COLCHESTER, Vt. - The Saint Michael's College baseball team was swept by regionally-ranked Merrimack College, 12-7 and 8-4, during a Northeast-10 Conference doubleheader on Saturday at Doc Jacobs Field. The Purple Knights slipped to 6-23 overall and 1-12 in the league, while the Warriors improved to 18-14 and 11-8. Merrimack, which has won 10 of its last 12 games, is fifth in this week's New England Intercollegiate Baseball Association (NEIBA) poll.
Junior Joe Robertson (Essex Junction, Vt./Essex) was 3-for-4 with two runs, an RBI, a hit-by-pitch and a double in the opener, and classmate Trevor Allen (Dennis, Mass./Dennis-Yarmouth Regional) finished 3-for-5 with one run, two RBIs and a double. Junior Sean Winthrop (Hopkinton, Mass./Lawrence Academy) went 2-for-4 with a run, first-year Joe Webber (Marshfield, Mass./Bridgton Academy) walked twice, and classmates Anthony Azpeitia (Tampa, Fla./King) and Iset Maldonado (Brooklyn, N.Y./Saint Francis Prep) both doubled and scored, with Azpeitia driving in two runs. First-year Cameron Kroeger (Clearwater, Fla./Countryside) doubled and drove in two runs, while redshirt first-year Paul Prue (Dennis, Mass./Nauset Regional/Wheaton [Mass.]) took the loss after allowing four earned runs in five innings. He struck out two and walked two.
Allen's double was the 27th of his career, tying Tim Pilczak '10 for second in program history.
Junior Cory Wasylow was 3-for-5 with a run, four RBIs and a double for the Warriors, while sophomore Joey Porricelli went 2-for-4 with two runs, an RBI and three stolen bases. Classmate Thomas Joyce finished 3-for-4. Senior PJ Browne earned the win after allowing three runs in six innings, fanning nine and walking one, before sophomore Stephen Fleury earned a four-out save.
Merrimack scored the game's first seven runs, with Wasylow's two-out RBI single plating the second of two unearned runs in the opening frame before his two-run double with two down keyed a three-run third. Another RBI single from Wasylow came amid a two-run fifth before Azpeitia, Robertson and Allen all smacked RBI doubles in the home half to make it 7-3, with Robertson and Allen providing theirs with two down.
RBI singles from Porricelli and graduate student Tyler Lyne triggered a three-run sixth, but Allen picked up a two-out RBI single in the seventh before Kroeger's two-run double cut the deficit to 10-6. The teams traded runs in the eighth, when Azpeitia knocked a sac fly, but a Merrimack run in the ninth put the game out of reach.
Robertson finished 2-for-5 with a stolen base in the nightcap, Kroeger doubled, and first-year Zach Rodgers (Parrish, Fla./Manatee) took the loss after yielding the first six runs - four earned - in 6.1 innings. He struck out four and walked two.
Wasylow went 3-for-5 with two runs and an RBI for the visitors, senior Matt Nicholson was 3-for-5 with a run, an RBI and a double, and classmate Ricky Smith was 2-for-2 with two RBIs and a double off the bench. Sophomore Nick Shumski was 2-for-3 with a walk, a run and an RBI, and senior Anthony Lupi allowed three runs, but just one earned, in eight innings while striking out eight.
Kroeger doubled and scored on first-year Holden Jackman's (Eliot, Maine/Marshwood) single in the second inning, and Shumski's RBI single scored an unearned run the next inning before Saint Michael's retook the lead with a two-run fourth, with both runs coming home on miscues. After Merrimack plated single runs in the fifth - on Porricelli's sac fly - and the sixth - on Smith's pinch-hit double - the visitors broke out for five runs in the seventh behind four run-scoring hits. Webber's RBI single made it 8-4 with two down in the ninth, but the Purple Knights left the tying run on deck when the final batter hit into a fielder's choice.
The teams complete their three-game weekend set tomorrow with a 12 p.m. Senior Day contest.