College of St. Joseph's baseball team recorded two 4-1 wins at Southern Maine Community College (SMCC) on Sunday, Sept. 30. The Fighting Saints improved to 6-2 in the fall ball season while SMCC dropped to 7-3.
The first inning of the day saw both squads record one hit. CSJ's Tristen Ciarlo notched a single in the top of the inning to put a player on first, but he would later be thrown out on a double play. SMCC's Ian Westphal singled to short to get the Seawolves' turn at the inning in motion, but he would be caught stealing on the next play.
CSJ pitcher Justin Holmberg then recorded his first strikeout of the day, and SMCC's Sean Adams grounded out to third to cap the first inning at zero for both teams.
In the second inning, CSJ's Benny Pena walked to reach base. He advanced to third off a failed pickoff attempt by the Seawolves before sophomore William Leino's single to center field allowed him to make it home and put CSJ ahead 1-0. In the bottom of the inning, a home run by SMCC's Dylan Francoeur evened the score. Neither team notched a hit in the third frame.
Kyle Gould singled to center to reach base in the fourth inning. He advanced to second off a Pena ground out. Jason Albert walked to reach first, and he and Gould then advanced to second and third base off a wild pitch. Leino stepped to the plate and reached first on an error by SMCC's third baseman - both Gould and Albert scored unearned runs on the play and put CSJ up 3-1.
Two strikeouts by Holmberg and a fly out by the Seawolves' Stefan Lesco kept SMCC from rallying in the bottom of the fourth. In the fifth inning, SMCC pitcher Francoeur recorded two strikeouts and CSJ could not record a hit. The Fighting Saints stepped up defensively in the bottom of the inning, completing a double play after a Jack Sawicki single threatened to put SMCC in scoring position. SMCC's Westphal grounded out to close the inning.
A single to left field by Gould and an error in the SMCC outfield resulted in the senior reaching third base to open the sixth inning. Sophomore Jeremy Johnson recorded an RBI when his single to left sent Gould home. Holmberg helped keep SMCC off the scoreboard in the bottom of the inning by striking out two and limiting SMCC's Francoeur to a ground out. Neither team recorded a hit in the seventh (though two CSJ players were left on base after being walked) and Holmberg recorded a strikeout to seal the game 4-1.
Both CSJ and SMCC recorded five hits as a team. Gould recorded two hits and two runs. Sophomores Leino and Johnson recorded RBIs for the Fighting Saints. Holmberg tallied the win on the mound for CSJ. He allowed five hits and one run in seven innings of play, while recording seven strikeouts throughout the game.
The latter game of Sunday's doubleheader played out differently, though the end result was another 4-1 win for the Fighting Saints.
The first two innings of play went by without a run for either team. Mathew Santiago notched CSJ's first hit of the contest by way of a single to right field in the top of the third frame. He then stole second and was able to reach third on the throw. Santiago got CSJ on the board soon thereafter off a wild pitch by SMCC pitcher Lesco. In the bottom of the third, Albert struck out one while on the mound for the Saints and prevented the Seawolves from recording a hit.
The fourth inning went by without a hit for CSJ. The Seawolves threatened CSJ's lead in the bottom of the frame. SMCC's Jacob Poole reached base on a fielder's choice and successfully stole second. He advanced to third base when Sawicki reached first on an error. Sawicki stole second base to put two Seawolves baserunners in optimal scoring position, but a groundout to second by Cody Bryant ended the inning and preserved the Saints' 1-0 edge in the game.
Lesco stuck out the first two CSJ batters in the top of the fifth. Santiago stepped to the plate and recorded his second single of the contest. Next, Gould sent a long, carrying ball to left field for his first home run of the year and two RBIs. Lesco recorded another strikeout to send the Seawolves to the plate.
Westphal grounded out to second before Peter Stauber sent a single to center field. He advanced to second when Adams was hit by a pitch. Francoeur hit a sacrifice fly to center field that allowed Stauber and Adams to reach second and third. A passed ball allowed Stauber to score SMCC's first run of the game and Adams to reach third, but the SMCC threat was thwarted as Lesco grounded out to third base.
Pena and Albert each recorded doubles in the sixth but CSJ was unable to score a run - one CSJ baserunner was thrown out at home. In the bottom of the frame, Albert recorded two strikeouts, allowed one hit and zero runs.
Gould walked in the top of the seventh to reach base. He rounded the bases for his second run of the game when Johnson reached first and then second on an error at third base. Pena singled and allowed Johnson to reach third, but a pop fly ended CSJ's turn at the plate. Leino subbed in for Albert to close the game on the mound. SMCC's Lesco singled to the pitcher's mound for the only hit of the inning.
The Fighting Saints outhit the Seawolves 7-5. Gould finished with a home run, a double, two RBI and two runs. Santiago had two hits and two runs, and Pena and Albert each notched doubles. Albert earned the win of the mound. He recorded three strikeouts and allowed four hits in six innings of action. Lesco took the loss for the Seawolves.
The Fighting Saints play next on Sunday, Oct. 7. They host Great Bay Community College for a doubleheader with game times scheduled for 1pm and 3 pm.