LEWISTON, ME – Head Coach Will Sanborn '86 recorded the 600th victory of his 22-year career when his Saint Joseph's College (27-13, 11-3 GNAC) club completed a sweep over Bates College (19-19, 7-5 NESCAC) in a non-conference doubleheader at Leahey Field on Wednesday afternoon.
The Monks opened with a solid 5-1 victory over the Bobcats, but trailed by a 6-5 margin going into the top of the seventh in the nightcap. Up to the task, Saint Joseph's rallied with three runs off three hits, including a two-run single from junior Nic Lops (South Portland, Maine/Cheverus), and managed to hold the hosts to a single run in the bottom of the frame to cap the sweep and provide Sanborn, now 600-322-5 (.651) in his career, with the historic triumph.
Game One Recap – Saint Joseph's 5, Bates 1
Senior Joe Gruntkosky (Peabody, Mass.) improved to 5-0, pitching 6.1 innings with eight strikeouts and allowing just one run on two hits as Saint Joseph's earned a 5-1 win over Bates in game one.
Bates sophomore starter Chris Ward (Pasadena, Calif.) threw six innings, giving up five runs, one earned, on eight hits in the loss (1-2). First-year Matt Doyle (Northborough, Mass.) tossed a scoreless inning in relief.
Monk sophomore Riley Cox (Westford, Mass.) picked up his second save of the year as he entered the game with one out in the seventh with the bases loaded and the tying run on deck.
The Monks struck first as Barbati knocked a single through the left side to score Coyne in the second. The visitors doubled their lead to 2-0 in the third as Lops sent a sacrifice fly to center field.
Saint Joseph's stretched their lead to 5-0 with their three-run fifth. Lorenc started the spurt with a double to center field before Coyne singled up the middle to plate Lorenc. Coyne later came home on a passed ball.
The Bobcats threatened in the seventh as junior Mekae Hyde (Lewiston, Maine) singled and first-years Brendon Canavan (Carlisle, Mass.) and John Dinucci (West Hartford, Conn.) each walked to load the bases with one out. First-year Eric Vilanova (Bridgeport, Conn.) forced home a run after being hit by a pitch before Cox retired the next two batters he faced.
Game Two Recap – Saint Joseph's 8, Bates 7
Trailing 6-5 in the top of the seventh, senior Louie Vigars (Stratham, N.H.) tied the game with a sacrifice fly, Lops put the Monks ahead with a two-run single, and Saint Joseph's held off Bates in the bottom of the inning to capture an 8-7 win in game two.
On the game's final play, Monk first-year shortstop Max McCoomb (South Berwick, Maine) dove to stop a ground ball up the middle, tagged second base with his glove for the inning's second out, popped up, and fired to first for the frame's final out.
The Bobcats looked to regain the lead in the bottom of the seventh as Dinucci led off the inning with a single, and senior Jeff Gunn (Lilburn, Ga.) sent a single through the right side, moving Dinucci to third. Senior Kevin Davis (North Andover, Mass.) brought Dinucci home with a sacrifice fly before McCoomb made his play to end the game.
Saint Joseph's sophomore Corey McNamara (West Newbury, Mass.) earned the win (5-1), pitching three innings in relief with two strikeouts and allowing two runs on five hits.
Bates sophomore Samuel Warren (Norfolk, Va.) did not allow a hit over three innings of relief and fanned three batters. Senior Chris Fusco (Annapolis, Md.) took the loss (1-4).
First-year Ryan McCarthy (Plaistow, N.H.) went 2-for-4 with two doubles and two RBIs while Dinucci, Gunn, and junior Sam Berry (South Hamilton, Mass.) each tallied two hits.
Lops enjoyed a 3-for-4 day at the plate in the nightcap with three RBIs and a double.
Bates opened up the game's scoring with a pair of runs in the bottom of the first as McCarthy hit a double down the left field line which skipped over the third base bag, allowing runners to score from second and third.
The Monks responded with two runs in the top of the second to tie the game at 2-2 as senior Alex Markakis (Lynnfield, Mass.) brought home a run with an infield single and sophomore Zack Graham (Marlborough, Mass.) sent a run home with a ground out.
Saint Joseph's snagged a 5-2 advantage with three runs in the top of the third as McCoomb and Lorenc each charted RBI singles and Lops followed with an RBI double.
The Bobcats tied the game in the bottom of the fourth with a three-run inning. Junior Alex Parker (Lewiston, Maine) plated a run with a sacrifice bunt before senior Steve Burke (Bedford, N.H.) brought home another run with a fielder's choice. Berry knotted the score with a single through the right side.
Gunn recorded an RBI single through the right side which scored McCarthy to give Bates a 6-5 edge, but the Monks countered with their three-run seventh and held the Bobcats to one run in their last at bats.
Saint Joseph's hosts Endicott College, in a battle of 2014 NCAA Tournament qualifiers, tomorrow at 3:30 PM. The nine-inning game will serve as the last regular-season contest for both programs as NCAA Regional Tournament action begins next Wednesday.
Bates earned a berth into the NESCAC Tournament for the first time in the 14-year history of the conference's four-team format and begins postseason play with a contest versus Wesleyan at Babson College on Friday at 3:00 PM.
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.