STANDISH, Maine - #3 Johnson & Wales University (24-16) defeated second-seeded Saint Joseph's College (27-12), 9-5, in the second round of the Great Northeast Athletic Conference (GNAC) Baseball Tournament at Larry Mahaney Diamond on Thursday afternoon.
With the win, Johnson & Wales remains in the winner's bracket and will face the winner of tonight's other second-round matchup - #4 Lasell College @ #1 Suffolk University – at 1:30 PM on Saturday. Saint Joseph's will play the loser of the aforementioned contest in an elimination game on Saturday at 10:00 AM.
Johnson & Wales senior starter Keith Grant (East Providence, R.I.) was dominant on the mound with eight shutout innings and the Wildcats took advantage of three SJC errors – which resulted in four unearned runs – en route to securing a 9-0 lead before the Monks showed late life with five runs off five hits in the bottom of the ninth.
- JWU grabbed a 1-0 lead in the top of the second, when sophomore catcher Cody Greenhalgh (Plainfield, Conn.) led off with a single up the middle and, after moving to second on a groundout and jumping to third on a passed ball, scored on a Joe Maracic (Syosset, N.Y.) single
- The 2-0 lead held true until the top of the fifth when sophomore second baseman Rich Bourdeau (Pawtucket, R.I.) singled and scored on a groundout and senior center fielder Rob Ballinger (South Kingston, R.I.) singled and hit home on a Greenhalg two-out base hit
- Leading 5-0 going into the seventh, the Wildcats essentially put the game out of reach with three runs off four hits and an SJC error, as Ballinger walked and scored on an outfield miscue and Greenhalg notched a two-run single
- The Monks' offense finally came to life, albeit much too late, in the bottom of the ninth when junior first baseman Noah McDaniel (Eliot, Maine) belted a three-run homer, junior Greg Emanuelson (Hudson, N.H.) pinch hit and launched a solo shot over the left field wall, and sophomore third baseman Will Martin (Arlington, Mass.) worked a bases-loaded walk
ON THE MOUND:
- Grant tossed eight shutout innings and finished the game having allowed four runs off nine hits and two walks with six strikeouts in 6.1 frames to improve to 9-2 on the season
- SJC senior starter Travis Godbout (Portland, Maine) deserved a better fate but took the loss after allowing four runs (two earned) off six hits while fanning eight and walking none in 4.2 innings
- SJC sophomore Matt Demma (Worcester, Mass.) struck out three and allowed a run in 1.1 innings
- Grayson Jennings (Mililani, Hawaii), Jonathan Marchia (Chicopee, Mass.), Josh Partridge (Deerfield, N.H.), and Aaron Hall (Haverhill, Mass.) combined to allow four runs (two earned) off six hits with three K's over three innings of relief
- Johnson & Wales junior James Smiegocki (Lambertville, N.J.) gave up a run off two hits and a pair of walks with one punch-out in 2/3 inning of relief
OFF THE BAT:
- Greenhalgh enjoyed a monster day with three hits, a run and three RBI in five at-bats
- Bourdeau, Maracic, Ramiel Rodriguez (Providence, R.I.), and Kevin Duffy (Levittown, N.Y.) notched two hits apiece for the Wildcats
- SJC senior catcher Jake White (Salem, N.H.) was 2-4 with a walk
- Junior right fielder Anthony DiPrizio (Rochester, N.H.) went 2-4 with a run scored
- Junior shortstop Joey Murphy (Derry, N.H.) was 2-5 with a stolen base
The Monks' six pitchers combined to strike out 14 batters while issuing just two walks…freshman second baseman Luke Johnson (East Hampton, Conn.) singled reached second on a sac bunt in the bottom of the third – the Monks did not have another runner in scoring position until Martin walked and headed to second on a DiPrizio single in the bottom of the ninth.
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.