Baseball splits NE-10 pair with Assumption, opens home slate after 19 road games

COLCHESTER, Vt. - The Saint Michael's College baseball team split a Northeast-10 Conference doubleheader with Assumption College on Saturday at Doc Jacobs Field, dropping a 5-3 affair in game one before walking off with a 6-5 victory in 10 innings during the nightcap. The Purple Knights are now 6-15 overall and 3-8 in the league after playing their first home games of the year, while the Greyhounds move to 7-17 and 3-6.

Sophomore Don McGuirl (Warwick, R.I./Saint Sebastian's School) swatted his first college home run in the opener, finishing with two RBIs, while senior Jacob Begnoche (Essex Junction, Vt./Essex) was 2-for-4. Junior Jason Moore (Avon, Conn./Northwest Catholic) went 1-for-2 with two walks, and senior Andrew Duprat (Fairfax, Vt./BFA-Fairfax) yielded all five runs - three earned - in the fifth inning, scattering five hits over nine.

Sophomore Billy Johnson (Auburn, Mass./Holy Name) was 2-for-4 with two RBIs for the Greyhounds, and junior Cody Rocha (Fall River, Mass./B.M.C. Durfee) earned the win as the third of four pitchers. He allowed two hits during three scoreless innings.

Sophomore Nicky Elderton's (Shelburne, Vt./Rice Memorial) two-out RBI single gave Saint Michael's a 1-0 lead in the first inning, and DuPrat allowed only four base runners in the opening four frames before five reached during the five-run fifth alone. Johnson's two-run single was among three run-scoring at bats in the frame. McGuirl slugged his home run with one out in the home half, making it 5-3, before each of the Purple Knights' final five base runners was stranded. In the meantime, Duprat set down the final 13 batters.

First-year Matt Feeney (Portsmouth, N.H./Portsmouth) had two hits and two RBIs for the hosts in the nightcap, including a double, while Begnoche added two knocks and scored twice. Elderton went 2-for-4 with an RBI, junior David Valley (Essex, Vt./Essex/Keene State) had two hits, a run and an RBI, and McGuirl added two knocks. First-year Kevin Guild (Essex Junction, Vt./Essex) picked up the win after two scoreless innings of relief.

Senior Shane Keddy (Worcester, Mass./Worcester Tech) was 2-for-3 for Assumption, and graduate student Ben Benigno (Trumbull, Conn./Trumbull) had two RBIs and two walks. Junior Ysander Figueroa (Worcester, Mass./Worcester Tech) took the loss after allowing only an unearned run in two innings.

Down 5-2 in the ninth, Assumption employed three hits and two walks to plate three runs, with Johnson's sac fly tying the game. The visitors turned a bases-loaded double play to escape the home half, but Guild set them down 1-2-3 in the 10th before junior Chris Puliafico (Sharon, Mass./Sharon) scored on a two-out error.

Saint Michael's held a 3-0 lead after four innings thanks to Elderton's two-out, run-scoring single in the third and Feeney's two-out, two-run double the following frame. Benigno's two-out, two-RBI base hit in the fifth brought the visitors within a run, but Valley and sophomore Danny Caddigan (Clarksville, Md./River Hill/Mary Washington) plated runs with two down in the eighth.

The Purple and Gold hosts American International College tomorrow for a 12 p.m. doubleheader.