PLEASANTVILLE, N.Y. – Senior lefty PJ Browne threw his second consecutive complete game to break the Merrimack College baseball program’s career innings pitched record, graduate student Tyler Lyne set new program marks in career triples and runs scored, but the sixth-seeded Warriors dropped their first game of the 2018 NCAA East Regional, 3-2, Thursday vs. third-seeded Le Moyne. The contest marked the program’s first NCAA Tournament game in 19 years and just the ninth overall.
Score: Le Moyne 3, Merrimack 2
Records: Merrimack (31-20) | Le Moyne (34-15-1)
Location: Finnerty Field | Pleasantville, N.Y.
East Regional Championship (double elimination)
Thursday, May 17, 2018 | at Finnerty Field (Pleasantville, N.Y.)
Game 1: No. 3 Le Moyne (34-15-1) def. No. 6 Merrimack (31-20) | 3-2
Game 2: No. 2 St. Thomas Aquinas (36-13) vs. No. 7 Wilmington (Del.) (33-19) | 3:00 p.m.
Game 3: No. 4 Southern New Hampshire (35-15) vs. No. 5 Franklin Pierce (32-13)
Friday, May 18, 2018 | at Finnerty Field (Pleasantville, N.Y.)
Game 4 No. 6 Merrimack vs. Loser Game 2 | 11:00 a.m. | Elimination Game
Game 5: No. 1 New Haven (37-10) vs. Winner Game 3 | 3:00 p.m.
Game 6: Winner Game 1 vs. Winner Game 2 | 7:00 p.m.
Saturday, May 19, 2018 | at Finnerty Field (Pleasantville, N.Y.)
Game 7: Winner Game 4 vs. Loser Game 5 | 11:00 a.m. | Elimination Game
Game 8: Loser Game 3 vs. Loser Game 6 | 3:00 p.m. | Elimination Game
Game 9: Winner Game 5 vs. Winner Game 6 | 7:00 p.m.
Sunday, May 20, 2018 | at Finnerty Field (Pleasantville, N.Y.)
Game 10: Winner Game 7 vs. Winner Game 8 | 12:00 p.m. | Elimination Game
Game 11: Winner Game 10 vs. Loser Game 9 | 4:00 p.m. | Elimination Game
Monday, May 21, 2018 | at Finnerty Field (Pleasantville, N.Y.)
Game 12: Winner Game 9 vs. Winner Game 11 | 12:00 p.m.
Game 13 (if necessary): Winner Game 9 vs. Winner Game 11 | 4:00 p.m.
- After Browne kept Le Moyne off the board through two innings, Merrimack took a lead in the third. Sophomore Joey Porricelli reached on a walk, advanced to third on a two-base throwing error and scored on a RBI single by Lyne
- Le Moyne responded by scoring all three of its runs in the bottom half. Four singles and a walk resulted in the scoring in the frame. The score sat at 1-1 with the bases loaded and one out, but a pop up to junior Anthony Garbarino at second base nearly allowed Browne to escape the frame. The following hitter, however, lined a two-run single to center that made it a 3-1 contest
- Neither team scored from there until the top of the sixth. Lyne drilled a first-pitch fastball into right center, and legged out a triple. The throw in from the outfield was airmailed and went out of play, which allowed the center fielder to trot home with Merrimack’s second run
- Merrimack’s best chance to tie the game came later in the sixth. Junior Matthew Ronai followed Lyne with a ground-rule double, and reached third on a wild pitch. Two strikeouts and a popup kept Ronai 90 feet from scoring, and the deficit at one run
- Browne threw all eight frames, finishing his outing with eight strikeouts. Le Moyne’s ace Josiah Gray retired the final nine Warriors he faced to claim the victory
- WP: Gray (11-0) | LP: Browne (4-3)
- Browne’s Final Line (L): 8.0 IP, 7 H, 3 R, 3 ER, 8 K, 4 BB
- Lyne went 2-for-4 at the dish, and is not hitting 17-of-24 in postseason play (including the NE10 Championship). Ronai was the only other Warrior to collect a hit
- Browne threw his second complete game of the year, moving into a tie for the team lead. He struck out at least eight batters for the fifth time this season
NCAA Regional History:
- The Warriors played in the regional portion of the NCAA Tournament for the fourth time in program history, joining the 1990, 1996 and 1999 campaigns
- Merrimack has now played in nine games over its four tournament appearances, owning a 2-7 all-time record
- It marked the Warriors and Dolphins first-ever meeting in the NCAA Tournament
- Lyne broke a pair of program records on the same play. His sixth-inning triple marked the 15th of his career – setting a new program mark – while the run he scored on the errant throw was the 142nd of his career, making him the program’s new leader in runs scored
- Already the strikeouts and wins leader in school history, by recording one out in the fourth inning, Browne became Merrimack’s all-time leader in innings thrown. The Rutland, Mass. native now has 256.1 career IP
- Browne also owns a new single-season best in punch outs, recording 83 this season. He has tied the second most punch outs in a single year, as well
The Warriors will face either second-seeded Saint Thomas Aquinas or seventh-seeded Wilmington in an elimination game on Friday morning at 11 a.m.