Photo courtesy of Blue Egg Images
WINTER HAVEN, Fla. – Saint Joseph's College (12-2) split a non-conference doubleheader with Franklin College (9-4) in the RussMatt Central Florida Invitational on Sunday. The Monks squandered a four-run lead and fell, 9-6, in the opener, but rebounded to salvage the split with a 3-1 victory in the nightcap.
GAME ONE – FRANKLIN 9, SAINT JOSEPH'S 6
The Monks held a 4-0 lead through three innings and led by a 5-4 margin after six frames before the Grizzlies – who posted a 39-5 record and advanced to the NCAA Tournament last spring – stormed ahead with five runs off two hits, including a grand slam off the bat of pinch-hitter Jordan Crouse (Boggstown, Ind.) with two out, which made it a 9-5 game.
All five of the Grizzlies runs were unearned, as the inning started with a runner reaching on an error and sophomore reliever Jonathan Marchia (Chicopee, Mass.) struck out the next two batters before the wheels came off.
St. Joe's attempted to rally in the bottom of the seventh, as senior right fielder Jared Gagne (Dover, N.H.) singled, stole second, and scored on a Noah McDaniel (Eliot, Maine) single, but the Monks stranded a pair of runners as Franklin reliever Ethan Adams (North Vernon, Ind.) induced a game-ending fly out.
ON THE MOUND:
SJC sophomore starter Zach Begin (Georgetown, Mass.) allowed four runs off three hits and four walks with five strikeouts over 3.2 innings but did not factor into the decision. Relievers Matt Poff (Pelham, N.H.), Alex D'Angelo (Peabody, Mass.), and Weston Bergeron (Lyman, Maine) combined to 2.1 scoreless innings before Marchia – who took the loss - gave up five unearned runs off two hits and two walks with a pair of K's in 0.2 innings. Junior Troy Bogdahn (Standish, Maine) stopped the bleeding with one pitch, which induced a fly out.
Franklin senior starter Ben Sprinkle (Indianapolis, Ind.) yielded five runs off nine hits and a walk and Adams improved to 3-0 on the season after giving up a run off two hits in two innings of relief.
OFF THE BAT:
- McDaniel was 2-3 with a double and two RBI
- Gagne went 2-3 with a run, a stolen base, and an RBI
- Sophomore center fielder Hunter Richardson (Monmouth, Maine) added two hits, two runs, and an RBI in four at-bats
- Junior designated hitter Drew Healey (Rochester, N.H.) was 2-3 with a run scored
- For the Grizzlies, Quenton Wellington (Indianapolis, Ind.) and Nick Wright (Bloomington, Ind.) notched two hits apiece
GAME TWO: SAINT JOSEPH'S 3, FRANKLIN 1
The second game of the day was a pitcher's duel, as Saint Joseph's freshman Matt Bergeron (Salem, N.H.) and Franklin freshman Nick Elmendorf (Indianapolis, Ind.) locked heads for five frames in the low-scoring affair.
The teams swapped runs in the first inning, as senior designated hitter Greg Emanuelson (Hudson, N.H.) registered a two-out RBI single and Wellington greeted Bergeron with a lead-off home run.
In the top of the third, the Monks claimed the lead with another two-out RBI base hit off the bat of Emanuelson, who came through with yet another run-scoring knock with two down in the fifth to account for the 3-1 final.
The Grizzlies threatened in the fifth and sixth frames, but Bergeron escaped both jams unscathed with the help of inning-ending double plays.
ON THE MOUND:
Bergeron improves to 4-0 on the season after allowing one run off four hits with five strikeouts over seven innings. Elmendorf took the loss after giving up three runs (two earned) off five hits and five walks with six K's in five frames.
OFF THE BAT:
- Emanuelson was 3-4 with three RBI
- Senior shortstop Joey Murphy (Derry, N.H.) was 1-2 with two runs and a pair of walks
- For Franklin, Wellington was 2-2 with a solo homer and a stolen base
Saint Joseph's concludes the four-game southern swing with a doubleheader versus Hamilton College tomorrow. The first game starts at 9:30 AM.