Links: Box Score (AIC)
LANTANA, Fla. – The Merrimack College baseball team began the day by suffering a 5-1 loss to the Southern Connecticut State University Owls, but rebounded to defeat the American International Yellow Jackets, 10-6, in a regional doubleheader from the Santaluces Athletic Complex in Lantana, Fla. Senior southpaw Joe Velozo (Tewksbury, Mass.) started and earned his first win of the season, while sophomore Cam Monagle (Cambridge, Mass.) recorded his first-career save, striking out seven of the 13 batters he faced.
Score (G1): Southern Conn. 5, Merrimack 1
Score (G2): Merrimack 10, AIC 6
Records: Merrimack (5-9) | Southern Conn. (10-4-1) | AIC (3-9)
Location: Santaluces Athletic Complex | Lantana, Fla.
How It Happened (G1)
- 1st inning – Junior southpaw Anthony Lupi (Dover, N.H.) took the ball on three days rest and erased a leadoff walk on a double play after right fielder Matt Nicholson (Rockland, Mass.) gunned out the runner at first after catching a fly ball. A walk and two straight base hits, however, allowed the Owls to take a 1-0 lead after the first inning
- 2nd inning – The Owls added another run after a fielding error by the Warriors allowed the Owls to double their advantage. In the bottom half and for the second straight frame, the Warriors had a man reach third base, but could not score
- 3rd inning – The Warriors had runners at the corners in the third with the middle of their order coming up, but Merrimack could not convert as the Owls' ace Cole Bryant worked his way out of the jam
- 4th inning – Lupi benefitted from his third double play through four innings, as senior Cam DiSarcina (Shirley, Mass.) snagged a line drive and doubled up the Owls' runner at first. In the bottom half, sophomore Matthew Ronai (Orange, Conn.) was 90 feet from scoring with only one out, but Merrimack's bats could not get him home. Southern led 2-0 through four innings
- 7th inning – The Warriors finally converted in the seventh. Senior Ryan Petrone (Leicester, Mass.) slapped a one-out single, stole second base and came home on a single from graduate shortstop Mike Forgione (North Branford, Conn.). The Warriors faced a 2-1 deficit entering the top of the eighth
- 8th inning – With one out in the eighth, classmate PJ Browne (Rutland, Mass.) replaced Lupi and recorded a two-out strikeout to get out of the frame unscathed.
- 9th inning – Browne got into trouble in the top half, loading the bases before senior Nate Spielvogel (Brookline, Mass.) was called in from the bullpen. Spielvogel allowed a single to the first batter he faced, scoring two Owls, and a sacrifice fly added one more insurance tally for the away team. Junior Ricky Smith (Weymouth, Mass.) and freshman Thomas Joyce (Newton, Mass.) reached base to start the bottom half for the Navy and Gold, but the rally was quickly silenced by a double-play ball and a fly out to end the game
How It Happened (G2)
- 1st inning – Playing as the away team, Merrimack put up three runs in the top of the first. With redshirt-junior Tyler Lyne (Agawam, Mass.) standing on second base, DiSarcina slapped a single to the opposite field to score the first run. DiSarcina crossed home on a wild pitch and junior Mike Hoalcraft (Fayetteville, N.Y.) added a run-scoring base hit to complete the scoring. Velozo made his first start of the season and relented two runs from the Yellow Jackets in the bottom half
- 2nd inning – Joyce started the second with a double, advanced to third on a wild pitch and scored on a sacrifice fly by Petrone to score Merrimack's fourth run. With two runners on, DiSarcina knocked in another run with a double of his own to make it a 5-2 game, and a RBI groundout for Nicholson made it a 6-2 contest as Merrimack returned to the field. In bottom half, Velozo worked around two baserunners and senior catcher Chris Cimmino (Orange, Conn.) stopped a ball in the dirt and ended the frame by tagging a Yellow Jacket attempting to swipe home
- 3rd inning – Joyce continued the hot start to his rookie season with a solo homer, his third of the season to increase the Warriors' lead to five runs. In the bottom half, Velozo recorded a one-two-three inning to get Merrimack back to the sticks
- 4th inning – With two outs, three straight singles from Nicholson, Hoalcraft and Ronai combined to score Merrimack's eighth run, with Nicholson crossing the plate and Ronai collecting the RBI. The Yellow Jackets, however, loaded the bases during their at-bats and chipped away at the deficit, scoring twice to make it an 8-4 game
- 6th inning – Velozo could not get out of the sixth, and departed in favor of Monagle who minimized the damage and got Merrimack back to its dugout with an 8-6 lead
- 7th inning – Cimmino, Joyce and Forgione all reached base in the top half, and Lyne drove Cimmino in from third to increase the Warriors lead back to three, 9-6. Monagle returned to the hill and struck out the side to usher on the eighth frame
- 9th inning – The Warriors added one more to reach 10 runs on another RBI for Lyne, and took a four-run lead into the bottom half. Monagle took the mound one more time and concluded an impressive relief appearance by working a clean final inning and ensured a Merrimack win, 10-6
Inside The Numbers
- G1: WP – Bryant (4-0) | LP – Lupi (1-1)
- G2: WP – Velozo (1-0) | LP – Simcock (0-1) | S – Monagle (1)
- Velozo's victory marked his first since his all-rookie campaign as a freshman. He tossed 5.1 innings, allowed five earned runs and struck out four Yellow Jackets. The four punch outs marked a new personal best for the fourth-year lefty
- For the second time in three days, Monagle worked 3.2 innings and collected his second scoreless appearance of the season. He picked up his first-ever save by striking out a career-high seven batters, doubling his season total in Ks over one outing
- Merrimack's offense pounded out 16 hits, with six hitters overall notching multi-hit efforts including a team-high three base knocks from Hoalcraft. Joyce scored a team-high three runs while Lyne lead the Warriors by reaching base on four occasions, drawing a pair of walks
- The Warriors have now scored at least 10 runs in all five wins this season, scoring 72 total runs in their victories this season
The Warriors wrap up their week in the Sunshine State tomorrow with another tilt against the Owls, set for 11 a.m. at the Lynn University Baseball Field in Boca Raton, Fla.