Purple Knights suffer late setback in Florida to Nyack, 11-10

LANTANA, Fla. - The Saint Michael's College baseball team saw a ninth-inning lead wiped out during an 11-10 loss against Nyack College on Tuesday at the Santaluces Sports Complex during the Palm Beach Challenge. The Purple Knights are now 3-2 while receiving votes toward the latest National Collegiate Baseball Writers Association's (NCBWA) East Region poll, while Nyack is 3-4.

First-year Matt Feeney (Portsmouth, N.H./Portsmouth) went 3-for-5 with three runs for Saint Michael's, while junior Nick Nelson (Spofford, N.H./Keene) added three hits. Classmate Alec Tice (Chelmsford, Mass./Chelmsford) had two hits, three runs and two walks, and sophomore Danny Caddigan (Clarksville, Md./River Hill/Mary Washington) picked up a pair of knocks and two RBIs. Classmate Nicky Elderton (Shelburne, Vt./Rice Memorial) was 1-for-2 with two runs, three RBIs and two walks, while junior Tyler Wild (Quaker Hill, Conn./Saint Bernard School) and sophomore Don McGuirl (Warwick, R.I./Saint Sebastian's School) added two hits apiece.

First-year Curt Echo (Shelburne, Vt./Champlain Valley Union) struck out seven in 6.2 innings during his college debut but took a no-decision, as each of the four Purple Knight pitchers on the day were first-year members of the squad. First-year John Mielke (Boxboro, Mass./Acton-Boxboro Regional) took the setback.

Senior TJ Briggs (Flagstaff, Ariz.) was 4-for-5 for Nyack, junior Jan-Pierre Crespo (San Juan, Puerto Rico) added three hits, and sophomore Brent James (Seligman, Ariz.) drove in three runs. First-year Adolfo Perez (Brooklyn, N.Y.) picked up the win in relief, and classmate Cody Harvey (Point Loma, Calif.) earned the save.

Saint Michael's plated four runs in the home half of the first inning, as three Purple Knights had RBI knocks before James' two-run double brought Nyack within 4-3 in the third. The Purple and Gold responded with two runs in each the third and fourth, securing RBIs from four different players, to vault ahead by an 8-3 count. Elderton's sixth-inning sac fly made it 9-3.

Nyack broke out for five runs on six hits in the seventh, with five players picking up run-scoring hits, but McGuirl drove home junior Chris Puliafico (Sharon, Mass./Sharon) in the home half to re-establish a two-run lead, and the 10-8 edge stood until the ninth. However, first-year Tony Campbell (Katy, Texas) homered with one down to draw his team within a run before Crespo later ripped a go-ahead RBI double, producing an 11-10 score. Saint Michael's had three straight batters reach with two down in the bottom half, but the final hitter grounded out.

The Purple Knights oppose Saint Thomas Aquinas College tomorrow at 12 p.m. in Lake Worth, Fla. Saint Thomas Aquinas is ranked sixth in a pair of regional polls.