WINTER HAVEN, Fla. – Saint Joseph's College (5-5) closed out the 2018 spring trips with an 8-7 victory over Westfield State University (2-4-1) in the RussMatt Central Florida Invitational on Sunday morning. The contest featuring a pair of New England Region rivals featured 27 total hits, including 11 of the extra-base variety.
HOW IT HAPPENED:
Trailing 7-6 in the bottom of the seventh, the Monks managed to take the lead with two runs off two hits and a Westfield State error. Junior shortstop Joey Murphy (Derry, N.H.) led off with a single and later scored the tying run when first baseman Noah McDaniel (Eliot, Maine) grounded into a double play. Senior catcher Jacob White (Salem, N.H.) delivered what proved to be the game-winning hit with a double – his third two-bagger of the game – sending sophomore left fielder Ben Gravel (Rochester, N.H.) across the plate.
Saint Joseph's grabbed an early lead when junior designated hitter Greg Emanuelson (Hudson, N.H.) launched a two-run homer over the left field wall and scored four runs off five hits in the second to secure a 6-1 advantage.
The Owls cut their deficit to 6-4 with a run in the fifth and a pair of runs in the top of the sixth. Westfield State went on to claim a 7-6 edge with three runs off three hits in the top of the seventh, when sophomore Brett Dooley (Cohasset, Mass.) roped an RBI single and later scored, along with senior Alex Lafayette (Ludlow, Mass.), on an Alex Benevides (Fall River, Mass.) base hit.
ON THE MOUND:
Freshman Jonathan Marchia (Chicopee, Mass.) picked up his first collegiate victory after tossing 2.1 innings of perfect relief with a pair of strikeouts. Freshman starter Zach Begin (Georgetown, Mass.) allowed four runs (three earned) off 10 hits and two walks with four punch-outs in six innings.
The Owls employed a "Charlie Whole-staff" approach with five different pitchers toeing the slab in a losing effort. Graduate Nate Barnes (Westfield, Mass.) started and allowed six runs (four earned) off eight hits with a pair of K's in two innings and junior Scott Strachan (Braintree, Mass.) took the loss after giving up two unearned runs off a hit and a walk without recording an out in the seventh inning.
OFF THE BAT:
- White tied a program record with three doubles and was 3-4 with an RBI
- Senior center fielder Chris Gerossie (Chester, N.H.) went 3-5 with a run, a double, and an RBI
- Junior right fielder Jared Gagne (Dover, N.H.) was 3-4 with a run and a triple
- Emanuelson went 1-3 with a homer and two RBI
- For Westfield State, Lafayette, Dooley, Anthony Crowley (Bellingham, Mass.), Colin Dunn (Westfield, Mass.) and Jared Ferrari (Waltham, Mass.) posted two hits apiece
With the victory, Saint Joseph's improves to 4-1 in the history of the series with Westfield State University.
Saint Joseph's returns to Maine late tonight and is back in action on Saturday, March 24th with a non-conference game at UMass.-Dartmouth. First pitch is slated for 1:00 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 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.