WALTHAM, Mass. – Sophomore Thomas Joyce enjoyed a career day at the dish, hitting 5-for-5 and knocking in four runs to lead the Merrimack College baseball program to a 19-14 victory at Bentley University on Thursday afternoon. Merrimack’s offense dug the Warriors out of an early 7-3 hole, and with the win, they clinched the Northeast Division series against the Falcons with one game remaining next Tuesday. The Navy and Gold have now won 13 of their last 15 games with four straight contests on tap with division-leading Southern New Hampshire starting tomorrow.
Score: Merrimack 19, Bentley 14
Records: Merrimack (21-14, 13-8 NE10, 8-5 NE DIV)
Records: Bentley (17-16, 11-7 NE10, 7-7 NE DIV)
Location: DeFelice Field | Waltham, Mass.
- With Merrimack serving as the home team and batting second, a wild start to the game began in favor of the Warriors. The Navy and Gold plated three runs in the bottom of the first, aided by two errors, a run-scoring fielder’s choice and a bases-loaded hit batsman
- Bentley pounced for seven runs in the top of the second, however, as junior Daniel Amidon ran into trouble. The southpaw walked the first two batters, but struck out the next two to move within an out of ending the frame. The next eight Falcons reached, resulting in a seven-run frame and a four-run lead (7-3) for Bentley
- The Navy and Gold scored twice in the bottom of the second to cut their deficit in half (7-5), only to see Bentley answer with two runs of its own in the top of the third (9-5)
- Merrimack rallied again in the fourth. Four straight hits started the frame, including a RBI single for senior Matt Nicholson and a RBI double for sophomore Thomas Joyce. Junior Cory Wasylow and senior Ricky Smith followed with consecutive sacrifice flies to knot the game at nine-all through four frames
- After senior Anthony Lupi threw 41 pitches to get Merrimack to the fifth inning, junior Trevor Cooley took over and did not allow a run in the fifth and sixth frames. The Randolph, Mass. native stranded the potential go-ahead run at third in the sixth with an inning-ending punchout
- The Warriors regained the lead in the bottom of the sixth, scoring three times. Joyce laced a RBI triple into the left-center field gap to take a 10-9 advantage, and scored on another sacrifice fly by Smith. Merrimack added its 12th run on a strange situation that saw Bentley’s shortstop misfire on a force play at second, allowing Wasylow to score on the play and give the Navy and Gold a 12-9 lead
- A six-run seventh increased Merrimack’s lead to nine runs, 18-9. Joyce and Wasylow hit back-to-back two-run doubles to highlight the inning
Notes and Notables:
- WP: Cooley (2-0) | LP: Johnson (1-1)
- Joyce collected the Warriors’ first five-hit game of the season, and first such occurrence for the program since Cam DiSarcina ’17 last April. The five hits marked a career high and the four RBI registered as a season high
- The Newton, Mass. native set a new career high in doubles (7) and extra-base hits (11) with his production Thursday
- Wasylow has posted three separate four-RBI games over his last six contests, and has knocked in at least one run in the last six
- Five Warriors scored at least two runs, led by four each by Nicholson and junior Matthew Ronai. For the former, it set a new personal best
- The Navy and Gold’s offense tied its season high with 19 runs. Merrimack last scored 20 runs in a game in 2011
- Merrimack now sits in third place in the Northeast Division, holding a half-game lead over fourth-place Assumption
Merrimack plays Southern New Hampshire tomorrow night at 6 p.m. in a non-conference game at the SNHU Baseball Field. The Warriors and Penmen will then meet up for their three-game Northeast Division series this weekend, which Merrimack hosts at Holman Stadium in Nashua, N.H. on Saturday and Sunday.