BASEBALL FALLS IN EXTRAS TO ST. JOSEPH'S (ME), 8-7
March 30, 2011
STANDISH, ME - Saint Joseph's (7-7) edged the University of Massachusetts Boston baseball squad (5-8), 8-7, in 11 innings in the Monks 2011 home-opener at Larry Mahaney Diamond on Wednesday evening. Junior pitcher Andy Devereaux (Hope Valley, RI) tossed three scoreless innings to record the victory in relief.
St. Joe's trailed 5-0 in after the Beacons plated a pair in the top of the fifth, but the hosts rallied with three runs in the bottom of the inning to make it a two-run game. The Monks, who trailed 7-3 after UMass.-Boston scored twice in the seventh inning, received a solo home run from center fielder Nate Martin '13 (Chebeague Island, ME) and scored three times in the bottom of the eighth to knot the game at seven apiece.
The deadlock remained until the bottom of the 11th inning. Martin sparked the Monks once again with a sharp single to left to lead off the frame, moved to second on a well-placed bunt by left fielder Sam Butts '13 (Saco, ME), and scored on an Alex Lorenc '14 (Nanuet, NY) single to center field.
Saint Joseph's was led offensively by sophomore first baseman Mike Pratt (Dartmouth, MA), who went 3-5 with a run, a double, and an RBI in the thrilling victory. Senior catcher Ian Lee (Hampden, ME) went 2-4 with a run and Martin was 2-5 with two runs, two RBI and a home run.
For the Beacons, senior first baseman Connor Reinfurt (Manchester, NH) went 3-5 with two runs, three RBI and a home run and catcher Taylor Kapulka '14 (Worcester, MA) was 2-4 with a run and two RBI. Senior second sacker Ryan Walsh (Newton, MA) went 2-5 with a run scored and a double in the losing effort. Both teams utilized four pitchers in the duel between the 2010 New England Regional participants.
SJC starter Sam Murray '12 (Walpole, MA) allowed four earned runs off eight hits with a walk and a punch-out in five innings. Chris Dion '11 (Lawrence, MA) whiffed a pair in 1.1 innings of scoreless relief and Kyle Neagle '12 (Lisbon Falls, ME) yielded two runs on two hits and a walk and struck out three in 1.2 frames.
Devereaux, who fanned two and allowed one hit in three innings, improves to 2-1 on the year with the winning decision.
Freshman right-hander Lucas Ilges (Gloucester, MA) started on the hill for the Beacons and worked 7.1 innings with six hits and five runs (two earned) allowed while fanning two batters. Reliever Tyler Kane '14 (Wilbraham, MA) failed to record an out in his appearance and allowed two runs on a hit and a walk. Junior southpaw James Dalton (Apopka, FL), the 2010 Little East Conference Pitcher of the Year, held the Monks' bats in check and allowed two hits and a walk in 2.2 innings with four K's. Will Barrack '14 (Lancaster, VT) suffered the loss after allowing two hits and a run in 0.1 innings.
UMass.-Boston scored single runs in the second, third and fourth innings and tacked on a pair in the top of the fifth to secure a seemingly insurmountable 5-0 cushion. Designated hitter Dan Gambill '13 (Lake Worth, FL) kicked off the game scoring when he plated Reinfurt, who reached with a single, with a base knock up the middle in the second inning. Junior center fielder Mark McCormack (Shelton, CT) scored on a Kapulka single in the second and shortstop Matt Consiglio '13 (Southbury, CT) drove home Nick Grassetti '13 (Agawam, MA) with a base hit to center in the fourth to extend the Beacons' lead to 3-0.
With two out in the top of the fifth, Reinfurt jacked a two-run blast deep over the left field wall to provide the visitors with a 5-0 advantage and even more momentum as the Monks bats, held to just two hits - both by Pratt - in the first four innings, remained silent.
The SJC sticks awoke in the bottom of the fifth, however, as Lee led off with a sharply hit single through the left side and scored when junior third baseman Dan Brown (Portland, ME/Deering) capped an outstanding at bat with a double down the right field line. Second baseman Matt Consigli '14 (Northbridge, MA) lined a ball to the outfield that was dropped by UMB right fielder Jose Roman Santos '11 (Tenares, DR), a miscue that allowed Brown to score, and Martin pushed Consigli across with a sacrifice bunt to make it a 5-3 game.
The two-run tilt held true until the top of the seventh when the Beacons scored twice to take a 7-3 lead. Kapulka plated McCormack, who reached via base on balls, with a sacrifice fly to right and Walsh, who doubled, crossed the plate on a Reinfurt single through the left side to put the visitors up by four.
In the bottom of the seventh Martin's blast - a shot between the 335 sign and the scoreboard in left - cut the SJC deficit to 7-4. Martin now has two home runs in his career and both of them have come against the Beacons.
Running out of outs, the Monks managed to plate three runs in the eighth to tie the game at seven each. The inning started when senior right fielder Todd Keneborus (Hollis Center, ME/Cheverus) reached second base on an infield error. Pratt turned around a 1-1 fastball for a double down the left field line to plate his teammate and later scored when Kane and Dalton, who entered in relief after a walk was issued to SJC shortstop Dan Achorn '12 (Bow, NH), both uncorked wild pitches. Pinch hitter Alex Markakis '14 (Lynnfield, MA) drove home Achorn with a line-drive single up the middle.
Dalton went on to register a pair of scoreless frames, but SJC submariner Devereaux matched the Beacons' ace pitch for pitch and allowed just two runners to reach, one on an infield error, in three innings to provide the Monks with an opportunity to win the game with Lorenc's walk-off hit.
With the win, St. Joe's improves to 2-1 in the history of the series with UMass.-Boston. All three of the meetings between the teams have been decided by one run. The Monks have now won five straight games, while the setback snaps a four-game winning streak for the Beacons.
Saint Joseph's will host a rare doubleheader tomorrow afternoon. The Monks will face Maine-Farmington in a nine-inning game at 2:00 PM with another nine-inning tilt to follow (5:00 PM) versus Husson University. UMass.-Boston hosts Worcester State tomorrow at 3:30 PM.
*Release courtest of St. Joseph's Sports Information Dept.