Links: Box Score
MANCHESTER, N.H. – After allowing Saint Anselm to take a 7-4 lead through seven innings on Tuesday afternoon at Sullivan Park, the Merrimack College baseball team scored five runs over its final two at-bats including a four-run eighth inning to secure a 9-7 comeback win over the Hawks in Northeast Division play.
Score: Merrimack 9, Saint Anselm 7
Records: Merrimack (13-12-1, 5-0-1 NE Div.) | Saint Anselm (8-17, 1-4 NE Div.)
Location: Sullivan Park | Manchester, N.H.
Inning By Inning
- Top 3rd – The Warriors opened the scoring after two scoreless frames, loading the bases on three straight singles to start the frame. Redshirt-junior Tyler Lyne (Agawam, Mass.) then was hit by a pitch to bring home senior Paul Buckley (Sagamore Beach, Mass.). Merrimack's sticks were silenced after that, however, as the Warriors could not add more than one in the frame
- Bottom 3rd – Sophomore starter Cam Monagle (Cambridge, Mass.) worked around baserunners in the first three innings, including two in scoring position in the third. Freshman Thomas Joyce (Newton, Mass.) fielded a grounder with one out to eliminate a runner at home for the second out before Monagle ended the inning on a foul out to third baseman Joey Porricelli (Monroe, Conn.)
- Top 4th – Junior Ricky Smith (Weymouth, Mass.) went yard immediately after to stake the Warriors to a 2-0 lead
- Bottom 4th – The Hawks finally pushed runs across in the bottom half off Monagle, capitalizing on a two-run shot to tie the game at 2-2
- Top 5th – Sophomore Matthew Ronai (Orange, Conn.) homered for the second time in four games - his fourth long ball of the season - to get Merrimack the lead back, 3-2
- Top 6th – After Saint Anselm answered again with a homer in the bottom of the fifth to tie things up, senior Aidan O'Leary (Portsmouth, N.H.) – who entered the game as a defensive replacement in the fifth – struck a triple to lead off the sixth and scored on a groundout by Smith to make it 4-3 Warriors
- Bottom 7th – Senior Perry Kulaga (Lincroft, N.J.) entered the game in the top of the seventh for his third straight relief appearance. He ran into trouble, scattering a walk and a double to put runners in scoring position before a three-run homer followed by a solo shot gave the Hawks their first lead, 7-4. Redshirt-sophomore Garrett Hudson (Greenfield, Mass.) relieved Kulaga after the back-to-back round-trippers and ended the inning with a double play
- Top 8th – Merrimack's bats responded swiftly for a four-run inning of their own. O'Leary started the rally with a leadoff single and raced home on a double from Smith. After advancing to third, Smith scored on a wild pitch, and later in the frame Ronai came to bat with graduate student Mike Forgione (North Branford, Conn.) and Lynn in scoring position. The Warriors' cleanup hitter lined a double down the left-field line to score both runners and gave the visitors an 8-7 advantage
- Top 9th – Freshman Michael Mercuri (Lowell, Mass.) pinch hit to start the inning and singled. The rookie then stole second and third to move 90-feet from home plate, and scored on a bunt play executed by Buckley
- Bottom 9th – Hudson returned to the mound and worked a one-two-three ninth to secure the victory
Inside The Numbers
- WP: Hudson (3-2) | LP: Ferris (1-2)
- Smith rounded the bases for the first time as a junior after two home runs as a sophomore. The backstop now has four multi-hit efforts in his last seven games, set career highs on Tuesday in at-bats (56) and hits (14), while tying his personal best with his fourth extra-base hit of the season
- Ronai's fourth homer moved him into a three-way tie for first in the NE10. He moved up to the cleanup spot for the first time in his career and tied Smith for the team high with three RBI
- Hudson tied classmate Anthony Lupi (Dover, N.H.) for the team lead with three wins, all of which have come over his last three appearances. Tuesday marked his first relief effort of the season, and he has now allowed just two runs over his last 16 innings of work
- All seven of Saint Anselm's runs came via the long ball, led by a multi-homer day from No. 3 hitter Nick Bragole (2-5, 4 RBI)
The Warriors play in their home opener tomorrow against Bentley University. First pitch is scheduled for 3:30 p.m. from the Warrior Baseball Diamond.