Purple Knights fall at in-state foe Middlebury during non-league play

Purple Knights fall at in-state foe Middlebury during non-league play

MIDDLEBURY, Vt. - The Saint Michael's College baseball team lost in non-conference play to Middlebury College, 8-1, on Thursday at Forbes Field. The Purple Knights are 1-16 and the Panthers 10-10.

Sophomore Joe Robertson (Essex Junction, Vt./Essex) went 1-for-3 with a run, a walk and a stolen base, while classmate Sean Winthrop (Hopkinton, Mass./Lawrence Academy) had a hit, an RBI and a steal. Sophomore Harry Southworth (Taunton, Mass./Coyle & Cassidy) walked and was hit by a pitch, while classmate Calvin Holland (Hopkinton, Mass./Hopkinton) doubled. Senior Steven Auger (Hopkinton, N.H./Hopkinton) was hit by a pitch for the 24th time in his career, setting a program record in the process.

As the first of five pitchers, junior Patrick Martin (Wilton, N.H./Wilton-Lyndeborough Coop/Saint Joseph's [Maine]) took the loss, with three of his four runs earned on five hits in 4.1 innings. Sophomore Denis Cooney (Pittsfield, Mass./Pittsfield) struck out both batters he faced in a scoreless relief stint, while junior Zack Lanzillo (Rutland, Vt./Mount Saint Joseph Academy) tossed a shutout eighth inning.

Sophomore Sam Graf was the lone batter with multiple hits in the game, leading Middlebury with a 2-for-4 effort with two runs, three RBIs and two home runs. Senior Jason Lock added two RBIs, and junior Jake Turtel scored twice. First-year Grant Elgarten, the third of five pitchers, was awarded the win after completing two no-hit, shutout innings with four strikeouts.

Auger was plunked with one down in the opening frame before Robertson singled through the left side, but Winthrop's line drive to right was caught and led to an inning-ending double play. In the home half, Graf slugged his first homer of the day, a two-out, two-run shot that gave the Panthers the final lead. Saint Michael's stranded two in scoring positions the next frame but broke through with Winthrop's RBI single with two out in the third.

In the fourth, Southworth led off by being hit by a pitch before sophomore Dan Flynn (Williamstown, Mass./Mount Greylock Regional) reached on an error, and the next two batters struck out before first-year Connor Hopkins (Windham, N.H./Windham) walked to load the bases. However, the final Purple Knight also fanned.

Middlebury pulled away when Lock knocked a two-run single in the fifth and two Panthers had RBI singles in a three-run sixth. Graf led off the seventh with his second home run. Saint Michael's threated in the ninth, as sophomores Cole Reilly (Milton, Vt./Milton) and Matt Downing (Hanover, Mass./Archbishop Williams) both singled with one down, but the final two batters were retired.

The Purple Knights head to Merrimack College this weekend for a three-game series, beginning with a doubleheader on Saturday at 12 p.m. The Warriors are fifth in the latest New England Intercollegiate Baseball Association (NEIBA) poll.