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Preview: Merrimack Baseball Opens NE10 Championship at Franklin Pierce

For the fourth time in the last six seasons, the Merrimack College baseball team will need a victory in Rindge, N.H. to advance to NE10 Championship Weekend as the Warriors head to Dr. Arthur & Martha Pappas Field for a date with Franklin Pierce University on Tuesday evening. The opening-round tilt in the NE10 Championship between the second-seeded Ravens and third-seeded Warriors will commence at 6 p.m.

Ticketing/Fan Bus Information:

  • Per NE10 policy, the following ticket prices will be charged to all fans attending tomorrow’s game:
    • Adults – $6; Children/Seniors – $4; Students (with valid ID from NE10 institutions) – $1
  • Merrimack is proud to offer a fan bus to all students interested in making their way to Rindge!
  • Head to Merrimack Baseball on twitter for access to the sign-up sheet. The buss will depart the MAC Lot at 4:00 tomorrow afternoon and return to campus immediately following the conclusion of tomorrow’s game.

2018 NE10 Baseball Championship Schedule
Tuesday, May 8 – First Round (single elimination)
Game 1:  #4 SW Pace at #1 SW Le Moyne | 2:00 PM
Game 2:  #3 SW Adelphi at #2 SW New Haven | 3:00 PM
Game 3:  #4 NE Bentley at #1 NE SNHU | 6:00 PM
Game 4:  #3 NE Merrimack at #2 NE Franklin Pierce | 6:00 PM

Thursday, May 10 – Saturday, May 12
Game 5:  Game 1 winner vs. Game 4 winner
Game 6:  Game 2 winner vs. Game 3 winner
Game 7:  Game 5 loser vs. Game 6 loser
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.

Last Time Out:

  • The Warriors ended the regular season by winning two of three games against Stonehill after clinching a playoff spot with two victories to start last week against Bentley and Assumption
  • Graduate student Tyler Lyne and senior Ricky Smith led the offense after both Warriors hit over .400 with a homer each in the five contests combined. Lyne totaled a team-best 10 hits, seven runs scored and six steals
  • Merrimack started the week with a two-run win over Bentley to move within a game of clinching a playoff spot. The Navy and Gold responded with a six-run ninth inning against Assumption to erase a 5-0 deficit and clinch the spot in walk-off fashion, 6-5
  • Sophomore Joey Porricelli emerged as the hero, smacking a walk-off double to left field to garner the program’s fourth straight postseason berth

NE10 Championship History:

  • Tuesday will mark the fourth time in Merrimack’s five NE10 Championship appearances since the NE10 went to a divisional format (2012) that the Warriors will meet the Ravens in the opening round
  • Merrimack upset Franklin Pierce, 4-1, in the opening round in 2013 but have since lost two first-round bouts to the Ravens in 2015 (11-4) and 2017 (8-0)
  • The Warriors will be making their 18th appearance in the NE10 Championships, which is tied with Franklin Pierce for the most in conference. Merrimack owns a 25-24 all-time record in the conference tournament, with nine trips to the finals

 ‘Mack Facts:

  • Merrimack concluded the regular season with 26 victories, which marks the sixth season in program history with at least 25 wins
  • Senior starter PJ Browne is expected to take the ball tomorrow night, and is in the midst of a career season on the hill. The Rutland, Mass. native has already set a new program strikeout record (239), and has tied the school wins record by reaching 17 for his career.
  • In single-season lore, Browne’s 2.05 ERA is among the best in recent memory for a Merrimack pitcher. Opponents are hitting just .218 off the southpaw, which is on track to be the lowest of his career
  • As a team, the Warriors’ .299 batting average edged out Le Moyne’s .298 clip for the top average in the NE10 at the end of the regular season. The Warriors led the league with 96 steals and ranked fourth with 128 extra-base hits
  • Individually, Merrimack has names all over the NE10 leaderboard. Senior Matt Nicholson ended the regular season as Merrimack’s leaders in the three triple crown statistics: average (.364), homers (6) and RBI (41). He either set or tied career highs in all three areas, ranking among the top ten in the league as well
  • The base-stealing duo of sophomore Joey Porricelli and Tyler Lyne became the first pair of Warriors with at least 20 thefts in a season since 2013. Lyne ended the year with 26 thefts, the third most in a single season in school history. Porricelli finished tied for second with 24 steals
  • Lyne ended the regular season sharing the league lead in doubles (15). Behind a career-best 66 hits, Lyne also sits just six base knocks away from 200 for his career
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