IMAGE COURTESY OF ROBYN AYLWARD - BLUE EGG IMAGES
NORTHBOROUGH, Mass. – The Nichols College baseball team came up just short against Saint Joseph's College (Me.), falling to the Monks 4-3 on Friday afternoon in a non-conference matchup at the New England Baseball Complex.
The Bison drop to 5-11 overall, while the Monks improve to 8-5. Nichols is right back in action tomorrow morning when they take on Worcester State at 11:00 a.m. at the New England Baseball Complex. Saint Joseph's hosts Lyndon State College tomorrow in the team's 2018 home-opener at 1:00 PM.
Junior Joe Assenza blasted his first homerun of the season for the Bison, going 1-for-3 with an RBI and a run scored. Senior Cam Cook added a 2-for-4 day, while sophomore Kyle Bouchard went 2-for-3 with an RBI. Senior Nick Roy went 1-for-5 with a run scored, with freshman Nathaniel Cormier and sophomore Ryan Nesbit each going 1-for-3.
Sophomore Andrew Charbonneau pitched well in the defeat, allowing four runs (three earned) with eight hits and a strikeout. The Nichols bullpen of senior Jackson White, sophomore Brodie Altiere, and freshman Matthew Stewart combined to throw 3.2 innings of relief and allow only two hits with a strikeout apiece.
Saint Joseph's was led by junior Joey Murphy, who went 2-for-4 with a homerun. Senior Chris Gerossie also went deep for the Monks while going 1-for-4 with two runs scored, while senior Jacob White went 2-for-3 and junior Jared Gagne went 2-for-4.
Senior Travis Godbout picked up the win, allowing three runs on eight hits over 5.2 innings pitched. Classmate Josh Partridge earned his first save of the season, giving up one hit with a walk and two strikeouts in 2.2 innings of work.
The Monks took a 2-0 lead in the top of the third as Murphy and Gerossie hit back-to-back homeruns. Nichols answered with a run in the bottom of the inning as Assenza led off the frame with his second career homerun to make it a 2-1 game.
Saint Joseph's extended its lead to 4-1 in the top of the sixth, taking advantage of a couple of passed balls and an RBI single by junior Anthony DiPrizio. As they had done earlier, the Bison answered in their half of the inning as Roy, Cook, and Cormier loaded the bases with three-straight one out singles. Bouchard drove in a run with a sac fly, and sophomore Christian Naccari followed with an RBI single to right center to make it a one-run game at 4-3.
The bullpen kept the Monks off the board in the seventh and eighth innings, and the Bison had baserunners in their halves of the innings, but could not push across the game-tying run.
Stewart ran into some trouble in the ninth as the Monks loaded the bases with two outs, but the freshman reached back and struck out Gerossie to end the threat and keep it a 4-3 game.
Saint Joseph's got two quick outs to start the ninth, but Assenza was able to reach on a dropped fly ball to right that would have ended the game. Assenza stole second base and moved to third as the catcher's throw sailed into centerfield, and freshman Shay Souza worked a walk to put runners on the corners. The Monks got out of the jam by forcing a groundball to short that ended the game.
Murphy and Gerossie are the first SJC players to hit back-to-back home runs since April 19th, 2013 when Mike Pratt '13 and Alex Lorenc '14 launched consecutive jacks in an 8-0 win over Daniel Webster College at Larry Mahaney Diamond.
Friday marked the third meeting between the two teams and the Monks pulled ahead in the series 2-1 with the win.
COURTESY OF NICHOLS COLLEGE SPORTS INFORMATION
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.