AUBURNDALE, Fla. – The Saint Joseph's College baseball team kicked off the 2016 campaign with a convincing sweep over Worcester Polytechnic Institute (WPI) in the RussMatt Central Florida Invitational on Sunday. The Monks topped the Engineers, 6-3, in the opener and completed the objective with a 7-0 triumph in the nightcap.
GAME ONE – Saint Joseph's 6, WPI 3
HOW IT HAPPENED:
Freshman third baseman Noah McDaniel (Eliot, Maine) lifted the Monks to a 3-0 cushion in the bottom of the second when he plated Nic Lops (South Portland, Maine/Cheverus) and Greg Emanuelson (Hudson, N.H.) with a two-out double and scored on an infield error.
Senior left fielder Taylor Reuillard (Biddeford, Maine) extended his team's lead to 4-0 with a solo home run down the right field line in the bottom of the third.
Junior starter Nick Malatesta (Wrentham, Mass.) was dealing with four strikeouts and no hits allowed through three frames, but the Engineers broke through with a run off two hits in the fourth and added a pair off a triple and an SJC miscue in the fifth to make it a 4-3 game.
Saint Joseph's effectively put the game away in the bottom of the fifth, when junior shortstop Max McCoomb (South Berwick, Maine) reached on an error and scored on a Lops single and Reuillard raced home on a wild pitch.
- Lops, who missed all of last season with an injury and returns as a graduate student, was 3-3 with a run and an RBI
- Reuillard scored a pair of runs and McDaniel knocked in two in his collegiate debut
- Malatesta was terrific in his first opening day start, allowing just two earned runs off three hits and three walks with eight strikeouts in five innings
- The Monks' bullpen started off strong, with senior slinger Riley Cox (Westport, Mass.) tossing a clean sixth inning and senior closer Corey McNamara (West Newbury, Mass.) picking up his first save by facing the minimum in the seventh
Freshman infielder Joey Murphy (Derry, N.H.) singled up the middle in the bottom of the sixth for his first NCAA hit…
GAME TWO – Saint Joseph's 7, WPI 0
HOW IT HAPPENED:
St. Joe's grabbed the lead in the top of the first, when sophomore second baseman Taylor Black (Cardiff by the Sea, Calif.) and Reuillard worked back to back walks and scored on singles by Lops and junior first baseman Jameson Collins (Sandown, N.H.), respectively.
The Monks scored three runs with little heavy lifting in the fourth, as junior right fielder Dennis Meehan (Gardiner, Maine) and sophomore catcher Jacob White (Salem, N.H.) opened the frame with consecutive singles and Murphy reached on a fielder's choice to load the bases with nobody out. All three runners would score without a swing of the bat, as Black, who was struck by a pitch, Reuillard and Lops worked free passes to earn RBI's and extend the SJC lead to 5-0.
Meehan opened the fifth inning with his first home run as a Monk, a deep drive over the left-center wall, and White doubled and later scored on a sac fly lofted by Black.
The Engineers had plenty of trouble solving sophomore starter Josh Partridge (Deerfield, N.H.), who tossed five innings of two-hit ball with a pair of K's before giving way to sophomore relievers Chris Gerossie (Chester, N.H.) and Marc Poirier (Lunenberg, Mass.), a duo that combined to allow two hits with three punch outs in the final two frames.
- Meehan made the most of his first starting opportunity of the season by going 3-4 with two runs, a double, a homer, and an RBI
- White was 2-4 with a double and a pair of runs scored
- Black was credited with two RBI without recording a hit
- Lops went 1-3 with a pair of runs batted in
Saint Joseph's featured five different players in the starting lineup in the second game, including freshman Anthony DiPrizio (Rochester, N.H.), who started in center field and batted leadoff…the Engineers did not send a runner past second base in the losing effort.
With the sweep, Saint Joseph's improves to 4-5 all-time versus WPI and returns the favor dealt by the Engineers in the last meeting between the New England rivals – WPI took a pair from the Monks in Florida, 13-12 and 9-8, on March 8th, 2010.
Saint Joseph's faces Ursinus College (PA) tomorrow in a doubleheader starting at 10:00 AM.
Saint Joseph's College is Maine's only Catholic liberal arts college, providing a supportive, personalized and career-focused education for more than 100 years. From its 474-acre campus on the shores of Sebago Lake, the College offers more than 40 undergraduate programs to a population of approximately 1,000 students. Saint Joseph's College Online provides certificates, undergraduate and advanced degrees for working adults through an online learning program. For more, visit www.sjcme.edu.