Merrimack splits a baseball double-header in Myrtle Beach


MYRTLE BEACH, S.C. – After starting Saturday with a two-run loss against the University of Bridgeport, the Merrimack College baseball team recovered to win the second game of its doubleheader, 4-3, against Dominican College. The Warriors wrap up play at the Northeast Challenge from The Ripken Experience in Myrtle Beach, S.C. tomorrow morning at 9 a.m. against Mercy College.

The Basics
Score (G1): 
Bridgeport 5, Merrimack 3
Score (G2): Merrimack 4, Dominican 3
Records: Merrimack (2-4) | Bridgeport (1-2) | Dominican (0-3)
Location: Myrtle Beach, S.C.

Rapid Recap (Bridgeport):

  • Freshman Vin Zappulla started his first collegiate game against the Purple Knights, and surrendered one run in the bottom of the second. Senior Matt Nicholson immediately responded, drilling a solo homer in the top of the third to even the score
  • Holding a 2-1 lead entering the bottom of the fifth, the Purple Knights plated a pair via two sacrifice flies to open a 4-1 advantage. Sophomore Thomas Joyce hit his first long ball of the season to answer, however, making it a 4-2 game through the top of the sixth
  • Zappulla worked the first six innings, striking out four and was replaced by sophomore Stephen Fleury. The Purple Knights pushed across one run off the righty, building their lead back to three
  • Nicholson drove in sophomore Connor Suech in the ninth to pull Merrimack within two and bring the go-ahead run to the plate, but Bridgeport recovered to shut the door and claim a 5-3 win

Rapid Recap (Dominican):

  • After a clean couple innings for senior starter Joe Westerman, the Warriors got on the board in the bottom of the second. Junior Cory Wasylowtripledand promptly scored on a sac fly from junior William Keegan to get Merrimack on the board, 1-0
  • Wasylow stepped up again in the third, driving in a pair on a double to open a 3-0 lead. In the top of the fourth, the Chargers scored once, but Westerman escaped a bases-loaded jam by inducing a one-six-three inning-ending double play
  • Westerman limited Dominican to one run over the rest of his outing, departing after 6.1 innings of work. Junior Trevor Cooley entered the game, but allowed an inherited runner to score, tying the game at three through seven frames
  • The game swung back in Merrimack’s favor in the bottom of the seventh, when sophomore Joey Porricelli scored on a groundout to make it 4-3
  • Cooley tossed a scoreless ninth, and redshirt-junior Garrett Hudson made his debut as Merrimack’s new closer in the ninth. He worked around a leadoff hit-by-pitch to strikeout the side and secure the one-run win for the Navy and Gold

Notes and Notables:

  • Game 1: WP – Oswald (1-0) | LP – Zappulla (1-1)
  • Zappulla’s final line: 6.0 IP, 6 H, 4 R, 4 ER, 1 BB, 4 K
  • Nicholson drilled his team- and NE10-leading third homer of the season. He now has 16 in his career
  • Joyce’s round-tripper was Merrimack’s fifth of the season, which ranks second in the NE10
  • Game 2: WP – Cooley (1-0) | LP – Farrarese (0-1) | S – Hudson (1)
  • Westerman’s final line: 6.1 IP, 6 H, 3 R, 3 ER, 2 BB, 4 K
  • Cooley registered his first career victory on the pen. In three appearances, the junior has yet to allow an earned run, while opponents are hitting just .111 against him
  • A converted starter, Hudson enjoyed a fine debut as the anchor of Merrimack’s bullpen by recording his first-ever save. His three punch outs are already the third most among Merrimack’s bullpen arms
  • Before leaving the game in the fourth inning, Wasylow was 2-for-2 with a pair of extra-base hits. The leftfielder is Merrimack’s leading hitter, posting a .389 average in 18 at-bats this year

Up Next
The Warriors conclude play in Myrtle Beach tomorrow morning when Merrimack faces Mercy College at 9 a.m.

About Mike McMahon

Mike McMahon is in his 13th 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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