STANDISH, ME – Saint Joseph's College (24-13, 11-3 GNAC) suffered a 6-5 setback at the hands of University of Massachusetts-Boston (15-20, 5-7 LEC) in non-conference baseball action at Larry Mahaney Diamond this afternoon.
The Monks outhit the Beacons by a 10-7 margin, but could not overcome a season-high six fielding errors, which resulted in four unearned runs in the loss. Senior starter Nick Whittaker (Yarmouth, Maine) pitched well, allowing four runs (two earned) off five hits and three walks with eight strikeouts over seven innings, but suffered the hard-luck losing decision and falls to 5-2 on the season.
Trailing 6-3 in the bottom of the eighth, the Monks managed to score twice and nearly tied the game when sophomore second baseman Zack Graham (Marlborough, Mass.) was thrown out on a close play at home with two out.
For the Monks, junior designated hitter Nic Lops (South Portland, Maine/Cheverus) was 3-4 with two runs, a double and a pair of RBI, junior catcher Joe Coyne (Duxbury, Mass.) went 2-4 with a two-bagger and an RBI and freshman shortstop Max McCoomb (South Berwick, Maine) added two hits and a run scored in the loss.
For the Beacons, junior designated hitter Chris Adams (Whitman, Mass.) went 3-4 with a run and an RBI and senior right fielder Jamill Moquete (Boston, Mass.) was 2-4 with a run and an RBI. Freshman pitcher Daniel Mantoni (Northbridge, Mass.) picked up the win after yielding three runs (two earned) off five hits and a pair of walks with four strikeouts in six innings. Senior closer Matt Dziok (Southampton, Mass.) notched his fourth save of the season after allowing a hit with a punch-out in a scoreless ninth.
The game stood at a 1-1 stalemate after the first inning. In the top of the opening frame, UMass.-Boston Moquete plated junior center fielder Anthony Gomes-Sirianni (San Francisco, Calif.) – who reached on an error – with a sac fly to right. The Monks responded in the bottom of the first, when McCoomb singled, moved to second on a Louie Vigars (Stratham, N.H.) sac bunt, and scored when Lops singled through the left side.
The 1-1 deadlock remained until the top of the third when the Beacons scored twice off two hits and an SJC miscue to secure a 3-1 advantage. Gomes-Sirianni led off the inning with a walk and moved to second on a Kyle Szatrowski (Agawam, Mass.) dropped down a sac bunt. Moquete followed and singled sharply to left and Gomes-Sirianni appeared to stay at third, but a bobbled ball in the outfield allowed the junior to score the go-ahead run. UMass.-Boston tacked on another run when Moquete was driven home on a singled through the right side off the bat of Adams, lifting the visitors to a 3-1 lead.
The Beacons proceeded to add an unearned run in the sixth to claim a three-run cushion. Adams led off the inning and reached on an infield miscue, advanced to second on a passed ball, jumped to third when Bryan Dupre (Chicopee, Mass.) grounded to second, and scored on a passed ball.
The SJC offense came to life in the bottom of the sixth, scored twice on a pair of hits and two UMass.-Boston errors to make it a 4-3 game. Vigars led off and reached on an infield throwing error and later scored when Coyne doubled to the base of the left field wall. Lops, who singled, scored when Taylor Reuillard (Biddeford, Mass.) grounded to first and the ball was misplayed, cutting the hosts' deficit down to one run.
Saint Joseph's fell victim to subpar defensive play in the top of the eighth, when the Beacons scored twice off two hits and a pair of Monks' errors to secure a 6-3 lead. Facing newly-entered reliever Riley Cox (Westford, Mass.), senior second baseman Jose Pena (Boston, Mass.) led off with a double down the left field line and later crossed the plate on an infield error. Sophomore Jason Cholish (Exton, Pa.), who entered as a pinch runner for Adams, scored the Beacons' final run of the contest when an error was made on a cutoff relay.
The Monks attempted to post a comeback and immediately scored two runs off three hits and a UMass.-Boston error in the bottom of the eighth. Senior right fielder Alex Lorenc (Nanuet, N.Y.) started the inning with a double down the right field line and scored easily when the following batter, Lops, also ripped a double to right. After moving to third on a groundout to the right side, Lops came around to score on a Reuillard sac fly to right. Graham, pinch running for Alex Markakis (Lynnfield, Mass.), stole second and tried to score on a Brett Barbati (Melrose, Mass.) base hit, but was cut down at home.
Saint Joseph's will host Bowdoin College in a single nine-inning game starting at 12:00 PM on Sunday. UMass.-Boston hosts conference-rival Rhode Island College at 1:00 PM on Friday.
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 430-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.