Bats Come Alive in Nightcap as Baseball Splits Doubleheader Against No. 29 Franklin Pierce
FRANK CRINELLA WENT 6-OF-9 (.667) AT THE PLATE AS WELL AS TALLIED FOUR RUNS AND THREE RBIS
RINDGE, N.H. – Sophomore Frank Crinella (Springfield, Mass.) enjoyed a four-hit day while senior Conner McMahon (Westfield, Mass.) remains undefeated (5-0), leading the Merrimack College baseball team to a Saturday afternoon doubleheader split against No. 29 Franklin Pierce. The Warriors rebounded from a 9-5 defeat in the opener before beating the Ravens 12-4 in the nightcap.
Game 1 Score: No. 29 Franklin Pierce 9, Merrimack 5
Game 2 Score: Merrimack 12, No. 29 Franklin Pierce 4
Records: Merrimack (15-14, 3-5 NE Div.) | Franklin Pierce (24-12, 6-4 NE Div.)
Location: Dr. Arthur and Martha Pappas Field | Rindge, N.H.
How it Happened (Game 1)
Merrimack jumped on top early with a run in the top of the first inning. With one out and runner on third, freshman Cam DiSarcina (Shirley, Mass.) grounded out to shortstop to allow Crinella to score.
However, in the bottom of the second Franklin Pierce responded with five runs off four hits to take a 5-1 lead over the Warriors. Sophomore Mike Forgione (North Branford, Conn.) brought the score to within three (5-2) after he tallied his second home run of the season.
Up by three, Franklin Pierce answered back with an RBI triple to right field to put the hosts a head 6-2. But, in the top of the fourth, Merrimack came right back scoring two runs off two hits to bring the score to within two (6-4).
Shortly after, Franklin Pierce tallied its seventh run of the game in the bottom of the fourth, as Calvin Graves connected for his first home run of the season. Following a quick fifth inning, the Ravens extended their lead to five (9-4) in the bottom of the sixth.
Franklin Pierce kept Merrimack at bay until the ninth inning, as the Warriors began threatening the hosts. With no outs and runners on first and second, sophomore Matt Brown (Belmont, Mass.) grounded out into a double play that allowed a runner to score from second. Now with two outs, sophomore Sean O'Neill (Norwood, Mass.) managed to keep the Warriors alive with a single, but freshman Ryan Petrone (Cherry Valley, Mass.) ended the threat with a fly out to left field.
How it Happened (Game 2)
Merrimack opened the second game with an early 4-0 lead over the Ravens, as the Warriors tallied four runs off one hit in the first. In the top of the third, Merrimack extended its lead to five (5-0) after an RBI sacrifice fly from senior CJ Flannery (Hudson, Mass.).
Up by five, Merrimack continued to dominate on offense as the Warriors tacked on four more runs in the top of the fifth. After Franklin Pierce tallied another scoreless at bat, the Warriors tallied three runs in the bottom of the sixth to take a commanding 12-0 lead.
Franklin Pierce rallied back in the seventh and in the ninth with two runs in each inning. However, that surge was not enough and the Ravens fell short, 12-4, to earn the twin bill split against the Warriors on Saturday.
McMahon earned his fifth win of the season, as the lefty allowed two runs off five hits while striking out seven. Junior Colin Smith (Somerset, Mass.) pitched two innings of relief for Merrimack and scattered thee hits, two runs and struck out four players.
Inside the Numbers
- Crinella led the Warriors offensively with a 6-of-9 (.667) effort at the plate as well as tallying four runs and three RBIs.
- The Warriors finished the afternoon 24-of-72 at the plate.
- Merrimack's bullpen earned a 6.88 ERA while striking out 17 batters and allowing only three walks.
- Defensively, the Warriors posted a .427 on-base percentage and were 6-of-6 in stolen bases.
Merrimack returns to action tomorrow (Apr. 13), as the Warriors take on Franklin Pierce in final game of the Northeast Division series at Dr. Arthur and Martha Pappas Field. First pitch is scheduled for 3:30 p.m.