Baseball (5-29, 4-18) Concludes Season with Four Games Against Nationally-Ranked Powers
The Saint Michael's College baseball team lost its final four contests of the season last week, all against nationally-ranked Northeast-10 Conference opponents. The Purple Knights fell at No. 4 Southern New Hampshire University, 10-5, on Tuesday before being swept by No. 1 Franklin Pierce University, 8-0 and 15-1, in a Wednesday doubleheader and then falling to the top-ranked Ravens, 16-4, on Thursday. Both Franklin Pierce's and Southern New Hampshire's rankings were according to the Collegiate Baseball poll.
Senior Nick Addona (Cary, N.C./Green Hope/Southeastern CC) and junior Steven Auger (Hopkinton, N.H./Hopkinton) both went 2-for-2 with a double at Southern New Hampshire, as Auger drove in a run and Addona scored one. Junior Drew Salk (Billerica, Mass./Billerica Memorial) was 1-for-3 with a double and a walk, first-year Sean Winthrop (Hopkinton, Mass./Lawrence Academy) doubled in his only plate appearance and scored, and classmate Calvin Holland (Hopkinton, Mass./Hopkinton) ripped a two-bagger. Junior Peter Cross (Fairfield, Conn./Fairfield Ludlowe) took the loss after allowing eight runs, with seven earned, in 4.1 innings. First-year Llewellyn Jensen (Auburn, Maine/Edward Little) was the most effective of two relievers, firing 1.2 no-hit, shutout innings.
Holland went 2-for-4 in game one versus Franklin Pierce on Wednesday, and three others had one hit, including sophomore catcher Aiden Burton (Milford, Conn./Notre Dame). Burton limited Franklin Pierce, which entered the day leading Division II in stolen bases per game, to an 0-for-1 showing on the base paths over the first 7.1 innings. Senior Curt Echo (Shelburne, Vt./Champlain Valley Union) allowed seven runs, with five being earned, in 8.1 innings. In his final career appearance, Echo pushed his career innings pitched total to 203, joining SMC Athletic Hall of Famer Luke Steffens '40 (303) as the only players in program history to toss 200 innings. Echo tied for third at Saint Michael's in pitching appearances (37) and tied for ninth in complete games (10).
In the nightcap, first-year Dan Flynn (Williamstown, Mass./Mount Greylock Regional) had a hit, and Salk walked, hit a sacrifice fly and drove in a run. Sophomore Peter Bocchino (Saugus, Mass./The Governor's Academy) also walked and was hit by a pitch. First-year Christian Devine (Exeter, N.H./Exeter) took the loss after allowing 10 runs in 4.1 innings, with just five earned. Four relievers followed, with senior John Mielke (Boxboro, Mass./Acton-Boxboro Regional) firing 0.2 scoreless innings and first-year Alex Sprague (Nottingham, N.H./Proctor Academy) tossing a pair of shutout frames. With his 35th career pitching appearance, Mielke will graduate tied for eighth in program history.
Saint Michael's played its fourth game in three days against teams ranked among the top four nationally by finishing its season with another contest against Franklin Pierce on Thursday. Burton batted 2-for-4 with a run, as he caught the Purple Knights' final 88 innings this year. Holland was 2-for-5 with a run and an RBI, and first-year Trevor Allen (Dennis, Mass./Dennis-Yarmouth Regional) added a hit and an RBI while tossing four shutout innings of relief. He yielded just one hit while striking out seven and walking one. Salk walked twice, and first-year Matt Downing (Hanover, Mass./Archbishop Williams) was 1-for-3 with a run and a steal. Junior Dylan Lavery (Billerica, Mass./Billerica Memorial) took the loss after allowing seven runs, all unearned, in one inning of work. He struck out the side.