Baseball caps five-game weekend with pair of setbacks at AIC

Baseball caps five-game weekend with pair of setbacks at AIC

SPRINGFIELD, Mass. - The Saint Michael's College baseball team capped a five-game road weekend with a pair of losses to American International College, 8-5 and 14-3, on Sunday during Northeast-10 Conference play at Bedard Field. The Purple Knights are winless through 10 games, each of which have been in league, while the Yellow Jackets improved to 8-17 overall and 4-7 in the NE10 while playing the visiting team on their home field.

First-year Connor Hopkins (Windham, N.H./Windham) was 3-for-5 with an RBI for Saint Michael's in the opener, and sophomore Joe Robertson (Essex Junction, Vt./Essex) finished 2-for-4 with two runs, two RBIs and two doubles. Classmate Trevor Allen (Dennis, Mass./Dennis-Yarmouth Regional) stroked a pinch-hit double while scoring a run, and sophomore Drew Farris (Andover, Mass./Saint John's Prep) went a career-high seven innings during his initial career start, allowing six runs while striking out a personal-high six and walking none.

Senior Chris Starcun went 4-for-5 with three runs and two doubles and a triple for AIC, while first-year Matt Krause went 3-for-5 with a run and two RBIs. Classmate Matt Costanza allowed three runs, two of which were earned, in seven innings for the win. He struck out five and walked two.

Wroth's two-out, two-run double put the Yellow Jackets up for good in the first before Krause's third-inning RBI single made it 3-0, but Hopkins got the run back with a two-out RBI knock in the home half. However, sophomore Josh Aviles hit a two-out, two-run home run in the fourth, and AIC led 6-1 before Robertson drilled an RBI double and scored on senior Drew Salk's (Billerica, Mass./Billerica Memorial) fly ball in the seventh.

After another AIC run scored in the eighth, Robertson laced an RBI double with two down in the bottom half and came in on sophomore Sean Winthrop's (Hopkinton, Mass./Lawrence Academy) single, making it 7-5. Krause came up with an RBI single in the ninth, and Saint Michael's never brought the tying run to the plate.

Junior PJ Jasak (Palmer, Mass./Wilbraham & Monson Academy/Le Moyne) went 2-for-4 with a run in game two, when sophomore Harry Southworth (Taunton, Mass./Coyle & Cassidy) was 2-for-4 with an RBI. Classmate Calvin Holland (Hopkinton, Mass./Hopkinton) batted 1-for-2 with a walk, and senior Steven Auger (Hopkinton, N.H./Hopkinton) had a triple, a run, an RBI and a walk. Sophomore Alex Sprague (Nottingham, N.H./Proctor Academy) took the loss after allowing three runs over two innings in his first collegiate start. Junior Colin Brennan (Braintree, Mass./Boston College HS) spun a shutout inning of relief, and sophomore Matt Downing (Hanover, Mass./Archbishop Williams) tossed two scoreless frames in his pitching debut.

Starcun was 3-for-5 with three runs, three RBIs and two home runs, while Aviles hit another dinger and drove in four. Sophomore JD LeHouiller allowed one run on five hits in six innings for the win.

Aviles drove in the first run during the second inning before AIC scored seven runs on six hits in the third inning, as Aviles hit a three-run inside-the-park homer and Starcun followed with a two-run homer. Saint Michael's trailed 14-0 by the sixth inning, when senior Kyle Cone (York, Maine/York) led off with a single and Hopkins doubled him home. With two down in the ninth, Auger tripled in Jasak before scoring on Southworth's single.

The Purple Knights visit regionally-ranked Franklin Pierce University on Tuesday at 7 p.m. The Ravens, who are eighth in this week's National Collegiate Baseball Writers Association (NCBWA) East Region poll, qualified for the past 12 NCAA Tournaments, including last year's Division II World Series.

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