Baseball: Merrimack Splits Twin Bill With Pace

YAPHANK, N.Y.  – The Merrimack College baseball team split a doubleheader Sunday afternoon at Baseball Heaven in Yaphank, N.Y. The Warriors fell 16-2 to the Setters in the opening game and rebounded with a 2-0 victory in the nightcap.

The Basics
Game 1: Pace 16, Merrimack 2
Records: Merrimack (4-2) | Pace (1-1)
Location: Baseball Heaven | Yaphank, N.Y.

Game 2: Merrimack 2, Pace 0
Records: Merrimack (5-2) | Pace (1-2)
Location: Baseball Heaven | Yaphank, N.Y.

Links: Game 1 Box Score | Game 2 Box Score

How it Happened: Game 1

The hosts slugged out 14 hits – led by a 2-for-3 showing at the dish from first basemen Ian Wukitsch – while junior Joe Carnevale (East Providence, R.I.) took the loss (1-1) after yielding six earned runs over 4.2 innings. Pace reliever Tim Deegan picked up the win with a two-inning outing, striking out four and walking only one.

For the Warriors, freshman Cam DiSarcina (Shirley, Mass.) went 2-for-4 with a strikeout and a RBI, while sophomore Sean O’Neill (Norwood, Mass.) was 1-for-2 with two walks and a run. Sophomore Mike Forgione (North Branford, Conn.), senior Eddie Newton (North Billerica, Mass.) and senior Alex Ciullo (Fall River, Mass.) chipped in with hit, respectively.

The first four innings were the quiet before the storm as Merrimack opened the scoring in the fifth. Merrimack grabbed its only run of the inning, as leadoff man O’Niell scored off of a double down the left field line by DiSarcina.

However, the Setters exploded in the bottom of the fifth, as Michael Viegas lined a single to right, bringing home Kovel to knot the game at 1-1. Shortly after, James Pjura cranked a three-run homer to right field, making it 4-1. With two outs, Pace pushed its lead to 5-1 after Tom Midolo singled to left field to sending a runner home.

After a scoreless sixth, Pace added three more runs in the bottom of the seventh, but Merrimack could only respond back with a run in the bottom of the eighth. The Setters continued to swing bats and tallied eight runs to take a 16-2 victory over the Warriors.

A Closer Look

  • Merrimack finished Game 1 with four errors and only six hits while Pace tallied two errors and 14 hits.
  • The Setters recorded 14 RBI and three strikeouts.
  • The Warriors finished with 11 strikeouts while leaving eight players on base.

How it Happened: Game 2

Game two proved to be a pitchers’ duel as the Warriors and Pace were scoreless into the sixth. Senior Conner McMahon (Westfield, Mass.) earned the win for the Warriors, scattering seven hits in seven shutout innings.

Merrimack tallied the first run of the game in the sixth inning on an RBI single by sophomore Frank Crinella (Springfield, Mass.) which allowed Forgione to score. Just a half inning later, Newton would put the Warriors ahead by two after scoring off a wild pitch by Ryan Mihalkovitz.

A two-run cushion was all that senior Tyler Cuming (Red Bank, N.J.) required. The senior righty relieved McMahon for the eighth and ninth innings, and kept the Setters off the board to wrap up the win.

Forgione finished game two with a team-high two hits and one run, while Crinella went 1-for-3 at the plate and tallied one run. Newton and senior CJ Flannery (Hudson, Mass.) chipped in with a hit, respectively.

A Closer Look 

  • Cuming struck out two batters and allowed only one hit over the two innings.
  • Pace went 8-for-31 at the plate while the Warriors went 5-for-30.
  • Jonathan Silva started for Pace and took the hard luck loss for the Setters, surrendering just one run on three hits in 5.2 innings.

What They Said

“I was happy with us responding well in all phases in game two. Connor McMahon and Tyler Cuming pitched great and we were able to take advantage of offensive opportunities,” said head coach Jim Martin. “It was a great road win against a very good Pace team.”

Up Next
Merrimack returns to action this Saturday (March 15),as the team travels down to Cary, N.C. for a six-game stretch over the course of four days. The Warriors open their stint in the Tar Heel State with a two-game series against Molloy and Caldwell.

About Mike McMahon 6234 Articles
Mike McMahon is in his 13th year covering Merrimack College for The Eagle Tribune and is the founder and managing editor of The Mack Report. Mike also serves on staff as a senior writer at College Hockey News. Follow him on Twitter @MikeMcMahonCHN

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