Links: Box Score (Game 1)
LANTANA, Fla. – The Merrimack College baseball team split a pair of games on Tuesday against Post University, playing a regional doubleheader at the Santaluces Athletic Complex in Lantana, Fla. The Warriors lost the first game, 8-4, before rebounding to prevail in the second contest, 19-5. Graduate shortstop Mike Forgione (North Branford, Conn.) recorded five hits overall including a home run in the first contest and three base knocks in the second affair.
Score (G1): Post 8, Merrimack 4
Score (G2): Merrimack 19, Post 5
Records: Merrimack (4-6) | Post (3-9-1)
Location: Santaluces Athletic Complex | Lantana, Fla.
How It Happened (G1)
- 2nd inning – Junior PJ Browne (Rutland, Mass.) relented two runs in the second after a leadoff double followed by a Merrimack throwing error allowed the first to score. Browne recorded two straight outs, but a two-out double allowed the next Eagles' run to score
- 3rd inning – After senior Cam DiSarcina (Shirley, Mass.) put away the first two batters of the inning at second base, the Eagles smacked back-to-back shots to double their advantage to 4-0
- 4th inning – The long ball victimized the Warriors and Browne once again, as a round-tripper from Post's No. 9 hitter made it a 6-0 game through four frames
- 5th inning – Sophomore reliever Cam Monagle (Cambridge, Mass.) entered the tilt with one out and a runner on third, but escaped without allowing a run by collecting consecutive strikeouts by Post. In the bottom half, DiSarcina knocked in Merrimack's first run and junior Mike Hoalcraft (Fayetteville, N.Y.) registered a sacrifice fly to make it a 6-2 game through five frames
- 6th inning – A second-year captain, Forgione continued the success the Warriors offense had in the fifth. With senior Ryan Petrone (Leicester, Mass.) standing on second, Forgione laced a two-run homer to left field to cut into the Warriors' deficit, trimming it down to two runs (6-4)
- 7th & 8th innings – Post's Ben Brown came into the game to close the sixth, and proceeded to hold the Warriors off the scoreboard over the final three innings. The Eagles added two insurance runs – one each in the seventh and eighth frames – to build a four-run advantage and staved off the Navy and Gold
How It Happened (G2)
- 1st inning – With Forgione standing on second base, DiSarcina drove him home to put the Warriors and starting pitcher Anthony Lupi (Dover, N.H.) ahead 1-0
- 2nd inning – After Lupi worked out of a first-inning jam, he could not replicate the feat as a two-run single with the bases juiced allowed the Eagles to take a 2-1 advantage
- 3rd inning – Post's ability to hit the long ball proved fruitful again in the second game, as a solo shot increased the Eagles' lead to two runs through three frames
- T-5th inning – The Warriors offense exploded for a six-run fifth. Forgione led off with a triple and scored on a groundout from redshirt-junior outfielder Tyler Lyne (Agawam, Mass.). DiSarcina followed by reaching base and scored on a two-run homer from junior clean-up hitter Matt Nicholson (Rockland, Mass.). Hoalcraft and sophomore Matthew Ronai (Orange, Mass.) kept the hitting going with consecutive singles, and the Warriors were aided by a Post throwing error to finish the inning ahead by four, 7-3.
- B-5th inning – A two-run home run from the Eagles cut their deficit in half, but senior righty Nate Spielvogel (Brookline, Mass.) entered the game and got two outs to end the sixth without further damage
- 6th inning – Merrimack's offense continued to swing hot sticks in the sixth. Run-scoring plays included a triple from DiSarcina, a single from Nicholson and a double from freshman Thomas Joyce (Newton, Mass.) that made it a 10-5 game. Senior Chris Cimmino (Orange, Conn.), Forgione and DiSarcina knocked it runs after that, as Merrimack batted around, and the Warriors doubled the runs they entered the inning with. The inning turned over to the bottom half with Merrimack ahead, 14-5
- 7th inning – With the finale only set to go seven frames, the Warriors offense tacked on five more runs in the top half. Freshman Michael Mercuri (Lowell, Mass.) made his first-ever pitching appearance in the bottom half to seal the deal for the Navy and Gold
Inside The Numbers
- G1: WP – Kovalewich (1-2) | LP – Browne (0-2)
- G2: WP – Spielvogel (1-0) | LP – Pisaneschi (0-1)
- Spielvogel picked up his first win of the season after a strong two innings of work in the finale. He tossed 25 pitches – 20 of which went for strikes – and retired six of the seven batters he faced, two of which were by strikeouts
- Six of Merrimack's nine hitters in the Warriors' victory posted multi-RBI efforts. Nicholson and DiSarcina knocked in a combined eight of Merrimack's 19 runs scored from the third and fourth spots in Merrimack's order. Petrone knocked in three from the nine hole, while Cimmino produced a 2-for-4 performance with two RBI for his first multi-hit effort of the season
- From the leadoff spot, Forgione got the Warriors offense going in both games. He went 5-for-8 on the day with a team-high six runs scored, while driving in four more. He hit a home run in the first game – his first since he hit two as a sophomore during the 2013-14 season. In the second game, Forgione fell a round-tripper short of the cycle as he reached base three times
- Merrimack set season highs in runs (19) and hits (23). The Warriors have now scored at least 12 runs in all four wins, averaging over 15 runs per game in their victories
Merrimack has a day off tomorrow before the Navy and Gold return to action in Florida on Thursday with a doubleheader against Adelphi University beginning at 11 a.m. in Boca Raton, Fla.