Links: Box Score
UNIONDALE, N.Y. – Senior righty Perry Kulaga (Lincroft, Mass.) struck out eight Molloy College Lions in seven innings of work to earn his first victory of the season as the Merrimack College baseball team surged past Molloy, 12-5, on Saturday afternoon in the opener of a three-game series from the Mitchell Athletic Complex.
Score: Merrimack 12, Molloy 5
Records: Merrimack (3-3) | Molloy (1-7)
Location: Mitchel Athletic Complex | Uniondale, N.Y.
How It Happened
- 1st inning – Merrimack's top hurler entering the season, Kulaga took the ball for his second start of the year and immediately got two outs before running into trouble. A walk and a hit batsman put two Lions on base before a fielding error pushed one run across for the hosts
- 3rd inning – With Merrimack's offense quiet through three innings, Kulaga retired six of seven batters, including the last two Molloy hitters in the third via the punch out to keep the deficit at 1-0
- 4th inning – Junior right fielder Matt Nicholson (Rockland, Mass.) belted a homer to center to start a four-run fourth for the Warriors. Freshman Thomas Joyce (Newton, Mass.) and senior Ryan Petrone (Leicester, Mass.) hit consecutive run-scoring singles to make it a 4-1 game, with Joyce from second base on a throwing error by Molloy's third baseman on Petrone's base knock
- 7th inning – Kulaga had retired six of the last seven batters entering the bottom of the seventh, three of which were struck out. After an error and a wild pitch put a Lions runner on third, Kulaga buckled down to punch out the final two batters of the inning and kept the game at 5-1 entering the eighth
- 8th inning – Junior southpaw Anthony Lupi (Dover, N.H.) worked out of trouble after inheriting two runners. Lupi struck out the first man he saw, but allowed a single followed by a bases-loaded walk to pull Molloy within three runs. The third-year pitcher refocused and induced an inning-ending double play as DiSarcina tagged the second-base bag before firing to first for the final out.
- 9th inning – The Warriors' offense exploded for seven insurance markers in the top of the ninth. DiSarcina started the scoring with a RBI single, and junior Ricky Smith (Weymouth, Mass.) hit a sacrifice fly to increase the advantage to 7-2. With two outs, Petrone and graduate shortstop Mike Forgione (North Branford, Conn.) worked consecutive bases-loaded walks to score two more. Redshirt-junior Tyler Lyne (Agawam, Mass.) delivered the deciding blow with a bases-clearing triple to cap of the scoring at 12 runs for the Navy and Gold
Inside The Numbers
- WP: Kulaga (1-0) | LP: Bauer (0-1)
- After not making it out of the fifth inning in his first start, Kulaga returned to form in his second. The Preseason NCBWA All-Region selection worked seven innings of one-run ball, allowing one unearned run while striking out eight Lions. The eight punch outs fell one short of equaling last season's high of nine
- Lyne missed the first five games of the season due to injury and returned to his No. 2 spot in the lineup on Saturday. He led Merrimack with three RBI and recorded a triple after leading the Warriors last season with five three-baggers
- All nine of Merrimack's batters totaled at least one hit. DiSarcina, Joyce and junior Mike Hoalcraft (Fayetteville, N.Y.) each posted multi-hit efforts
- The Warriors have now scored at least 10 runs in three of their six games this season. The Navy and Gold lead the Northeast-10 Conference with 60 runs scored
Merrimack concludes its three-game series against Molloy with a doubleheader tomorrow afternoon beginning at 12 p.m.