AUBURNDALE, Fla. – Saint Joseph's College (4-5) suffered a pair of losses at the hands of Western New England University (3-0) on the team's final day in the 2016 RussMatt Central Florida Invitational on Saturday. The Golden Bears opened with a 6-1 victory and completed the sweep with a 5-1 triumph in the nightcap.
Western New England 6, Saint Joseph's 1
HOW IT HAPPENED
The opener started off great for the Monks, as junior shortstop Max McCoomb (South Berwick, Maine) led off the top of the first with a home run – his first collegiate jack – over the left field wall. Unfortunately, St. Joe's would not cross home plate again while WNE scored three in the first and three in the sixth to take the first of the two-game set by a 6-1 margin.
PITCHER OF RECORD
Making his second start of the season, junior Nick Malatesta (Wrentham, Mass.) was chased in the first inning after failing to record an out while allowing three runs (two earned) off four hits and a walk. He falls to 1-1 on the season with the setback.
Senior Riley Cox (Westford, Mass.) allowed three runs (two earned) off two hits without recording an out and sophomore Steven Albert (Worcester, Mass.) allowed a hit with a strikeout in one inning of scoreless relief.
- McCoomb was 3-4 with the solo home run and a stolen base
- Junior first baseman Brett Barbati (Melrose, Mass.) was 3-3 with a double
- Junior Dennis Meehan (Gardiner, Maine) and freshman Greg Emanuelson (Hudson, N.H.) produced pinch-hit singles
- Sophomore Marc Poirier (Lunenburg, Mass.) came on in relief in the first inning and was dominant, scattering four hits with two walks while fanning seven over five frames
Western New England 5, Saint Joseph's 1
HOW IT HAPPENED
The second contest between the New England Region counterparts unfolded in a very similar manner, as the Monks held a 1-0 lead early only to see the edge evaporate as the Golden Bears scored twice in the third, once in the fourth, and two more in the seventh to remain undefeated on the young season.
St. Joe's got on the board in the bottom of the second with a run off three hits, as senior Nic Lops (South Portland, Maine/Cheverus) led off with a single through the left side and later scored on a Joey Murphy (Derry, N.H.) base hit to right.
Once again, the early production failed to snowball into additional momentum, partially because the slim lead was erased in the top of the third when WNE plated a pair off three hits. The Golden Bears scored another run in the fourth with a double and well-executed small ball play and capped the game scoring with two runs off three hits in the top of the seventh.
PITCHER OF RECORD
Freshman Grayson Jennings (Bedford, N.H.) took the loss after allowing five runs off 10 hits and a pair of walks with three K's in 6.1 innings. Junior Thomas Fortier (Falmouth, Maine) and Albert worked 1/3 inning of relief apiece in the setback.
- Meehan, the Monks' lone repeat hitter, went 2-3 with a double
- Junior Mike Kinch (Newton, Mass.) was 1-3 with a two-bagger
With the losses, Saint Joseph's falls to 10-9 in the history of the series with Western New England, a team the Monks have faced five times in the NCAA DIII New England Regional Tournament.
The Monks return to Florida for a four-game set starting with a doubleheader versus St. Olaf on Thursday, March 24th.
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.