Baseball Eliminated From Postseason Contention with Pair of Losses to Merrimack

Junior Steve Lee went 5-for-9 with two RBI and two runs over the two games.

Skyhawks drop 16-inning marathon in game one, before surrendering the lead in the ninth inning to lose game two

EASTON, Mass. (May 6, 2016) – The Stonehill College baseball team dropped a pair of games to Merrimack College today on Lou Gorman Field in Northeast-10 Conference Northeast Division action. The Skyhawks continued yesterday's game against the Warriors, where the game was abandoned after nine innings to do weather. Stonehill eventually lost the game, falling in 16 innings 11-9, before dropping game two, 5-4. With today's losses, Stonehill is eliminated from the postseason.

Sophomore Michael Young (Mashpee, Massachusetts/Pope John Paul II) pitched the full seven innings of today's continuation, striking out six batters while surrendering two runs. Junior Jeremy Roberts (Reading, Massachusetts/Malden Catholic) pitched game two and worked through eight innings, allowing four runs on seven hits while striking out four batters.

Junior Steve Lee (Braintree, Massachusetts/Braintree) and sophomore Alex Hurley (Rumford, Rhode Island/Worcester Academy) paced Stonehill at the plate today, as they both registered five base hits. Lee went 5-for-9 with two RBI and two runs, while Hurley finished 5-for-11 with two RBI and a run. Senior Chris Hoyt (Walpole, Massachusetts/Xaverian Brothers) chipped in with three hits, a walk, three stolen bases and a run.

Freshman Ricky Smith (Weymouth, Massachusetts/Xaverian Brothers) hit the back breaking, pinch-hit two-run homerun in the 16th inning to give the visitors game one. Classmate Matt Nicholson (Rockland, Massachusetts/Rockland) led the way in game two, finishing 3-for-5 with a two-run homerun in the ninth inning to put Merrimack in the lead. Junior Matt Brown (Belmont, Massachusetts/Belmont/Worcester Academy) also had a huge day at the plate for the Warriors, going 3-for-5 with a two-run homerun.


Merrimack 11, Stonehill 9

On a wet dreary day, neither team could get much going at the plate to start the game, as both teams managed to record just one hit after five innings. Merrimack got on the board first in the sixth inning, as Forgione and junior Tyler Lyne (Agawam, Massachusetts/Agawam) worked back-to-back walks and senior Sean O'Neill (Norwood, Massachusetts/Norwood) drew a two out walk to load the bases. After Brown was hit by a pitch to bring a run in, Nicholson singled back to the pitcher to drive in another run.

Alex Hurley

Merrimack scored five more runs in the seventh, extending its lead to seven runs. The first three batters of the inning reached base on an error, hit by pitch and a walk to load the bases with no outs. DiSarcina then doubled to clear the bases and Brown singled to center field to score DiSarcina from second.

Down 7-0 with the weather dropping and puddles forming in the infield, Stonehill rallied. Hocking led off the inning reaching base when he was hit by a pitch and Hurley singled through the left side of the infield, advancing Hocking to third base. After sophomore Alexander Joyce (Newton, Massachusetts/Newton North) walked to load the bases, Lee singled to left field to score the Skyhawks first two runs of the game. Sophomore Isiah Nunez (Brooklyn, New York/Berkshire School) kept the rally going when he walked to reload the bases and all the runners subsequently advanced on a wild pitch, scoring the third run of the inning. With two outs, junior Ben Monte (New Haven, Connecticut/Guilford) and Campbell drew back-to-back walks to drive in a run and Hocking was hit by a pitch for the second time of the game, forcing in another run. Bowler then singled up the middle to tie the game at seven runs apiece and Hurley hit a long fly ball to right field that was misplayed by the right fielder and dropped, allowing two runs to cross the plate and giving the Skyhawks a brief lead.

Merrimack responded with a run in the eighth and a run in the ninth to tie the game at nine runs each. Stonehill was unable to score in the bottom of the ninth and with the rain starting to fall harder the umpires called the game instead of head to extra innings.

When the game was picked back up, Stonehill left a total of 11 men on base in the extra innings, loading the bases on three separate occasions with the winning run on third base, but freshman lefty PJ Browne (Rutland, Massachusetts/St. Johns) was able to work out of the jams each time to keep the Skyhawks off the board.

Merrimack finally struck in the top of the 16th inning when Smith pinch hit for the Warriors and delivered a two-run homerun that gave the visitors the 11-9 lead that they wouldn't relinquish.


Merrimack 5, Stonehill 4

Sophomore Michael Young pitched all seven innings in the coninuation of game one, striking out six batters while allowing two runs.
Merrimack scored the game's first run in the top of the second inning when junior Sean O'Neill (Norwood, Massachusetts/Norwood) led the inning off with a walk and Brown singled to right field. After Nicholson singled through the left side of the infield to load the bases with no outs, freshman Mike Hoalcraft (Fayetteville, New York/Fayetteville) hit into a fielder's choice to drive a run in.

Stonehill answered in the bottom half of the inning, scoring four runs to take a three run lead. Lee got the rally started when he hit a two out single to left field and stole second base. Nunez then doubled to left field, scoring Lee from second. After Monte singled to left field to record an RBI, Hoyt singled and sophomore Justin Nicklas (Foxboro, Massachusetts/St. Sebastian's) connected on a two RBI single through the left side of the infield.

Roberts found his groove in the middle innings, as the lefty sat Merrimack down in order in the third, fourth and fifth inning. The Warriors got to Roberts in the sixth however, as Brown delivered a two run homerun to cut the Stonehill lead to one run.

Roberts came out for the ninth inning looking to pitch a complete game, but surrendered a leadoff double to Brown, putting the game tying run in immediate scoring position. Senior Mike Krupczak (Springfield, Massachusetts/Cathedral) came on in relief to try and close out the game but Nicholson launched a two run homerun to left center field, putting Merrimack ahead 5-4. Senior Brian Campbell (Franklin, Massachusetts/Mount Saint Charles) reached base on an error and stole second base in the bottom of the ninth inning, but he was left stranded to end the game.

Stonehill (24-19, 12-12 NE-10) returns to Lou Gorman Field tomorrow for senior day, as the Skyhawks host Merrimack (28-17, 18-10) for the final game of the season at 1 p.m.

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