Baseball Loses Two Close Affairs with Wilmington, Including 14-Inning Contest

Baseball Loses Two Close Affairs with Wilmington, Including 14-Inning Contest

FORT MYERS, Fla. - The Saint Michael's College baseball team lost twice to Wilmington (Ohio) College, 4-0 in seven innings and 4-3 in 14 innings, on Tuesday during the Gene Cusic Collegiate Classic at the Terry Park Sports Complex. The Purple Knights slipped to 2-8, while the Quakers are 5-5.

Redshirt first-year lefty Paul Prue (Dennis, Mass./Nauset Regional/Wheaton [Mass.]) was the hard-luck loser in game one, allowing three runs, but only one earned, in six innings during his first college start. Prue scattered eight hits while striking out eight and walking one. Sophomore Connor Hopkins (Windham, N.H./Windham) finished 2-for-3.

Junior lefty Jared Ferenchak tossed a six-hit shutout for Wilmington, striking out four and walking none. Sophomore Nick Silvis was 3-for-4 with an RBI, and senior Kyle Short finished 2-for-4 with an RBI and a double.

A leadoff error led to two unearned runs coming home for the Quakers during the top of the third inning, as Silvis' single and an ensuing groundout plated the runs. Short's RBI double in the fourth made it 3-0, and Prue worked around two base runners in both the fifth and sixth innings, including leaving two Wilmington players in scoring position in the latter.

Saint Michael's only put multiple runners on base in the sixth, with first-year Anthony Azpeitia (Tampa, Fla./King) and Hopkins singling to start the frame, put two fly ball outs and a groundout ended the threat. The Quakers pushed home another unearned run in the seventh.

Game two saw the Purple Knights play the third-longest contest in program history, behind only a 16-inning affair at Lyndon State College on April 15, 2010, and a 15-inning game versus the University of Massachusetts at Lowell on May 17, 1957. Junior Joe Robertson (Essex Junction, Vt./Essex) was 2-for-4 with two doubles, a stolen base and a hit-by-pitch, Azpeitia had two hits and scored twice, while first-year Joe Brady (Hanover, Mass./Bridgton Academy) walked twice. Senior Patrick Martin (Wilton, N.H./Wilton-Lyndeborough Coop/Saint Joseph's [Maine]) took the loss after tossing 4.1 innings in relief but yielding the winning run on two hits.

As the first of five pitchers, first-year southpaw Hunter Ruiz (Pflugerville, Texas/Hendrickson) surrendered one run on four hits over six innings during his first college start. Senior Colin Brennan (Braintree, Mass./Boston College HS) had a successful relief stint, tossing 1.1 one-hit, shutout innings with three strikeouts.

Junior Gage Bley finished 4-for-7 with two RBIs for Wilmington, and senior Joshua Chua was 2-for-4 with two RBIs, two walks and a triple, hitting a walk-off RBI single in the 14th inning. Junior Alec Robinette earned the win thanks to four innings of shutout, no-hit ball. He fanned four.

Bley's first-inning RBI single scored the first run before visiting Saint Michael's scored single runs in the second, third and fifth frames. First-year Danté Moran (Saint Petersburg, Fla./Dixie Hollins) contributed an RBI double before Brady and junior Trevor Allen (Dennis, Mass./Dennis-Yarmouth Regional) knocked sac flies. However, Bley came through with a two-out RBI single in the seventh, and Chua's sac fly tied it in the ninth.

Saint Michael's put only three runners on base between the sixth and 14th innings, with each reaching scoring position, including as Robertson led off the 13th by being plunked before stealing second with one down. However, he was left there. After tossing four perfect innings, Martin allowed the first two batters of the 14th inning to single and walk, respectively, before Chua came up with his one-out RBI single.

The Purple Knights oppose Edgewood (Wis.) College tomorrow at 12 p.m. at the Player Development Complex.