Baseball (4-25, 4-23) Caps Season with Extra-Inning Walk-Off Victory Over Saint Anselm
The Saint Michael's College baseball team capped its season by going 1-2 in Northeast-10 Conference play last week, being swept in a doubleheader at regionally-ranked Franklin Pierce University, 13-1 and 6-2, on Wednesday before walking off Saint Anselm College, 6-5, in 10 innings on Thursday. The Ravens were fifth in the latest National Collegiate Baseball Writers Association (NCBWA) East Region poll, while the Purple Knights' victory pushed them past the Hawks in the final NE10 Northeast Division standings. Saint Michael's went 3-3 in its last six games.
Junior PJ Jasak (Palmer, Mass./Wilbraham & Monson Academy/Le Moyne) knocked his first career home run in the opener at Franklin Pierce while going 1-for-3 with a hit-by-pitch, and senior Drew Salk (Billerica, Mass./Billerica Memorial) and sophomore Joe Robertson (Essex Junction, Vt./Essex) finished 1-for-3 apiece with a walk. Senior Steven Auger (Hopkinton, N.H./Hopkinton) walked twice. As the first of three pitchers, sophomore Denis Cooney (Pittsfield, Mass./Pittsfield) took the loss after allowing seven earned runs on six hits in three innings. He struck out three and walked five. Classmate Dan Flynn (Williamstown, Mass./Mount Greylock Regional) fired his second scoreless outing in as many collegiate appearances by retiring both Ravens he faced.
Saint Michael's outhit the hosts, 11-8, in the nightcap while twice bringing the tying run into the on-deck circle during a ninth-inning rally. Junior Patrick Martin (Wilton, N.H./Wilton-Lyndeborough Coop/Saint Joseph's [Maine]) pitched well into the eighth inning, allowing only a pair of solo homers in the opening seven frames before taking the loss after yielding all six runs - five earned - over 7.1 innings. Sophomore Alex Sprague (Nottingham, N.H./Proctor Academy) retired the only two batters he faced. First-year Connor Hopkins (Windham, N.H./Windham) batted 3-for-5 with an RBI, Robertson was 2-for-5 with an RBI, while Salk singled and walked. Eight of the nine Purple Knight hitters had a hit.
Sophomore Harry Southworth's (Taunton, Mass./Coyle & Cassidy) 10th-inning walk-off RBI single capped the Purple Knights' comeback victory over Saint Anselm, as they scored three in the ninth to tie the game and trailed 4-0 on one hit heading into the seventh. Saint Michael's is 7-7 against Saint Anselm since 2013, including 5-2 at home in that time. Jasak picked up his first college triple and scored the winning run, while Southworth had a hit, an RBI and a hit-by-pitch. On the final swing of his career, Salk hit a tying two-out, two-run double in the ninth. Sophomore Sean Winthrop (Hopkinton, Mass./Lawrence Academy) went 2-for-3 with two runs, a double and a hit-by-pitch, Hopkins was 2-for-5 with a run, three RBIs, a double and a steal, while Robertson doubled and walked. Auger walked and stole a base, breaking a tie with Drew Hamilton '95 and Juan Montanez '02 to finish fourth in program history with 22 steals. His 25 hits by pitch are a record. Sophomore Drew Farris (Andover, Mass./Saint John's Prep) allowed two runs on six hits over the first four frames, striking out two, and classmate Christian Devine (Exeter, N.H./Exeter) yielded two runs - but one earned - on five hits in three frames. When he allowed the earned run, Devine's run of 20.2 consecutive innings without allowing an earned run, including 20 in a row since moving to the bullpen, came to an end. Junior Colin Brennan (Braintree, Mass./Boston College HS) earned his second career win in relief, yielding one run on three hits in three frames while striking out two.