College of St. Joseph's baseball team dropped to 7-7 on the year after a 6-0 loss at Southern Maine Community College (SMCC) on Saturday, March 30. The Seawolves are now 17-4 on the year.
The chilly game in Maine started slow for the Fighting Saints. SMCC pitcher Stefan Lesco struck out CSJ's first two batters before Lincoln Pritchard grounded out to second base.
Cody Bryant capitalized on the Seawolves' first at bat with a single. He quickly stole second base to reach scoring position. A groundout by Peter Stauber allowed Bryant to advance to third. Relief pitcher Dylan Francoeur then singled to right field, allowing Bryant to reach home plate with time to spare. The Fighting Saints then executed a double play to close the first inning down 1-0.
Kyle Gould opened the second inning with a single to shortstop and promptly stole second base. Jeremy Johnson was then walked, putting two CSJ runners on base. After Lesco recorded a strikeout, he threw a wild pitch that allowed Gould and Johnson to each advance on a passed ball. Starting pitcher Jason Albert then walked, putting the Saints in an optimal position to get on the scoreboard with three runners on base and just one out. Lesco, however, stepped up to the challenge, striking out CSJ's next two batters and sending the Fighting Saints back to the dugout runless.
SMCC mimicked their first-inning total with two hits and one runs in the second frame. Sean Adams singled to second base before Junior Nunez singled to left field, sending Adams all the way to third. Adams went on to score on a wild pitch and put the Seawolves ahead 2-0. CSJ's Albert then struck out three consecutive batters to prevent SMCC from doing more damage.
The next 2.5 innings were scoreless. CSJ recorded a hit in the top of the fifth when William Leino sent a double to left field. Joseph Ruby was walked to put two runners on base. Mathew Santiago's groundout to third base allowed Leino and Ruby to advance to third and second base, respectively. Again the Saints were in excellent position to make a dent in their deficit. But Lesco struck out the next batter and a fly ball to left field was caught to send SMCC to the plate.
A timely single to right field by Caleb Burpee allowed Stauber, who was walked, to score a run for the Seawolves. That would be the only hit allowed in the inning. CSJ's Albert did his part on the mound with two strikeouts on the inning.
Senior Teddy Mercado singled to center field to notch a hit for the Saints in the sixth inning. In the bottom of the sixth, SMCC tacked on two more runs. A double by Nunez in the bottom of the seventh inning sent Adams home for another score, putting the Seawolves ahead 6-0. It would prove to be the last run of the game.
CSJ was led offensively by Gould, who had two hits. Leino had a double and Mercado notched a single. Albert threw 7 strikeouts in 5.2 innings of work. Pritchard threw the last 2.1 innings and recorded 4 strikeouts. SMCC's Lesco recorded the win. He gave up 3 hits in 5.2 innings and struck out 9. Adams recorded 3 hits, 2 runs for the Seawolves and Bryant had 2 hits, 2 runs and 1 RBI. SMCC had 12 team hits to CSJ's 4.
The Fighting Saints play next on Friday, April 5 at Great Bay Community College at 7pm. The next day, Saturday, April 6, CSJ hosts Great Bay for their home opener at 1pm.