May 29, 2012

Season Recap: Youthful Baseball Looks to Build Upon 2012 Successes

NORTH ANDOVER, MA - The Merrimack baseball team claimed 17 wins in head coach Jim Martin's second season. The Warriors finished the 2012 campaign with a 17-32 overall record and a 4-17 mark in the Northeast Division of the Northeast-10 Conference.

Joe Mantoni (Northbridge, MA) and Joe Carnevale (East Providence, RI) capped off the spring with Northeast-10 All-Conference honors. Mantoni earned second team accolades while Carnevale garnered All-Rookie status.

Merrimack opened the season with a 7-4 non-league victory over Molloy. The Warriors snapped a six-game skid with an eight-game winning-streak, the longest in program history since the 1999 season.

Merrimack claimed its first victory in the Northeast Division April 3, edging UMass Lowell 7-6 at home. The Warriors also captured divisional wins over Saint Michael's and Lowell this spring.

Martin's squad collected three walk-off wins this season. Merrimack used walk-off hits from Casey Cotter (North Hampton, NH) and Mark O'Flynn (Ipswich, MA) to sweep New Haven in a home doubleheader.

The Warriors also earned a dramatic 10-8 victory over Lowell April 18 as Mantoni blasted a walk-off two-run homer in the bottom of the 10th inning. Merrimack played six extra-inning contests this season.

Cotter led the team with a .324 batting average, 36 runs, 61 hits, 12 doubles and four triples. The junior started all 48 games in which he appeared in while driving in 20 RBIs.

Mantoni paced the Warriors with 29 RBIs on 50 hits, including 18 extra-base hits. The junior designated hitter launched a team-high six homers this spring while batting .313 on the year. He also recorded four victories on the mound to lead the pitching staff. Mantoni fanned 52 batters in the spring while tossing 48.1 innings.

O'Flynn was the only player to start all 49 contests this season. He ranked third on the team with 25 RBIs and stole 10 bases to lead the squad.

Carnevale struck out a team-high 56 batters in his first collegiate season. The rookie hurled 62.2 innings and owned a 3-3 record in 11 starts.

Merrimack will depart four seniors to graduation this spring: Tim Curran (Weymouth, MA), Bill Humphrey (South Easton, MA), Chris Pinette (Norwood, MA) and Paul Arce (West Hartford, CT). The Warriors will return 86.4% of their run-production next season as 29 veterans will return.