Purple Knights begin season-ending eight-game homestand with loss to Middlebury
COLCHESTER, Vt. - The Saint Michael's College baseball team kicked off a season-ending eight-game homestand with a 10-5 loss to in-state rival Middlebury College on Tuesday at Doc Jacobs Field. In their non-league finale, the Purple Knights slipped to 9-24, while the Panthers are 12-12.
Sophomore Alec Tice (Chelmsford, Mass./Chelmsford) was 3-for-5 for the Purple Knights, who used wooden bats. Freshman Nicky Elderton (Shelburne, Vt./Rice Memorial) had two hits, among them a triple, to go along with two RBIs, while senior Chadwick Estey (New Haven, Vt./Mount Abraham Union) and sophomore Nick Nelson (Spofford, N.H./Keene) both added a pair of hits. The two knocks gave Estey 102 for his career, passing Seth Cole '01 for fifth in program history. Freshman Don McGuirl (Warwick, R.I./Saint Sebastian's School) walked twice in addition to singling. Sophomore Nick Myers (Canton, Conn./The Master's School) allowed three runs in five innings, taking the loss.
Junior Thomas Rafferty (Chicago, Ill./Loyola Academy) was 5-for-6 with three RBIs, two runs and a double for Middlebury, which had six infield singles among its 18 hits while employing aluminum bats. Six players had two hits apiece, including senior Zach Roeder (Keene, N.H./Keene), who also scored four runs while knocking a triple. Classmate Matt Wassel (Rumson, N.J./Rumson-Fair Haven) had two hits and three RBIs, and sophomore Dylan Kane (Sands Point, N.Y./Paul D. Schreiber) worked eight innings, yielding four runs and scattering 10 hits for the win.
Wassel's two-out RBI single in the third put the first run of the game on the board, as he dropped his base hit into shallow center field. Kane yielded only three base runners over the first four innings, and Roeder and Rafferty ripped back-to-back run-scoring hits to provide their team a 3-0 edge in the fifth.
Saint Michael's strung together three straight hits to begin the home half, with one striking a runner, leaving Purple Knights at the corners with one down. Sophomore Tyler Wild (Quaker Hill, Conn./Saint Bernard School) legged out a fielder's choice grounder, bringing the runner home from third to make it 3-1.
Wassel plated two more with a single in the seventh, but Saint Michael's put two on with one down while threatening to trim the four-run deficit. After a teammate struck out for the second out, McGuirl hit a grounder deep into the hole between shortstop and third base that seemed headed toward left field, but senior shortstop Will Baine (Rye, N.Y./Rye CDS) ranged far to his right and tossed to third for an inning-ending forceout.
Two more Middlebury runs came home in the eighth, including one on a Rafferty double, but Elderton's two-run triple keyed a three-run bottom half for the hosts. Junior Collin Fishman's (Bethesda, Md./Our Lady of Good Counsel) sacrifice fly produced a 7-4 score. However, three unearned runs scored with two down in the ninth for the visitors, with Rafferty providing another RBI single, before Tice drove home the Purple Knights' final run with a single in the bottom half. Saint Michael's stranded two to end the contest.
The Purple Knights host nationally-ranked Southern New Hampshire University tomorrow at 3:30 p.m. The Penmen are 12th in this week's National Collegiate Baseball Writers Association (NCBWA) national poll.