Merrimack advances past Bentley in NE10 baseball tournament

photo: James Stankiewicz/Merrimack

WALTHAM, Mass.  – The Merrimack College baseball program used a four-run sixth inning aided by the eighth home run of the season for junior Joey Porricelli to break a 2-2 deadlock, and then held on late to record a 6-5 victory at Bentley University, defeating the Falcons in the opening round of the Northeast-10 Conference Championship. The third-seeded Warriors out of the Northeast Division advanced to double-elimination portion of the tournament with the win, and will face Southern Connecticut State on Thursday. Le Moyne College will host the remainder of the tournament at Onondaga Community College’s Baseball Complex, with Merrimack and SCSU taking the field at 10 a.m. to begin Thursday’s action.

Senior Cam Monagle took the ball for the fourth time in as many games this season against Bentley, and worked into the ninth inning for the third time in four starts against the Falcons. Classmate Trevor Cooley relieved Monagle after a leadoff hit to begin the ninth, and was the victim of some well-placed base hits by Bentley that allowed the hosts to creep back in the game. The righty reliever ended things on a lineout to first, however, giving the Warriors the one-run triumph

The Basics
Score: Merrimack
 6, Bentley 5
Records: Merrimack (26-18) | Bentley (21-21)
Location: DeFelice Field | Waltham, Mass.

2019 NE10 Championship Schedule
Tuesday, May 7th – First Round (single elimination)
Game 1:  #4 SW Southern Connecticut def. #1 SW Adelphi, 9-6
Game 2:  #3 SW Le Moyne def. #2 SW Pace, 2-1
Game 3:  #4 NE Franklin Pierce def. #1 NE SNHU, 3-2
Game 4:  #3 NE Merrimack def. #2 NE Bentley, 6-5

Thursday, May 9th – Championship Weekend (double elimination)
All Games to be played at Onondaga Community College’s Baseball Complex  

Game 5:  #4 SW Southern Connecticut vs. #3 NE Merrimack (10:00 AM)
Game 6:  #3 SW Le Moyne vs. #4 NE Franklin Pierce (1:30 PM)
Game 7:  Game 5 loser vs. Game 6 loser (5:00 PM)

Friday, May 10th – Saturday, May 11th
All Games to be played at Onondaga Community College’s Baseball Complex  

Game 8:  Game 5 winner vs. Game 6 winner
Game 9:  Game 7 winner vs. Game 8 loser
Game 10:  Game 9 winner vs. Game 8 winner
Game 11:  If necessary

Rapid Recap

  • After scoring twice off Monagle over 26 previous innings, Bentley’s bats scored immediately in the bottom of the first. Three of the first four batters of the game singled, resulting in a single run for the Falcons. Monagle stranded a runner at second with a strikeout to end the inning, keeping the score at 1-0
  • Merrimack nearly scored in the top of the second, recording three straight two-out singles. The last base hit, however, resulted in Bentley throwing out freshman Kurtis Stadnicki trying to score from second. The Warriors were able to tie things up one inning later, however, as freshman Michael Golankiewicz dropped down a two-out bunt with runners in scoring position. Junior Thomas Joyce raced home from third on the play, knotting the score at one-all
  • Each team scored in the bottom of the fourth and top of the fifth, with the Warriors answered a brief lead taken by the Falcons, 2-1. Golankiewicz came through in the clutch once more, connecting on a sacrifice fly to left field that allowed Joyce to touch home for the second time. Through five frames, the score remained tied at two runs apiece
  • The Warriors sent eight batters to the plate during their four-run sixth. Sophomore Michael Jamele reached base when he was hit by pitch, and then was able to trot home when Porricelli roped a line-drive homer over the 340-marker in left field to give Merrimack its first lead. Later in the inning, junior Nick Shumski and senior Matthew Ronai stood in scoring position when Golankiewicz dropped a two-run single into left that doubled Merrimack’s edge to 6-2
  • From the final out of the fourth inning through the start of the eighth, Monagle sat down 10 straight Falcons. The Cambridge, Mass. native worked out of a two-on with two-out situation in the bottom of the eighth, but was lifted for Cooley after a leadoff single in the ninth. He retired the first two Bentley hitters he faced, but a fielding error followed by a double and single accounted for the three additional Falcons runs. The Randolph, Mass. native recovered to close the game, ending the contest on a lineout to Joyce at first

Top Performers // Notes

  • WP: Monagle (7-0) | LP: Hodgson (5-3)
  • Monagle’s Final Line (W): 8.0 IP, 9 H, 3 R, 2 ER, 1 BB, 4 K
  • In the four games against Bentley this season, Monagle threw 34 of a possible 36 innings. Four of his seven wins this season have come against the Falcons while Tuesday marked his ninth straight quality start
  • Monagle’s seventh win of the season moved him into a tie for the second most in a single season in school history, becoming just the third pitcher ever at Merrimack to reach seven wins
  • Porricelli’s eighth homer of the season marked the highest single-season total for a Warrior since 2002. He needs two more long balls to post just the sixth season of at least 10 home runs in program annals
  • Golankiewicz set a new career high with a team-leading four RBI, hitting in the No. 5 spot for the first time in 2019. The rookie outfielder moved into fourth on the team with eight multi-RBI games and became the fifth different Warrior with four RBI in a game this season
  • Merrimack’s victory over Bentley sent the Warriors to NE10 Championship Weekend for the third time since 2013

Up Next:
Merrimack begins the double-elimination portion of the NE10 Championship on Thursday morning when the Warriors face fourth-seeded Southern Connecticut State at 10 a.m. at Onondaga Community College’s Baseball Complex. If the Warriors win, they will not play again on Thursday and potentially play their next game on Friday. If Merrimack falters, the Warriors will play an elimination game at approximately 5 p.m. at O.C.C.

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