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Merrimack rallies to complete weekend sweep over Stonehill

DANVERS, Mass.  – Despite losing an early 7-3 advantage, the Merrimack College baseball program proved resilient on Sunday afternoon against Stonehill College, scoring three times in the eighth inning to turn an 8-7 disadvantage into a 10-8 triumph behind a game-winning three-run triple from junior Joey Porricelli. The victory gave the Warriors a Northeast Division sweep over the Skyhawks, playing Sunday’s series finale at Saint John’s Preparatory School in Danvers, Mass.

Merrimack totaled four extra-base hits on the afternoon, with Porricelli collecting a pair of triples and classmate Thomas Joyce hitting an inside-the-park home run. Senior Riley Sorenson worked two innings of relief including a perfect ninth to collect his second win of the season. Merrimack increased its season-long winning streak to four games, and ended the weekend in a tie for first in the Northeast Division at 4-0.

The Basics
Score: Merrimack 10
, Stonehill 8
Records: Merrimack (12-10, 4-0 NE Div.) | Stonehill (12-14, 1-3 NE Div.)
Location: Saint John’s Prep. | Danvers, Mass.

Rapid Recap

  • Freshman Sean Thompson spotted Stonehill a run in the first, but Merrimack’s offensive immediately supported the rookie. The first four hitters all posted knocks, headlined by a two-run inside-the-park homer for Joyce to make it a 4-1 game. Stonehill responded with two runs in the top of the second, cutting Merrimack’s lead to one
  • The Warriors tacked on three more in the bottom of the second. Senior Anthony Garbarino scored on a throwing error, junior Nick Shumski drove in one with a sacrifice fly and freshman Kurtis Stadnicki tacked on a run-scoring double to make it a 7-3 contest
  • Thompson settled in to throw scoreless frames in the third and fourth innings, but ran into trouble in the fifth. With two on and two outs, the southpaw relented a two-run double. He limited the damage there, however, keeping Merrimack ahead by two, 7-5
  • After throwing a clean sixth, sophomore Jake Thibault ran into trouble in the seventh. An error extended the inning, and with the bases loaded, Stonehill deposited a two-run single into center field to tie the game at seven all
  • The top of the eight saw the Skyhawks move in front. With a runner on first, a sacrifice fly was shallowly popped up and deflected off an outstretched Porricelli back towards Stadnicki. The backstop fired towards first, but saw the throw tick off Joyce’s glove and deflect up the line. Stonehill’s baserunner came all the way around to score, making it an 8-7 contest
  • The bottom of Merrimack’s order set up Porricelli’s dramatic moment. Seniors William Keegan and Anthony Garbarino drew walks to bring up sophomore Michael Jamele, who dropped a single into center to load the bases. Falling behind 0-2 in the count, Porricelli drove an opposite-field triple through the right-center gap, scoring all three runners
  • In the ninth, Joyce slid to snag a pop up in foul ground to stand the frame, and Sorenson ended it with a swinging strikeout to complete the sweep

Top Performers

  • WP: Sorenson (2-1) | LP: Ryan (2-1)
  • Thompson’s Final Line (ND): 5.0 IP, 6 H, 5 R, 5 ER, 1 BB, 3 K
  • Porricelli moved into the Northeast-10 Conference lead with four triples this season. Merrimack’s leadoff man leads the league in total bases (54), ranks in a tie for second with 12 extra-base hits, sits third in steals (14) and fourth in RBI (21)
  • Joyce completed an impressive week that saw him post an OPS of nearly 1.400 with his third homer of the year and first-ever inside-the park long ball. He leads Merrimack with seven RBI over the program’s season-long four-game winning
  • Porricelli (3), Joyce (2) and Shumski (2) all posted multi-RBI performances. Porricelli led the way with three knocks while Joyce, Jamele and Stadnicki each added two
  • Merrimack’s leadoff hitter also increased his on-base streak to 10 games

Up Next:
Merrimack faces Assumption College on Tuesday afternoon at 3:30 p.m. at Rocheleau Field in Worcester, Mass., playing the Greyhounds in their Northeast Division series opener.

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