MANCHESTER, N.H. – The Merrimack College baseball team rallied from a 4-0 first-inning deficit in game one on Saturday afternoon to tie the fourth-ranked Southern New Hampshire Penmen, but fell by a 5-4 decision before dropping the nightcap as the Warriors finished the regular season in Manchester, N.H. with a twinbill against the regular-season champions in the Northeast Division.
Score (G1): #4 SNHU 5, Merrimack 4
Score (G2): #4 SNHU 17, Merrimack 3
Records: Merrimack (23-20, 15-6 NE10 NE) | #4 SNHU (39-7, 20-1 NE10 NE)
Location: Sullivan Park | Manchester, N.H.
NE10 Postseason Outlook:
The top-four teams in the Northeast Division advance to the NE10 Championship First Round, which will be held on Tuesday. 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.
Merrimack Scenarios: Merrimack will travel to Franklin Pierce on Tuesday to play the Ravens in the NE10 First Round from Pappas Field in Rindge, N.H.
1.) Southern New Hampshire – 18-1
2.) Franklin Pierce – 16-5
3.) Merrimack – 15-6
4.) Bentley – 9-11
5.) Stonehill – 9-12
6.) Assumption – 7-13
7.) Saint Michael's – 4-17
8.) Saint Anselm – 3-18
Inning By Inning (G1)
- Bottom 1st – Redshirt-sophomore Garrett Hudson (Greenfield, Mass.) started for the Warriors and ran into trouble immediately. The Penmen loaded the bases and Caleb Potter cleared them with a first-inning grand slam
- Top 4th – The Warriors started to chip away in the fourth. With two outs, senior Cam DiSarcina (Shirley, Mass.) reached base to bring junior Matt Nicholson (Rockland, Mass.) to the plate. The Navy and Gold's cleanup hitter drove a two-strike pitch out of Penmen Field to cut the Warriors' deficit in half
- Bottom 4th – Hudson gave way to senior reliever Nate Spielvogel (Brookline, Mass.) after getting one out in the fourth. Merrimack's top bullpen arm got out of the frame after entering a game at the earliest point of any of his prior appearances this season
- Top 6th – The Warriors tied the game in the sixth. With the bases loaded, redshirt-junior Tyler Lyne (Agawam, Mass.) raced home on a wild pitch to pull Merrimack within one. Two batters later and on the ninth pitch of the at-bat, junior Ricky Smith (Weymouth, Mass.) hit a single that scored freshman Joey Porricelli (Monroe, Conn.) and made it 4-4
- Bottom 8th – Spielvogel ended the eighth with his seventh and eighth punch outs of the outing, but not before the Penmen hit a go-ahead homer to take a 5-4 lead, which proved to be the game-winning run
Inning By Inning (G2)
- Top 1st – The Warriors jumped out to a 1-0 lead on a run-scoring single from senior Aidan O'Leary (Portsmouth, N.H.)
- Bottom 1st – SNHU's Derek Bauer jumped on a 2-1 offering from redshirt-freshman starter Tucker Lord (Cromwell, Conn.) to turn the game in favor of the Penmen, 3-1
- Top 2nd – Merrimack loaded the bases on three singles with one out in the frame, but could not push across any runs
- Bottom 2nd – The Penmen blew the game open in the bottom have with two more three-run homers to take a 9-1 lead in the game. Ryan Sullivan – who finished the night with a pair of homers – and Joshua Zbierski accounted for the long balls in the frame
- Top 9th – Merrimack added on two runs in its final at-bat on a double from DiSarcina and a run-scoring groundout off the bat of freshman Ethan Sprague (Leominster, Mass.)
Game 1 Notes
- G1: WP – Fortuna (3-0) | LP – Spielvogel (2-1)
- Spielvogel nearly brought his scoreless-inning streak to 20 before conceding the one run in the eighth. Throwing in his 14th game of the season, Merrimack's closer missed out on a season high in K's by one (8), increasing his K/9 rate to 15.49 on the year, which is on pace to be a career best
- Nicholson's round-tripper brought his team-leading total to six, which ties his career high set as a sophomore. He now has 13 career jacks, the sixth-most in program history
- Merrimack's top-four hitters combined for five of the Navy and Gold's six hits, including a two-hit game for DiSarcina
Game 2 Notes
- G2: WP – Lalonde (5-1) | LP – Lord (3-3)
- Merrimack's pitchers finished the day with 12 strikeouts, one more than the staff from the Penmen
- Freshman Stephen Fleury (Wilbraham, Mass.) tossed a scoreless eighth inning, striking out the side as he continued to add solid outings to his rookie season
- The Penmen slammed five homers on the day, catapulting their offensive explosion. Sullivan lead the attack with a pair of round-trippers and five RBI
Merrimack will be the third seed out of the Northeast Division and will travel to Rindge, N.H. on Tuesday for an opening round game against the Ravens in the NE10 Championship.