RINDGE, NH- The Merrimack baseball team suffered a 17-1 setback at Franklin Pierce Sunday afternoon to close out the weekend series. The Warriors drop to 17-28 overall and 4-13 in the Northeast Division of the Northeast-10 Conference. The Ravens improve to 31-13-1 on the year and 12-4-1 in divisional games.
Casey Cotter (North Hampton, NH) led Merrimack with two base hits while scoring the lone run. Joe Mantoni (Northbridge, MA) recorded the Warriors' only RBI on the day while adding a hit. Mark O'Flynn (Ipswich, MA) and Eddie Newton (North Billerica, MA) each picked up one base knock in the contest.
Merrimack grabbed a 1-0 edge in the opening frame to open the scoring. Cotter led off the game with a double to left and came around to score on an RBI double by Mantoni.
Franklin Pierce leveled the contest at 1-1 in the bottom of the second. Isaac Wenrich singled to centerfield to knock in Zach Mathieu from second base.
The Ravens claimed a 4-1 lead in the fourth inning, plating three runs on four hits. Matt Walsh singled up the middle to drive in Mathieu from third. Calvin Graves picked up an RBI single with two outs in the inning to double the home team's advantage. Wenrich scooted home on a wild pitch for the third run of the frame.
Franklin Pierce added six runs in the home half of the fifth to capture a 10-1 gap. Mathieu plated Dan Kemp from third with a triple to the gap in left-center with one away. Nick LaCroix followed with an RBI single down the line in left for his first RBI of the afternoon. Lacroix crossed the plate and Walsh advanced to third on a balk.
With two runners aboard in the fifth, Graves laced a single into right field to knock in Walsh from second. Dan Hennigan followed with a single to left to drive in one run and Kemp added an RBI double to right center for the Ravens.
The hosts tacked on seven runs in the sixth with a five-hit frame. With the leadoff runner on base, LaCroix belted a two-run homer to left center. Franklin Pierce loaded the bases with one out in the inning and Hennigan drove in two runs with a double to right center.
After Kemp was hit by a pitch to fill the bases, James Roche landed a single in center to plate a run. The Ravens tallied two scores with two outs in the frame on a fielding error.
Mantoni started the game on the hill and tossed four innings while racking up five strikeouts. Beau Batchelor (Peabody, MA) picked up two strikeouts in one inning of relief work. Tyler Cuming (Red Bank, NJ) and Alek Morency (Nashua, NH) combined to pitch the sixth inning with Morency registering two strikeouts. Connor Elmore (Billerica, MA) fanned one batter in one scoreless inning of action. Bill Humphrey (South Easton, MA) held the hosts scoreless with a hitless inning of relief.
Merrimack will battle Bentley May 1 at 3:30 pm in the final home game of the 2012 campaign. The Warriors will wrap up the season with a three-game set at Stonehill May 5 and 6.