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Merrimack blanks Bentley in NE10 opener

photo: Merrimack athletics

WALTHAM, Mass.  – Senior Cam Monagle threw the first complete game of the 2019 season for the Merrimack College baseball program on Wednesday afternoon, catapulting the Warriors to a 3-0 Northeast Division victory over Bentley University from DeFelice Field. The contest marked the first of three divisional games of the season between Merrimack and Bentley, with the next contest in the series occurring on Wednesday, April 10.

Senior Matthew Ronai led the offense with a pair of hits including a double while driving in one run. Juniors Nick Shumski and Thomas Joyce added one RBI each. Classmate Joey Porricelli scored Merrimack’s second of three runs, becoming the 12th player at Merrimack to total at least 100 career runs.

The Basics
Score: Merrimack 3
, Bentley 0
Records: Merrimack (9-10, 1-0 NE Div.) | Bentley (4-13, 0-1 NE Div.)
Location: DeFelice Field | Waltham, Mass.

Rapid Recap

  • In a battle of senior right-handers, Monagle and Luke Dawson matched each other with perfect first and second innings to start the day. With senior Anthony Garbarino on first with two outs, Porricelli singled him over to third, but Merrimack left a pair in scoring position to end the inning. Monagle was clean once again in the bottom half, keeping it scoreless through three frames
  • Monagle completed five innings of one-hit ball before Merrimack’s bats came alive. Shumski drew a one-out walk in the top of the sixth, and cruised all the way home on a wall-ball double by Ronai. The Warriors ended up placing runners on the corners later in the sixth, but an inning-ending double play limited the damage to one run
  • Merrimack’s starter was aided by his defense in the bottom half to keep it a 1-0 game. With two outs and a Falcon on first, sophomore Michael Jamele dove to catch a sinking live drive to end the inning. The visitors’ lead remained at 1-0 entering the top of the eight
  • Porricelli led off with a single, reached second on an errant pick-off attempt, stole third and scored on a dropped fly ball in right field to account for Merrimack’s second run. Joyce dug in three batters later and knocked in Shumski with a single, increasing Merrimack’s lead to 3-0
  • Monagle’s 86-pitch complete game ended with a five-pitch bottom of the ninth inning. The righty totaled seven one-two-three innings on the afternoon

Top Performers

  • WP: Monagle (3-0) | LP: Dawson (0-5)
  • Monagle’s final line (W): 9.0 IP, 2 H, 0 R, 0 ER, 2 BB, 4 K
  • By scoring the first run in the eighth, Porricelli touched home for the 100th time in his career to become just the 12th player in school history to reach the century mark. The third baseman scored 60 times last year, posting just the third season of at least 60 runs in Merrimack history
  • Monagle was dealing on Wednesday, setting a career high for innings pitched while posting the first shutout of his career. He previously tossed eight innings on a pair of occasions during his sophomore year, including once against Bentley. That outing against the Falcons saw the Cambridge, Mass. native relent just one unearned run
  • Ronai broke out of an 0-for-19 slump in a big way, striking the Warriors’ lone extra-base knock of the day while tying for the team lead in hits. The senior captain also made the start in left field, his first-ever appearance in the outfield
  • Porricelli joined Ronai with a multi-hit day, while also stealing two bases

Up Next:
The Warriors play Stonehill for a three-game set this weekend. Saturday will feature a doubleheader at the Harrington Athletics Village in Brighton, Mass., which is the home of the Boston College Eagles. First pitch is set for 12 p.m. The series finale will be on Sunday afternoon at 1 p.m. from Saint John’s Preparatory School in Danvers, Mass.

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