April 21, 2012

Baseball Drops Doubleheader to Saint Anselm Saturday at Home

NORTH ANDOVER, MA- The Merrimack baseball team absorbed a pair of losses at home Saturday to Saint Anselm in Northeast Division play, falling 8-6 in 11 innings and 10-3. The Warriors sink to 17-22 on the season and 4-8 in the Northeast Division of the Northeast-10 Conference. The Hawks rise to 20-19-2 on the year and 8-4-1 in divisional action.

Tim Curran (Weymouth, MA) paced Merrimack with five base hits while adding two RBIs. Joe Mantoni (Northbridge, MA) drove in a team-high three RBIs on the day on three hits while also scoring three runs. Eddie Newton (North Billerica, MA) and Joe Burnham (Woburn, MA) each collected three hits in the doubleheader.

The Warriors grabbed a 2-0 lead in the bottom of the first inning as Mantoni launched a two-run home run to drive in Casey Cotter (North Hampton, NH).

Saint Anselm tied the game at 2-2 in the top of the second as Kyle Grumoli picked up an RBI single and Tito Lluberes lifted a sacrifice fly to center.

The Hawks captured their first lead of the day, tallying a run in the third to go ahead 3-2. Daniel DeCoste registered a solo home run with one out in the frame.

Merrimack restored their edge in the fourth, seizing a 4-3 advantage. Alan Pastyrnak (Bristol, CT) laced a single up the middle to drive in a pair of runs.

The visitors evened the score in the top of the fifth, 4-4, as DeCoste picked up his second homer of the game.  The Warriors matched it with a run in the home half to reclaim a one-run lead, 5-4, on a lead-off home run by Mantoni.

Merrimack tacked on a run in the sixth to expand its lead to two runs, 6-4. Curran raked an RBI single into centerfield to score Alan Pastyrnak from second.

Saint Anselm sliced the deficit to a single run in the seventh as Mike Hayden's groundout plated a run.

Robert Kelly knotted the game with a home run to right-center in the top of the ninth, a solo homer to center to pull the Hawks even at 6-6.

In the 11th, the visitors plated a pair of runs to claim an 8-6 lead. Dan Lagasse and Hayden recorded back-to-back RBI knocks in the second inning of bonus baseball.

Joe Carnevale (East Providence, RI) hurled five innings in his ninth start of the season and struck out four batters on the day. Brett Julian (Weymouth, MA) pitched two innings and Alek Morency (Nashua, NH) tossed the final four in relief action.

Saint Anselm pushed the first run of the nightcap across the plate in the top of the third to grab a 1-0 lead. Lluberes singled to right field to drive in Jeffrey Criscuolo from third.

Merrimack leveled the contest at 1-1 in the bottom of the inning. After Burnham doubled to lead off the frame, he advanced to third with two outs in the inning. Curran sent a single back up the middle to tally the Warriors' equalizer.

The Hawks responded with two runs in the fourth to take a 3-1 edge. With the bases loaded and no outs, Nate Gonya landed a single down the right field line to score Lagasse and DeCoste.

The hosts plated one score in the home half of the frame to shrink the margin to one, 3-2. Newton picked up his lone RBI of the afternoon with a two-out double to the left field corner to drive in Mantoni.

Saint Anselm added a run in the top of the eighth to double its lead to two, 4-2. Lluberes laced single back up the middle with a runner on third to drive in his second RBI of the game.

Merrimack got a run back in the home half of the frame as Rob Crocitto (Staten Island, NY) cracked his first collegiate home run, a solo shot down the left field line to pull the hosts to within a run, 4-3.

The Hawks notched six runs on six hits in the ninth to increase their lead to 10-3. Gonya, Criscuolo and Richie Manzi all recorded RBIs in the inning.

Mike Laracy (Weymouth, MA) started game two on the mound and tossed six innings and struck out one batter while surrendering three runs on the afternoon. Connor Elmore (Billerica, MA) pitched two innings in his ninth relief appearance on the year and scattered two hits. Beau Batchelor (Peabody, MA) hurled the final inning for the Warriors in his 12th appearance of the season.

The two teams will wrap up the weekend series Sunday, April 22 with a nine-inning game.