HAMDEN, Conn. – Saint Joseph's College (25-8, 9-1 GNAC) posted a pair of walk-off victories over Albertus Magnus College (7-20, 3-9 GNAC) on Thursday afternoon. The Monks posted a 2-1 win in nine innings in the opener and completed the sweep with a 3-2 triumph in the nightcap.
The games, originally scheduled to be played at Larry Mahaney Diamond on Sunday, April 15th, were postponed and rescheduled to take place at Rockford Field in Hampden, Connecticut. Though technically playing on the road, Saint Joseph's was the home team for both games.
GAME ONE: Saint Joseph's 2, Albertus Magnus 1 (9 inn.):
Trailing 1-0 heading into the bottom of the seventh, the Monks managed to score the tying run and send the game to extras. Sophomore third baseman Will Martin (Arlington, Mass.) led off with a single and was removed in favor of a pinch runner in Hunter Richardson (North Monmouth, Maine), who stole second and scored on a base hit off the bat of sophomore Ben Gravel (Rochester, N.H.).
The Albertus Magnus leadoff hitter reached in both the eighth and ninth innings, but Saint Joseph's turned double plays on both occasions to help maintain the tie score.
In the bottom of the ninth, Richardson worked a one-out walk and stole second before scoring the game-winning run on consecutive errant throws on the play.
The Falcons got on the board early with a run off a hit and an SJC error in the top of the first, when sophomore third baseman Matt Warren (Wolcott, Conn.) walked with two out, stole second, advanced to third on a throwing error, and scored on a Christian Bradley (Stratford, Conn.) base hit.
Albertus Magnus junior pitcher Daunte Brinkley (Hartford, Conn.) held the Monks without a baserunner until junior shortstop Joey Murphy (Derry, N.H.) singled with two out in the bottom of the fourth. St. Joe's loaded the bases in the sixth but failed to produce a run.
The Falcons had runners on second and third with two out in the top of the seventh, but senior closer Josh Partridge (Deerfield, N.H.) entered the game and froze junior shortstop Mike Browne (New Fairfield, Conn.) with a called strike three to cancel the threat.
ON THE MOUND:
- SJC freshman starter Zach Begin (Georgetown, Mass.) tossed a gem but did not figure into the decision after allowing an unearned run off five hits and three walks with eight strikeouts in 6.2 innings
- Partridge picked up the win in relief and improved to 4-2 after giving up two hits and fanning one batter in 2.1 innings
- Brinkley suffered the hard-luck loss after yielding two runs (one earned) off five hits and three walks with five K's over 8.1 innings
OFF THE BAT:
- Martin went 2-3 with a pair of singles
- Murphy was 2-4 with two singles
- Gravel was 1-2 with an RBI
- Richardson scored two runs and swiped a pair of bases
- For Albertus, Bradley and junior first baseman Marc Masciantonio (Hamden, Conn.) both produced two hits in the loss
GAME TWO: Saint Joseph's 3, Albertus Magnus 2:
The Monks followed a similar script in the closing contest. Trailing 2-1 going into the bottom of the seventh, Martin led off with a single, moved into scoring position on a Noah McDaniel (Eliot, Maine) sac bunt, and advanced to third on a Gravel base hit. Both players scored when the following batter, junior catcher Anthony DiPrizio (Rochester, N.H.) roped a two-run double as the Monks walked off for the second-consecutive game.
The Falcons grabbed an early lead with two runs off three hits in the top of the first, as Browne and Tyriq Harris (Waterbury, Conn.) opened with back-to-back singles and scored on a Warren base hit and a Tom Crocco (Kings Park, N.Y.) groundout.
St. Joe's cut the deficit in half in the bottom of the second, when Martin led off with a single and later scored on a Gravel double to left field.
Albertus Magnus had the bases loaded in the third and seventh innings but the Monks managed to maintain the one-run disadvantage and set the stage for the late-game fireworks in the process.
ON THE MOUND:
- SJC sophomore starter Matt Demma (Worcester, Mass.) allowed two runs off eight hits and no walks with three strikeouts in five innings
- Freshman reliever Jonathan Marchia (Chicopee, Mass.) earned the win and is now 2-0 on the season after allowing a hit and a walk with two K's in two innings
- Albertus senior starter Dan Zarnik (Hamden, Conn.) took the loss and falls to 2-5 after giving up three runs off seven hits with five strikeouts in 6.1 innings
OFF THE BAT:
- Martin went 3-3 with two runs and a double
- Gravel was 2-3 with a run, a double, and an RBI
- DiPrizio doubled and knocked in a pair
- For Albertus, Harris and Crocco notched two hits apiece
With the sweep, Saint Joseph's improves to 23-1 in the history of the series with Albertus Magnus College and has now defeated the Falcons in 21-consecutive meetings dating back to the 2008 campaign.
The Monks are back in action Saturday with a GNAC doubleheader at Suffolk University. The first game is slated to start at 1:00 PM.