Merrimack falls in Florida finale

LANTANA, Fla.  – The Merrimack College baseball program placed both the potential game-tying and game-winning runs on base in the bottom of the ninth on Saturday, but the Warriors’ comeback attempt at the Santaluces Athletic Complex fell short in a 6-5 defeat to Southern Connecticut State. The contest marked the program’s finale in a seven-day week down in Florida, with Merrimack winning four of seven games.

The Basics
Southern Conn. 6, Merrimack 5
Records: Merrimack (5-8)
 | Southern Conn. (9-9)
Location: Santaluces Athletic Complex | Lantana, Fla.

Rapid Recap

  • Five combined runs were scored over the first two innings. Junior Nick Shumski knocked in classmate Joey Porricelli with a base hit in the bottom of the first. Southern Connecticut answered with a pair of runs in the second, but the Warriors equaled that output in the bottom half. With freshmen Kurtis Stadnicki and Michael Golankiewicz standing on first and second, respectively, Porricelli hit a grounder to third that resulted in an error, allowing both baserunners to score
  • Sophomore Timmy Kalantzakos settled into his outing, tossing scoreless frames in the third, fourth and fifth innings. Merrimack’s offense was also held without a run in those innings, however, as the Warriors entered the sixth holding a 3-2 lead
  • The Owls tied the game in the top of the sixth, benefiting from a Merrimack miscue and scoring via a sacrifice fly. Similar to the second, the Warriors scored a run of their own in their at-bat. With two outs, senior Cory Wasylow hit a single that scored junior Thomas Joyce to put Merrimack up one again, 4-3
  • Replacing Kalantzakos with one out in the seventh, senior Riley Sorenson entered the top of the ninth three outs away from his second save of the season. The Owls were able to rally, however, tallying runs on a single, triple and fielder’s choice to claim their first lead, 6-4
  • A leadoff double by Golankiewicz made things interesting in the ninth. The rookie came around to score on a sacrifice fly, while Shumski and Joyce followed by reaching base to put two on with two outs. The comeback attempt halted there as the two baserunners were left at second and first, respectively

Top Performers

  • WP: Hughes (2-1) | LP: Sorenson (1-1)
  • Kalantzakos’ final line (ND): 6.1 IP, 9 H, 3 R, 3 ER, 3 BB, 0 K
  • Delivering his third straight quality start in as many outings, Kalantzakos lowered his earned run average to 2.74 after the outing, which leads Merrimack’s starting rotation
  • Golankiewicz’s ninth-inning double was the first extra-base hit of the rookie’s career. The outfielder has hit safely in four of his last six games, and led Merrimack with a pair of runs scored Saturday
  • Joyce paced the offense by reaching safely three times, drawing two walks while adding a single

Up Next:
The Warriors return to the region to play American International in non-conference play on Wednesday afternoon at 3:30 p.m. in Springfield, Mass.

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