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Merrimack Baseball Completes Three-Game Sweep of Molloy

UNIONDALE, N.Y. – Senior Matt Nicholson forced extra innings with his seventh-inning double, senior Ricky Smith knocked in what proved to be the game-winning run in the top of the eighth, and the Merrimack College baseball program swept its weekend series at Molloy with a pair of victories on Sunday from Mitchell Field. The Navy and Gold won by eight, 10-2, in their first game of the doubleheader before rallying for an extra-inning victory, 7-5, in the nightcap. The Warriors have now won five consecutive games after starting the season 1-4.

The Basics
Score (G1): Merrimack
 10, Molloy 2
Score (G2): Merrimack 7, Molloy 5
Records: Merrimack (6-4) | Molloy (3-7)
Location: Mitchel Field x`Athletic Complex | Uniondale, N.Y.

Rapid Recap (Game 1):

  • Molloy plated two runs in the bottom of the first off senior captain Anthony Lupi, but Merrimack backed its senior starter by scoring five times over the next two frames. Sophomore Joey Porricelli and Nicholson continued to lead the offense, with each player knocking in runs with extra-base hits
  • Graduate student Tyler Lyne chased Molloy’s starter in the fourth with a ground-rule double that plated two Warriors. Merrimack added one more on a wild pitch, and held an 8-2 lead entering the bottom of the fourth
  • Lupi worked out of a bases-loaded jam with a strikeout in the bottom of the fourth, which marked the end of his outing. Sophomore Stephen Fleuryreplaced Lupi, eluding damage in the fifth by escaping a two-on, one-out situation unscathed
  • Junior Trevor Cooley and freshman Timmy Kalantzakos each threw scoreless innings of relief in the sixth and seventh to complete the eight-run win

Rapid Recap (Game 2):

  • Merrimack struck first on a RBI single for Nicholson, but Molloy used a two-run single off senior righty Joe Westerman  to take a 2-1 advantage after two frames
  • Facing a 3-1 deficit, the Warriors tied the game in the top of the fourth. With two on and two out, sophomore Nick Shumski hit a grounder to third that was thrown away, allowing the game-tying runs to cross the plate
  • Senior Mike Hoalcraft notched a two-out single in the top of the fifth to put Merrimack ahead, 4-3. A pair of errors gave Molloy the game-tying run in the bottom half, however, but a double play started by Shumski ended the fifth with the score tied at four-all
  • Junior Cam Monagle replaced Westerman in the sixth, and allowed a leadoff hit that resulted in the go-ahead run. Lyne and Nicholson picked up their junior teammate, combining for the two-out rally that tied the game in the seventh. The former singled and stole second, while the latter smacked a ground-rule double to plate the Warriors’ fifth run of the day
  • Smith drove in junior Matthew Ronai to start the eighth inning, getting the visitors the lead back. Merrimack’s seventh run came across via a fielder’s choice, giving redshirt-junior closer Garrett Hudson a two-run lead to work with. The closer worked around two walks to pick up his second save of the year in as many chances

Notes and Notables:

  • Game 1: WP – Lupi (1-1) | LP – Catinella (0-2)
  • Lupi’s Final Line: 4.0 IP, 2 R, 2 ER, 6 BB, 5 K
  • Lyne drove in a season-high three runs from the No. 3 hole after entering the day with two RBI on the year. Sophomore Thomas Joyce led the team with three base knocks
  • Five Warriors posted multi-hit efforts, including the first career two-hit game for sophomore Connor Suech. The Atkinson, N.H. native also struck his first-ever double that resulted in Merrimack’s 10th run
  • Game 2: WP – Zappulla (2-1) | LP – Murphy (0-1) | S – Hudson (2)
  • Westerman’s Final Line: 5.0 IP, 4 R, 3 ER, 6 H, 2 BB, 5 K
  • Nicholson went 3-of-4 at the dish from the cleanup spot, knocking in two runs and scoring one more. The slugger emerged from the weekend leading the team in average (.432), hits (16), homers (4), RBI (14) and OPS (1.338)
  • Four of Smith’s seven hits this season have been doubles, which is tied for second-most on the team

Up Next
The Warriors will not play again until next Tuesday, when Merrimack plays its first home game of the season at Trinity Stadium in Haverhill, Mass. against Assumption. First pitch of the non-league tilt is scheduled for 3:30 p.m.

Mike McMahon is in his 12th year covering Merrimack College for The Eagle Tribune and is the founder and managing editor of The Mack Report. Mike also serves on staff as a senior writer at College Hockey News. Follow him on Twitter @MikeMcMahonCHN

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