Links: Box Score
NORTH ANDOVER, Mass. – Sophomore Cam Monagle (Cambridge, Mass.) threw eight shutout innings on Monday afternoon, pitching into the ninth inning of baseball's series-clinching 5-1 victory against Bentley University from the Warrior Baseball Diamond. With the win, Merrimack ensured it will be playing for the Northeast Division title this weekend when the Warriors travel to Southern New Hampshire.
Score: Merrimack 5, Bentley 1
Records: Merrimack (23-17, 15-3 NE10 NE) | Bentley (9-27, 7-10 NE10 NE)
Location: Warrior Baseball Diamond | North Andover, Mass.
NE10 Postseason Outlook:
The top-four teams in the Northeast Division advance to the NE10 Championship First Round, which will be held on Tuesday, May 9. The top seed hosts the fourth seed, and the second hosts the third, with the two victors advancing to NE10 Championship Weekend. The highest remaining seed from the Southwest Division will host championship weekend, which begins on Thursday, May 11.
1.) Southern New Hampshire – 16-1
2.) Merrimack – 15-3
3.) Franklin Pierce – 14-4
4.) Stonehill – 9-11
5.) Bentley – 7-10
6.) Assumption – 6-12
7.) Saint Michael's – 3-15
8.) Saint Anselm – 3-17
Inning By Inning
- Bottom 1st – With two outs, senior Cam DiSarcina (Shirley, Mass.) was hit by a pitch, which led to Merrimack's first run. Junior Matt Nicholson (Rockland, Mass.) hit a broken-bat single up the middle to advance DiSarcina to second, who then scored on a RBI double from sophomore Matthew Ronai (Orange, Conn.)
- Top 4th – Already with five strikeouts through three innings, Monagle got help for his second baseman as senior Paul Buckley (Sagamore Beach, Mass.) started the fourth with a sliding play at second. Monagle ended the inning with his sixth punch out
- Bottom 4th – Three singles led to Merrimack's second run, as junior catcher Ricky Smith (Weymouth, Mass.) lined one into center field that plated Ronai from third
- Bottom 5th – DiSarcina doubled Merrimack's advantage in the fifth with a two-run single up the middle, scoring redshirt-junior Tyler Lyne (Agawam, Mass.) and freshman Joey Porricelli (Monroe, Conn.)
- Top 8th – Bentley's second batter of the inning struck out, but reached because the third strike went to the backstop. Standing on second with two outs, the baserunner scored on a throwing error by the Warriors to make it a 4-1 game. Monagle loaded the bases and fell down 3-0 to Bentley's No. 9 hitter, but the sophomore worked the count full and ended the inning on a fly out to center
- Bottom 8th – Ronai lined his third hit of the day into left field for a double, and scored on Smith's second run-scoring single of the contest. Merrimack took a 5-1 lead into the ninth
- Top 9th – Monagle allowed two straight hits and gave way to senior Matt DiNello (Southington, Conn.). The team captain induced a chopper to second for a double play that eliminated one Falcon and left a runner at third base. The next batter grounded to shortstop, ending the game
Notes and Notables
- WP: Monagle (2-0) | LP: Hill (0-2)
- Monagle not only improved his ERA to 1.33 on the year through 40.2 innings of work, but he now leads the Northeast-10 Conference by allowing just six earned runs this season over 11 outings
- His final line included eight-plus innings, striking out nine Falcons. He matched his season high in both IP in K's, which occurred during his start in March against AIC
- Ronai's three-hit day moved the second-year DH into a tie for second in the NE10 with 57 hits on the season. He leads the Warriors and ranks third in the conference with a .373 average
- Smith's career offensive season continued with another multi-hit, multi-RBI performance. He's already set career highs in hits (29), RBI (16) and runs (12), and is on pace for a career-best slash line of .309/.371/.394
- With 15 divisional wins and 17 NE10 wins overall, the Warriors boast their most conference victories since 14 NE10 triumphs in 2010
- Merrimack has won all but one of its divisional series entering its final three-gamer against SNHU
The Warriors host Assumption College tomorrow afternoon in non-conference play, which marks the regular-season finale for the Navy and Gold. First pitch from the Warrior Baseball Diamond is set for 3:30 p.m.