COLCHESTER, Vt. - The Saint Michael's College baseball team split a Sunday doubleheader with Stonehill College to claim the three-game weekend series at Doc Jacobs Field, notching a 5-3 victory in the nightcap on Senior Day. The Purple Knights, who trailed only 6-5 in the seventh inning of an 18-7 loss in game one, improved to 3-23 overall and 3-21 in the Northeast-10 Conference. The Skyhawks are 14-26 and 8-13.
The Purple and Gold, which also picked up a 5-1 win on Saturday, earned two victories over Stonehill in as many days after winning once in the series between 2008 and 2016, and previously nabbing three wins since 1995.
In the second contest, sophomores Trevor Allen (Dennis, Mass./Dennis-Yarmouth Regional) and Alex Sprague (Nottingham, N.H./Proctor Academy) combined to yield three runs on four hits and strike out 11. Allen earned the victory, allowing one run on two hits in five frames, striking out five and walking five. Sprague came on to record the four-inning save behind one of his finest outings as a collegian, surrendering just the final two runs - both with two out in the ninth inning - on two hits with a career-high six strikeouts. He walked three.
Senior Steven Auger (Hopkinton, N.H./Hopkinton) finished 3-for-3 with two runs, an RBI and the 21st stolen base of his career, tying Auger for fourth in program history with Drew Hamilton '95 and Juan Montanez '02. Sophomore Dan Flynn (Williamstown, Mass./Mount Greylock Regional) was 1-for-2 with two runs, a walk and a steal, while classmate Joe Robertson (Essex Junction, Vt./Essex) doubled with an RBI and a walk.
Senior Eddie Bowler batted 2-for-5 with two RBIs and a double for Stonehill, and first-year Michael White took the loss after allowing three runs on five hits with five strikeouts and four walks in six innings.
Auger's two-out RBI single broke a scoreless deadlock in the second inning before a second runner was thrown out at the plate. Skyhawks were at the corners with no one out in the following frame before catcher Robertson threw out the runner trying to steal second and Allen fanned the next hitter and induced an inning-ending groundout. A wild pitch tied the game in the fifth, and Stonehill loaded the bases with one out but scored no further.
In the home half, the Purple Knights used three hits and three steals to score two runs, as Flynn came home on a wild pitch before Robertson's double to the left center gap plated Auger with two down. In his first inning, Sprague escaped a two-on, two-out jam in the sixth unscathed, and the hosts scored twice more in the seventh, as Flynn again scored on a wild pitch before Auger, who was stealing on the pitch, came all the way around from second base on first-year Connor Hopkins' (Windham, N.H./Windham) RBI groundout.
With a 5-1 lead, Sprague struck out the first two batters of the ninth inning before two walks and Bowler's two-run double followed. However, with the tying run at the plate, Sprague fanned the cleanup hitter on five pitches.
Robertson was 4-for-4 with three RBIs and a sacrifice fly in the opener, while Hopkins finished 2-for-3 with one run, three RBIs, a double, a hit by pitch and a sacrifice fly. Seniors Kyle Cone (York, Maine/York) and Drew Salk (Billerica, Mass./Billerica Memorial) both went 3-for-5 and a double, with Cone scoring twice and Salk walking. Allen finished 1-for-3 with two walks. Sophomore Drew Farris (Andover, Mass./Saint John's Prep) took the loss after yielding four earned runs in five innings with three strikeouts. As the third relief pitcher, Flynn needed seven pitches to retire three of four hitters during his college pitching debut in the ninth inning.
Bowler was 4-for-6 with two runs and an RBI for Stonehill, one of seven players with multiple hits. Junior Alex Hurley scored three runs and drove in four, while senior Ben Monte was 3-for-6 with three runs. First-year Daniel Paul improved to 3-0 after allowing five runs, with four earned, in five innings.
Stonehill scored three first-inning runs before Saint Michael's countered with three with two down in the second, on Hopkins' two-run double and Robertson's RBI knock. After the visitors scored once in the fourth, the Purple Knights took the lead, 5-4, when Hopkins and Robertson poked back-to-back sac flies in the home half.
A sac fly tied the game the following frame, and junior Justin Nicklas' two-out RBI double put the Skyhawks up for good. Hurley's two-run double keyed a three-run seventh, but Saint Michael's edged within 9-7 in the bottom half when sophomore Harry Southworth (Taunton, Mass./Coyle & Cassidy) scored on a wild pitch and Robertson knocked an RBI single. However, 14 Skyhawks came to the plate during a nine-run eighth inning.
The Purple Knights finish their home slate against Saint Anselm College on Tuesday at 3:30 p.m.