Baseball Attacks Late in 9-6 Defeat Against Merrimack

Nunez launches his second homerun of the season

Sabo went 2-for-5 with two RBI, contributing to the Skyhawks 12 hits 

EASTON, Mass. (May 4, 2018) – The Stonehill College baseball team fell to Merrimack College, 9-6 in the second game of the series in Northeast-10 Conference divisional play at Lou Gorman Field Friday afternoon.

For the Skyhawks, Isiah Nunez (Brooklyn, New York/Berkshire School) went 2-for-4 with one run scored, three RBI, a double and a homerun. Harrison Sabo (Wilton, Connecticut/Wilton) also connected at the plate as he went 2-for-5 with two RBI and Matthew Rocco (Newington, Connecticut/Newington) also went 2-for-5 with a run scored and a double.

After allowing one Merrimack hit in the top of the first, Stonehill got on board in the bottom of the frame as Rocco tallied his 13th double of the season, 16th overall in the lead off spot and Tyler Carey (Raynham, Massachusetts/Bridgewater-Raynham) edged him over with a fly out to center field. Sabo hit a hard grounder to shortstop, and Rocco sprinted home for the opening lead of the game 1-0.

With runners on first and third after a double and a passed ball, Mike Hoalcraft scored from third in the top of the second on a sacrifice bunt to tie the game at one a piece, 1-1. The Skyhawks responded with one hit but stranded two on in the bottom of the second.

The Warriors spread out eight runs over four innings before they were cut off from the seventh inning on. With five runs across the plate in the top of the fourth, Stonehill cut the deficit to one, 5-4, as Nunez lifted his second homerun of the season and third career over the left center fence with one out. William Kelleher (Mansfield, Massachusetts/Mansfield) singled down the left field line and Patrick Downey (Cheshire, Connecticut/Xavier) walked to put runners on first and second for the senior to rally from a two-inning drought for the Skyhawks.

Stonehill was able to retire seven-straight Merrimack batters from the seventh to the ninth, as the Skyhawks continued to battle at the plate. With one out, Carey registered his second triple of the season, third career to right center, while Sabo followed with a single through the right side to easily put another run on the board, 9-5.

Rocco tallied his 13th double of the season, ranking him eighth in the conference

In the bottom of the eight, Downey hit a grounder deep between the five-six hole, that the shortstop was just able to grab and toss to first, but the junior was safe on the play. Downey advanced to second as he was stealing on the pitch and was safe, while Justin Nicklas (Foxboro, Massachusetts/St. Sebastian's) grounded out for the second out of the inning. John Orzechowski (Monroe, Connecticut/Masuk) singled through the left side as the third basemen tipped the ball, but Downey had enough time to round third and make it home before a play, cutting the deficit to three, 9-6. Unfortunately, Stonehill stranded two runners on with a ground out to end the inning.

Merrimack held off Stonehill in the bottom of the ninth as Trevor Cooley saw a ground out, a strikeout and a pop up for his second save of the season, while Kelleher drew the Skyhawks' fourth walk of the game but was left on base.

Stonehill (16-21-1, 9-15-1 NE10) hosts Merrimack College for the season finale tomorrow, Saturday, May 5 at Lou Gorman Field with a 1:00 p.m. start and prior to the game the Skyhawk will recognize its six seniors.

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