Baseball Falls in Home Opener to Saint Anselm, Visitors Pull Away Late

Baseball Falls in Home Opener to Saint Anselm, Visitors Pull Away Late

COLCHESTER, Vt. - The Saint Michael's College baseball team opened its home slate with a 10-1 loss to Saint Anselm College on Wednesday at Doc Jacobs Field, trailing by only one run until the seventh inning. The Purple Knights are 5-18 overall and 1-7 in the Northeast-10 Conference, while the Hawks improved to 8-15 and 2-8.

In what was scheduled to be the fifth game of a 13-contest homestand, the Purple and Gold saw the first four outings all canceled due to inclement weather last weekend while the next three have been moved to the road due to expected poor weather this weekend.

Redshirt first-year Paul Prue (Dennis, Mass./Nauset Regional/Wheaton [Mass.]) continued what has been strong starting pitching of late for the Purple Knights yielding four runs - but only two earned - on five hits in 6.2 innings, striking out three and walking three. Saint Michael's starters have allowed four earned runs in the past 30.2 frames. First-year Danté Moran (Saint Petersburg, Fla./Dixie Hollins) was 1-for-3 with a walk, classmate Iset Maldonado (Brooklyn, N.Y./Saint Francis Prep) walked twice, and first-year Joe Webber (Marshfield, Mass./Bridgton Academy) walked and scored once apiece while stealing two bases.

First-year Matthew Butigian finished 2-for-4 with a run, two RBIs and a walk for Saint Anselm, and senior Max Wadington was 2-for-4 with two runs and a walk. Classmate Adam Krol picked up the win thanks to allowing one run on two hits in six innings, striking out seven and walking five.

After Prue tossed a 1-2-3 first inning, Saint Michael's went ahead in the home half. Webber led off with a walk and stole second before also swiping third when Moran drew a base on balls. Junior Joe Robertson (Essex Junction, Vt./Essex) followed with an RBI groundout before classmate Trevor Allen (Dennis, Mass./Dennis-Yarmouth Regional) took his team's third walk of the inning, but Krol escaped the jam by starting a 1-6-3 double play, the first of three such twin killings the Hawks spun during the contest.

Krol pitched around three base runners in the second and third frames, two of which reached on errors, and Prue carried a perfect game into the fourth after retiring Saint Anselm's lineup in order the first time around. In the fourth, the visitors broke through for two runs, with only one of their eight batters in the frame hitting the ball out of the infield. Junior Connor Parent drew a bases-loaded walk to force home the tying run before senior Dan Bodi's fielder's choice grounder off the rubber allowed Butigian to score the go-ahead run, with first-year second baseman Anthony Azpeitia (Tampa, Fla./King) making a nice flip to shortstop Maldonado to get the runner at second.

Junior Sean Winthrop (Hopkinton, Mass./Lawrence Academy) was plunked with two down in the sixth before Maldonado drew a walk, but the final batter struck out. In a 2-1 game, Prue retired the first batter of the seventh inning, his eighth consecutive hitter set down, before a two-out error led to two unearned runs coming across. With the Purple Knights now down by three runs, Azpeitia singled up the middle to lead off the home half, but another 1-6-3 double play squelched the threat. The Hawks pulled away by scoring two runs on a wild pitch in the eighth and plating four runs in the ninth, with a miscue leading to two being unearned.

The Purple Knights will play the home team as they head to Bentley University for a three-game series this weekend, beginning the set with a single game on Friday at 3:30 p.m.