitors pushed across one run in the sixth to go ahead 11-6. Clark's sacrifice fly to right allowed Asselin to tag-up and score.
Merrimack pulled to within a run of tying the contest for the second time on the afternoon with four runs in the home half of the sixth. Ciullo raked an RBI double down the line in right to drive in Joe Burnham (Woburn, MA). With runners on second and third, Curran sent a single back up the middle to plate a pair of runs. Curran came around to score on a single to centerfield by Cotter with no outs.
American International tacked on a run in the seventh to double its lead to 12-10. Julian's sacrifice fly to center scored Vallas from third with two away.
The Yellow Jackets added a score in the final inning of play with two outs. Asselin collected an RBI single to plate Coyne.
Bill Humphrey (South Easton, MA) made his first start of the season on the hill and tossed 1.1 innings while racking up three strikeouts. Colin Norris (Andover, MA) fanned three batters in 3.2 innings of relief action. Matt Solar (Sterling, MA) hurled two frames and recorded one strikeout. Tyler Cuming (Red Bank, NJ) pitched 1.1 innings and allowed one run while fanning one batter. O'Flynn made his collegiate pitching debut, coming on in the ninth inning with one out and registering the final two outs while surrendering one hit.
The Warriors remain at home and will look to gain ground in the Northeast Division of the Northeast-10 Conference as they host divisional opponent Saint Anselm April 20-21. The two teams will open the three-game weekend series Saturday, April 20 with a doubleheader before wrapping up with a single tilt Sunday, April 21.