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Merrimack Baseball Falls Short against Franklin Pierce

DANVERS, Mass.  – Trailing most of Saturday’s game at Saint John’s Preparatory School, the Merrimack College baseball program scored three runs in the bottom of the seventh to even the Warriors’ non-conference duel with Franklin Pierce University, 4-4, only to see the Ravens score twice in the top of the ninth to snatch a 6-4 victory away from the Warriors. It marked the second game in as many days between the Warriors and Ravens that was decided in the ninth inning.

The Basics
Score: 
Franklin Pierce 6, Merrimack 4
Records: Merrimack (6-6) 
| Franklin Pierce (9-6-1)
Location: Saint John’s Prep | Danvers, Mass

Rapid Recap

  • Franklin Pierce scored four times off senior starter Anthony Lupiover the first three innings, chasing the lefty before the end of the third inning. Classmate Joe Westerman replaced Lupi with two outs in the third, ending the frame with a strikeout
  • Merrimack scored its first run in the bottom of the fourth. After two quick outs, graduate student Tyler Lyne singled, stole second and scored on a single by junior Matthew Ronai. The Warriors loaded the bases with two outs, but saw their rally end there
  • Westerman enjoyed three one-two-three innings from the fourth inning on, while escaping a two-on one-out situation in the top of the fifth by recording consecutive strikeouts
  • The bottom of the seventh featured a leadoff walk, a hit batsman and a single over three of the first four at-bats for the Warriors. Senior Mike Hoalcraft knocked in the first run of the inning with a one-run base knock, and Lyne followed with a two-run single that squared the game at 4-4
  • The first three Ravens reached in the top of the ninth to load the bases on Westerman with no outs. The next batter chopped a grounder to sophomore Nick Shumski, who threw out the lead runner at home. The following Raven hit a high-chopper back to the mound, but Westerman’s throw home was bobbled, allowing the go-ahead run to cross home. Merrimack appeared to limit the damage there, but an inning-ending double play was wiped away when sophomore Thomas Joyce was deemed off the bag on a bang-bang play at first base. The Ravens’ sixth run of the game scored on the play
  • Attempting to muster another two-out rally, the Warriors loaded the bases in the bottom half, but Franklin Pierce’s Ryan Covelle recovered the end the game on a strikeout

Notes and Notables:

  • WP: Covelle (2-2) | LP: Westerman (0-1)
  • Lupi’s Final Line: 2.2 IP, 7 H, 4 R, 4 ER, 1 BB, 2 K
  • Both runs off Westerman came across unearned, as the senior worked 6.1 innings to lower his ERA to 4.79 on the season. The Maynard, Mass. native ranks second on the staff in IP (20.2) and strikeouts (21)
  • Westerman set a new career high for innings pitched on Saturday, and is within five punch outs of a new personal best
  • Lyne continued to swing a hot bat, picking up his fifth multi-hit game during his current six-game hitting streak. The fifth-year outfielder is hitting .444 during the streak with six RBI
  • Ronai led the offense with three hits, while senior Matt Nicholson (2) and sophomore Joey Porricelli (2) also posted multi-hit efforts

Up Next
The Warriors’ next scheduled game is Wednesday at Southern New Hampshire for a non-league date with the Penmen at 3 p.m. in Manchester. Merrimack’s games on Sunday against Stonehill were postponed, and a makeup date has not been announced.

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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