Links: Box Score
GREENVILLE, S.C. – The Merrimack College baseball team used a four-run eighth inning to force extra innings on Friday evening, and eventually topped Michigan State University, 9-6, from Fluor in South Carolina. The victory marked the program’s first ever against a Big Ten opponent and first by a Northeast Conference (NEC) institution since Bryant University in 2018.
The four runs in the eighth erased a 6-2 deficit. Merrimack scored runs on a RBI single, RBI walk, sacrifice fly and a run-scoring fielder’s choice. In the 11th inning, freshman Alex Haba led the frame off with a triple, senior Joey Porricelli was intentionally walked and senior Nick Shumski hit a two-run double to score both of his teammates. Sophomore LT Pare entered the game in the bottom half, throwing a perfect inning with two strikeouts to record the save and clinch the win.
Score: Merrimack 9, Michigan State 6
Records: Merrimack (3-2) | Michigan State (4-1)
Location: Fluor Field | Greenville, S.C.
- Merrimack took a 1-0 lead in the top of the third. Junior Michael Jamele hit a leadoff single, and stood on third two batters later after a single followed by a fielder’s choice. The Warriors opted to play small ball with Shumski bunting back to the pitcher that enabled Jamele to scamper home
- Sophomore starter Timmy Kalantzakos threw three scoreless innings before running into trouble, allowed two Spartans each to score in the fourth and fifth frames. Senior Thomas Joyce got one run back in the top of the sixth, hitting his first home of the season to account for Merrimack’s second run
- Graduate student Daniel Amidon relived Kalantzakos in the sixth, but also gave up a pair of runs to create the 6-2 scenario
- That score held until the top of the eighth, when Merrimack pounced. Shumski and Joyce were standing in scoring position with no one out when sophomore Kurtis Stadnicki hit a RBI single to make it a 6-3. Graduate student Billy Keegan drew a bases-loaded walk to make it a 6-4 game, while classmate Cory Waslyow and Jamele recorded the other two RBI to tie the game
- Junior reliever Jake Thibault was crucial to Merrimack’s comeback, throwing a one-two-three ninth inning before escaping a two-one-with-one-out situation in the bottom of the 10th. Shumski’s extra-base hit was the crucial base knock of the game, while he came around to score with two outs after a throwing error by the Michigan State shortstop allowed him to touch home for Merrimack’s ninth run
Top Performers // Notes
- WP: Thibault (1-1) | LP: Sleeman (1-1) | S: Pare (2)
- Four Warriors finished with multi-hit games led by Shumski’s three-hit performance. Stadnicki, Haba and Jamele all had two hits apice
- Four of Merrimack’s 12 base knocks went for extra bases. Each team had 12 hits on the day
- Thibault won the third games of his career, making his 14th appearance out of the bullpen
- Of Merrimack’s new Division I programs, the baseball team joined the men’s basketball with wins over Big Ten foes this season
The Warriors and Spartans reunite at Fluor Field for a doubleheader tomorrow afternoon. First pitch of game one is set for 1 p.m.