Saint Michael's swept at regionally-ranked Pace, falls in opener in 12 innings

PLEASANTVILLE, N.Y. - The Saint Michael's College baseball team began Northeast-10 Conference play on Saturday with a pair of losses at regionally-ranked Pace University, including dropping the opener, 8-7, in 12 innings at Finnerty Field. The Purple Knights fell to 3-9 overall and 0-2 in the league, suffering their fifth one-run loss, while the Setters, who also won the nightcap, 10-0, are 10-5 and 2-0. Pace is ranked ninth in the East Region by a pair of organizations.

Junior Tyler Wild (Quaker Hill, Conn./Saint Bernard School) went 4-for-6 for the visitors, while senior Jacob Begnoche (Essex Junction, Vt./Essex) had a pair of late hits and RBIs, including a tying two-run single with two down in the ninth inning before scoring the go-ahead run in the 12th. Sophomore George Buteau (Burlington, Vt./Trinity-Pawling School) blasted a three-run home run among his two hits. Senior Andrew Kelley (Lincoln, N.H./Lin-Wood) fanned five in 7.1 innings but earned a no-decision before sophomore Barry Maily (Moosup, Conn./Plainfield) was saddled with the loss despite a strong relief outing, yielding only a pair of 12th-inning runs during 3.1 frames.

Senior Bobby Horn (Stamford, Conn./Westhill) was 3-for-5 with two runs for Pace, while classmate Brandon Martineson (Prospect, Ky./Warwick) had two hits and two RBIs. Senior Eddie Byrne (Yonkers, N.Y./Archbishop Stepinac) earned the victory after allowing one run in three innings of relief.

Saint Michael's erased a 3-0 deficit with four runs in the seventh inning, with Buteau launching a go-ahead home run with two out. Pace went back in front with three runs on three hits in the eighth, but Begnoche knocked a two-run single with two down in the ninth to knot the game. In the 12th, Begnoche led off with a double and scored on sophomore Don McGuirl's (Warwick, R.I./Saint Sebastian's School) one-out double. After Maily allowed only two base runners in his first three innings, junior James Pjura (Shelton, Conn./Shelton) led off the 12th with a home run, and classmate Chris Gili (Manorville, N.Y./Eastport-South Manor) later drew a bases-loaded walk off another reliever to force in the winning run.

Begnoche, Buteau, McGuirl and junior Nick Barton (Colchester, Vt./Colchester) each picked up a hit in the nightcap for Saint Michael's, while senior Andrew DuPrat (Fairfax, Vt./BFA-Fairfax) fired five shutout innings before yielding the loss after Pace plated seven runs in the sixth. First-year Byron Brocar (Bradford, Vt./Oxbow) tossed a pair of shutout frames in relief.

Junior Ian Wukitsch (Morristown, N.J./Morristown) was 3-for-4 with two runs, two RBIs and a double for the Setters, and classmate David Pepe (Caldswell, N.J./James Caldwell) added three knocks. First-year Josh Garran (Old Tappan, N.J./Northern Valley Regional) worked eight shutout innings for the victory.

The Purple Knights' first threat came in the second inning of a scoreless game, when Buteau and Begnoche both singled with two down, but Garran retired the final hitter. After DuPrat allowed just four base runners in the opening five frames, Pace scored seven runs on seven hits in the sixth, with Wukitsch's two-run double among five run-scoring hits. Three more Setters came home in the seventh to complete the scoring.

Saint Michael's concludes its New York swing tomorrow with another NE-10 twinbill, this time at Adelphi University at 12 p.m. The Panthers received a vote toward the National Collegiate Baseball Writers Association's (NCBWA) East Region poll this week.