WINTERHAVEN, FL - Saint Joseph's (1-1)
started their southern swing by earning a split in a doubleheader
against Worcester Polytechnic Institute (1-1) on Sunday. The
Engineers edged the Monks in a nine-inning pitcher's duel, 3-2, in
game one, while the Royal Blue defeated WPI in a 15-14 slugfest in
the nightcap. Chris Campbell '11
(Rochester, NH) and Todd
Keneborus '11 (Hollis Center, ME/Cheverus) both
notched four hits and three RBI's in the twinbill.
Wade Oliver '09 (Owls Head, ME)
captured his first collegiate pitching victory for the Monks in
Craig Woodbrey ‘10 (Gorham, ME) lifted the Monks to victory in the latter contest with a run-scoring double to deep right-center in the bottom of the seventh inning.
In a rematch of the 2009 season opener, SJC starter Pat Moran ‘10 (Winterport, ME) and WPI hurler Conor Fahey ‘09 (Cumberland, RI) locked heads in a pitcher's duel in game one. As it turned out, neither pitcher figured into the final decision of the game. Moran logged 5 2/3 innings with three strikeouts and four hits allowed, while Fahey countered with 13 K's and four hits allowed in eight innings on the hill.
WPI right fielder Scott McNee ‘09 (Falmouth, MA), the 2008 NEWMAC Player of the Year, put his Engineers up 1-0 with a leadoff longball, off a Moran slider, over the left-center fence in the bottom of the second.
St. Joe's figured out Fahey in the fourth and put up two runs to secure the lead. Keneborus provided the key hit with a double to right-center, driving in Campbell and designated hitter Ian Lee ‘11 (Hampden, ME), who had both reached base via singles.
Fahey whiffed the side in both the fifth and sixth innings and Paul Galligan ‘10 (Weymouth, MA) doubled to left to send home Bryan Watkins ‘11 (Belmont, MA) and knot the game at two apiece in the bottom of the sixth.
St. Joe's failed to score in the top of the seventh and WPI had an excellent opportunity to win the game in the bottom of the inning. McNee led off for the Engineers with a hard hit ball to short, which was misplayed by Campbell. A sac bunt moved McNee to second and a single by Matt Moreau ‘10 (Manchester, NH) moved him to third. Campbell came through on his next play, however, turning a slick double play to end the threat.
The Monks managed to advance runners to second base in both the eighth and ninth innings, but were unable to muster the big hit. Four straight walks in the bottom of the ninth provided the Engineers with a hard-fought victory, as Mark Dignum ‘10 (Albany, NY) worked the count for a base on balls to send McNee home to win the game.
For St. Joe's, Keneborus went 2-3 with a double and two RBI's, Ben Grant-Roy ‘10 (Biddeford, ME) smacked a double and Chris Nanof ‘10 (Clinton, MA) suffered the loss.
For the Engineers, Galligan had two hits and Thomas Whiting ‘10 (Farmington Hills, MI) was credited with the victory in relief.
If game one is to be tabbed a pitching duel, the nightcap would best be described as a slugfest. The New England Region teams combined to post 29 runs off 28 hits and combined to use 11 different pitchers in the latter contest.
McNee put his squad on the board in the first inning with a single off SJC starter Sam Murray ‘12 (Walpole, MA), scoring Galligan, who led off the game with a base hit. The Monks answered in the bottom half with a run, provided by a Campbell double to right-center, scoring Oliver, who reached via base on balls.
Campbell jumpstarted the Monks again in the third by leading off the inning with a base-hit bunt. The sophomore infielder proceeded to swipe second, advanced to third on a Lee single, and scored on an error by WPI third baseman Nick Bean ‘12 (Middleboro, MA). Lee later scored on a sac fly off the bat of center fielder Eric LaBatte ‘11 (Rochester, NH) to give the Monks a 3-1 advantage.
The Engineers answered in the fourth by scoring four runs off four hits to take a 5-3 lead. John Flynn ‘12 (Albion, ME) and Galligan hit back-to-back run scoring triples and Dignum added an RBI base knock in the inning.
The SJC offense exploded for seven runs in the bottom of the fourth to regain the lead, 10-5. Campbell hit a two-RBI single of the middle, scoring Dan Acorn ‘12 (Bow, NH) and Oliver, and Moran hit a laser to left to send home Grant-Roy and Campbell in the outburst. LaBatte added an RBI single and a ball hit to third by Andrew Riotto ‘11 (Somersworth, NH) was misplayed, resulting in two unearned runs, capping the scoring for the inning.
The see-saw battle continued, as WPI fired back to tie the game with five runs in the top of the fifth to tie the game, 10-10. Bean had an RBI single, Mitch McClune 12 (Pembroke, MA) an RBI double and Cody McGregor ‘10 (Westfield, MA) lofted a Josh Astbury ‘12 (Blue Hill, ME) offering over the left field fence in the frame.
Two scoreless halves followed before the Monks tallied four runs in the bottom of the sixth to secure a 14-10 lead. Moran sent Keneborus, who led off the inning with a single down the right field line, home with a hard hit double to left. Third baseman Dan Brown ‘12 (Portland, ME/Deering) followed by perfectly executing a slash, hitting the ball on the ground between second and third to record his first collegiate hit and score Pat Hamilton ‘12 (Plaistow, NH), who pinch ran for Moran. LaBatte, who had earlier reached via hit by pitch, scored on a wild pitch and Steve Gorsun ‘09 (South Berwick, ME), pinch running for Brown, trotted home on an Oliver sacrifice fly.
WPI managed to tie the game again in the top of the seventh, as six walks, one intentional, issued by the SJC staff led to four runs.
Grant-Roy was plunked to start the bottom half and a misplayed ball led to Keneborus reaching on a fielder's choice. Right fielder Woodbrey followed by crushing a ball to deep right center, notching his first hit at the college level and sending home Grant-Roy to win the game.
Campbell went 3-4 with three RBI's for Saint Joseph's, while Moran recorded a pair of hits and three RBI's. Keneborus was 2-4 and LaBatte sent home two runs in the triumph. Starter Sam Murray fanned four and allowed seven hits in the first start of his NCAA career and reliever Shawn Hall ‘10 (West Newfield, ME) had three whiffs in his first SJC appearance. Oliver struck out the only batter he faced and was credited with the win in the second pitching appearance of his college career.
Achorn notched his first college hit in his first at bat, roping a single up the middle in the second inning.
For WPI, Dignum and McNee both went 3-4 and Galligan, Bean and McClune had two hits each. Reliever Madison Paulino ‘11 (Worcester, MA) took the loss on the mound.
St. Joe's will take on Wittenberg University in a doubleheader on Monday morning, with the first game slated to begin at 9:00 AM.