May 5, 2012

Baseball Stumbles on the Road at Stonehill Saturday

EASTON, MA- The Merrimack baseball team suffered a pair of losses at Stonehill Saturday afternoon, falling 7-2 and 1-0. The Warriors sink to 17-31 on the year and 4-16 in the Northeast Division of the Northeast-10 Conference. The Skyhawks improve to 29-18 overall and 12-8 in divisional play.

Merrimack was led by Eddie Newton (North Billerica, MA) and Casey Cotter (North Hampton, NH) with two base hits each. Mark O'Flynn (Ipswich, MA) and John Pastyrnak (Bristol, CT) each registered RBIs in the doubleheader.

In game one, the Warriors plated a run in the top of the first inning to grab a 1-0 edge. With two outs, Joe Mantoni (Northbridge, MA) was hit by a pitch and advanced to second on a single by Dionys Quezada (Lawrence, MA). O'Flynn followed with a single to right to drive in Mantoni for the first run of the game.

Stonehill tallied five runs in the home half of the third to claim a 5-1 lead. Michael Zeiner laced a single to right and Michael White followed with a walk with one out in the frame. Dan Fratus knocked in both runners with a triple to right center. Billy Karalis followed with an RBI single to left for the hosts' third run of the inning.

With a pair of runners aboard, Michael Magnussen slapped a single through the right side of the infield to plate Karalis from second. Colin Shepard capped off the scoring in the third with an RBI single to center.

The Skyhawks added a run in the fourth frame as Karalis lifted a sacrifice fly to right field to allow Zeiner to tag up and score.

The home team tacked on a run in the bottom of the fifth to push its lead to 7-1. Shepard crossed the plate with two outs in the inning as Dan Pidgeon doubled to left center.

Merrimack got a run back in the top of the sixth to cut the deficit to five, 7-2. Quezada scampered home on a groundout by Pastyrnak.

Joe Carnevale (East Providence, RI) tossed three innings in his 11th start of the season and fanned five batters. Connor Elmore (Billerica, MA) worked five innings of relief and scattered just two hits and one earned run while racking up five strikeouts.

In a tightly contested nightcap, Stonehill captured a walk-off victory as Fratus crossed the plate in the bottom of the ninth to break a scoreless tie. Magnussen recorded the game-winning RBI with a single to right field.

Mike Laracy (Weymouth, MA) hurled seven innings in his 10th start of the year on the hill. The junior southpaw struck out five batters while allowing three hits and no runs. Alek Morency (Nashua, NH) pitched 1.2 innings of relief action and fanned three batters.

The Warriors will close out the season May 6 at Stonehill.