WORCESTER, Mass. – Junior lefthander PJ Browne (Rutland, Mass.) recorded his third career complete game, throwing a nine-inning shutout on Wednesday afternoon to lead the Merrimack College baseball program to a 3-0 victory over the Assumption College Greyhounds from Rocheleau Field. Sophomore designated hitter Matthew Ronai(Orange, Conn.) collected four of the Warriors’ 12 wins as Merrimack downed Assumption for the second time this season, winning the season series.
Score: Merrimack 3, Assumption 0
Records: Merrimack (15-14-1, 7-2-1 NE Div.) | Assumption (12-19, 3-7 NE Div.)
Location: Rocheleau Field | Worcester, Mass.
Inning By Inning
- Top 2nd – Facing one out, Ronai and junior Ricky Smith (Weymouth, Mass.) hit back-to-back singles to put two baserunners on. Senior Paul Buckley (Sagamore Beach, Mass.), the next batter, hit a lined shot to first base, but it was snagged and Smith was doubled off at first base to end the inning
- Top 3rd – Graduate student Mike Forgione (North Branford, Conn.) drew a one-out walk, worked his way to third on a stolen base and a wild pitch before scoring on a two-out double from freshman Joey Porricelli (Monroe, Conn.) to give the Warriors a 1-0 lead
- Bottom 4th – Browne allowed four baserunners through four frames, but did not allow a run. He tossed a one-two-three fourth, ending the inning on his third punch out of the day
- Top 6th – Merrimack executed with two outs again the sixth. Ronai struck a leadoff double and advanced to third on the second out of the frame. Freshman Michael Mercuri(Lowell, Mass.) continued to swing a hot bat with a single up to middle to score Ronai, doubling Merrimack’s advantage
- Bottom 7th – With two on and one out, Browne shut down Assumption’s attempt at a rally with a strikeout and a chopper back to mound to keep it a 2-0 game
- Top 8th – Ronai once again led an inning off with a hit, and reached third base following another single from Smith. Unlike the second inning, Buckley drove in a run with a sharp single to center that allowed Ronai to score his second run of the game. The Greyhounds limited the damage there, however, collecting three straight outs to keep their deficit at 3-0
- Bottom 9th – Browne completed the shutout by striking out the final two batters he faced – both looking – to clinch the series victory for the Warriors over the Greyhounds
Inside The Numbers
- WP: Browne (2-2) | LP: Chudoba (2-4)
- Even though it marked his third-ever complete game, Wednesday marked the first time in Browne’s career that he tossed a full nine innings. The third-year southpaw lowered his ERA from 5.14 going into the game to 3.89 after the outing
- Browne’s career punch-out total rose to 172 after six strikeouts on Wednesday. The total brings the Rutland native within 16 K’s of moving into third place all-time at Merrimack
- In a breakout offensive season, Ronai accomplished his first-ever four-hit outing against Assumption. It increased his team-leading average to .366 – which is now the eight-highest in the NE10 – and his two runs scored brought him to 22 on the year, setting a new career high
- Porricelli increased his hitting streak to 17 games and has only gone hitless in contest this season, which happened to be his career debut
- Hitting behind Ronai in the order, Smith collected three hits – all of which were singles. It marked his sixth multi-hit game over his last nine starts, during which he’s hitting .409
The Navy and Gold return to campus tomorrow to host Post University at 3:30 p.m. from the Warrior Baseball Diamond.