BROOKLINE, Mass. - Three Saint Michael's College baseball hurlers allowed only three hits to regionally-ranked Stonehill College during a 6-0 loss on Monday at Northeastern University's Friedman Diamond. The Purple Knights are 5-16 overall and 1-5 in the Northeast-10 Conference after losing the rubber game of the three-game series, as the teams split a Thursday twinbill. The Skyhawks, who are fourth in this week's New England Intercollegiate Baseball Association (NEIBA) rankings, moved to 11-8 and 4-2.
First-year Alex Mendez (Fallon, Nev./Churchill County) tossed five no-hit, shutout innings while striking out three and walking four, capping a series during which Purple Knight starters allowed only one run - which was unearned - on six hits in 18 innings. Starters allowed only two runs, one being earned, in the first five innings over the last four games, with Mendez, redshirt first-year Paul Prue (Dennis, Mass./Nauset Regional/Wheaton [Mass.]) and first-year Zach Rodgers (Parrish, Fla./Manatee) also drawing starts.
First-year Danté Moran (Saint Petersburg, Fla./Dixie Hollins) finished 1-for-3 while being hit by a pitch for the visitors, and graduate student Nick Dorcean (Bellerose, N.Y./Archbishop Molloy/SUNY Old Westbury) took the loss after yielding two runs on one hit in two innings. He struck out three and walked two before senior Colin Brennan (Braintree, Mass./Boston College HS) worked the eighth, allowing four unearned runs.
Junior Matthew Rocco walked in all four of his plate appearances for Stonehill, scoring twice. Classmates Patrick Downey and William Kelleher both had two-run singles, while first-year Jared Brooks fired seven one-hit innings with nine strikeouts and two walks. Two relievers finished a game that saw the teams combine for four hits.
Moran singled with two down in the first inning but moved no further, and Rocco and junior Harrison Sabo walked in the bottom half before Mendez fanned a batter for the second out and first-year catcher Julien Giroux-Harvey (Montreal, Québec/Collège Jean-de-Brébeuf) cut down a runner trying to steal on the play. Mendez left Rocco at second base to end the third and Downey at second to finish the fifth, his final frame.
Stonehill broke through in the sixth, as Rocco and senior Alex Hurley both walked and stole a base before Kelleher knocked a two-out, two-run single into left field. Keyed by two errors, four more runs - all unearned - came home with two out in the eighth. Downey's two-run single was the big blow.
Saint Michael's heads to regionally-ranked Southern New Hampshire University, which is second in the NEIBA poll, on Wednesday at 3:30 p.m. That marks the Purple Knights' final road game before opening a 13-game homestand.