Links: Box Score
BRIDGEPORT, Conn. – After winning the first two games of its Northeast Conference (NEC) series against Sacred Heart University, the Merrimack College baseball team stumbled in the series finale on Saturday, falling by a 9-6 final score. The Warriors still won the series, and their records stands at 7-11 (4-5 NEC) after the three games.
Graduate student Joey Porricelli enjoyed a strong performance, totaling two hits and two runs scored from the leadoff spot in the order. He hit his team-leading fourth homer of the year, which was of the inside-the-park variety.
Score: Sacred Heart 9, Merrimack 6
Records: Merrimack (7-11, 4-5 NEC) | Sacred Heart (8-16, 5-4 NEC)
Location: Bridgeport, Conn. | Veteran’s Memorial Park
- Merrimack started the day with a bang. Porricelli led off the top of the first with an inside-the-park homer that gave Merrimack a 1-0lead . Sacred Heart answered with a conventional long ball in the bottom half off starter Wyatt Villella to tie the game, 1-1
- Four base hits including a pair of doubles contributed to a three-run bottom of the second for the Pioneers. The Warriors responded by getting one run back in the top of the third. Senior Michael Jamele hit a single and advanced to third on a double by Porricelli. Jamele then ran 90 feet home on a sacrifice fly by sophomore Alex Haba to make it a 4-2 game
- Sacred Heart doubled its output in the bottom of the third. The big hit came with two outs as a three-run homer extended their advantage to 8-2
- Merrimack’s bats kept fighting, scoring twice in the top of the fourth. Graduate student Thomas Joyce knocked in a run for the team’s third of the afternoon. Later in the inning, and with Joyce standing on third with two outs, the Warriors executed a first-and-third play. Junior Michael Golankiewicz stole second, and advanced to third on a throwing error. Joyce scored on the play.
- Sacred Heart scored once in the bottom half, but Merrimack kept plugging away. They manufactured two runs in the top of the fifth following two straight walks to start the inning. With runners in scoring position, Porricelli scored on a passed ball that also advanced Haba to third. Skurbe drove him in on grounder to second, bring the Warriors within three runs (9-6)
- Neither team scored runs over the remainder of the game. Senior Jake Thibault gave Merrimack quality relief, allowing one run over the final five frames. Merrimack’s best chance to continue its comeback came in the eighth, when they had runners on second and third with one out. Sacred Heart escaped the jam, however, and ended the game in the top of the ninth
Top Performers // Notes
- Porricelli’s homer was the 16th of his career. He also extended his hitting streak to seven games
- The third baseman’s career hits total now sits at 222 as he moved into second place on Merrimack’s career hits list
- Senior Thomas Crowley had a two-hit day from the No. 7 spot in Merrimack’s order. He and Porricelli lead the team with five multi-hit games this year
- Saturday with Thibault’s third relief appearance this season of at least three innings while allowing one run or fewer
The Warriors visit the College of Holy Cross for a midweek tilt on Wednesday at 5 p.m. in Worcester, Mass.