Hounds Split With Franklin Pierce

Dillon Koster

THE BASICS:

- Score: Assumption 5, Franklin Pierce 3 (Game one); Franklin Pierce 3, Assumption 2 (Game two)

- Records: Assumption (26-17, 14-11 NE10), Franklin Pierce (22-21, 15-12 NE10)

- Location: Rindge, N.H. (Pappas Field)

- The Lead: Needing two wins this weekend against the Franklin Pierce Ravens to secure a spot in the NE10 playoffs, the Assumption Greyhounds split Friday's doubleheader, taking game one 5-3 and losing game two 3-2, giving themselves a chance to secure the final playoff spot with a win tomorrow.

HOW IT HAPPENED: GAME ONE

-Patrick Harrington (Bedford, NH / Bedford High School) came in in the bottom of the ninth to close out a four-run lead for the Hounds and made things interesting. A two-run homer by Dylan Jones cut Assumption's lead to 5-3 and an Assumption error set the Ravens up with runners on first and second with two outs. With the crowd cheering, Harrington settled the threat by getting Jethro Hurt to strike out swinging to secure the Hounds' 5-3 win.

-The Hounds received strong pitching from all three pitchers they used despite the ninth-inning scare. Brendan Desautels (Holden, Mass. / Holy Name Central Catholic) started and pitched six innings of one-run baseball, striking out seven while only allowing three hits. He sat down the first eight batters he faced and did not allow a run until the seventh inning on a leadoff home run to John Mead. Colton King (Westerly, R.I. / Moses Brown Prep) relieved Desautels following the home run and provided two crucial innings for the Hounds. He forced a strikeout in the bottom of the seventh with runners on first and second to end the inning and then struck out Joel Lara swinging with runners on first and third in the bottom of the eighth.

-Matt Lonardo (Cranston, RI / Cranston High School) supported the team's pitching by going 1-for-2 with three RBIs, two runs, a walk and a home run. He hit a two-run homer run in the seventh to put the Hounds up 4-0 and later scored on an single through the right side by Alex Richardson (Rehoboth, Mass. / Bishop Feehan) to make it 5-1 in the top of the ninth. Lonardo also hit a sacrifice fly to center in the top of the second to give Assumption an initial 1-0 lead.

INSIDE THE NUMBERS:

-Desautels improved to 2-3 with the win in game one and has allowed only one run in each of his last two starts. He pitched six innings against No. 15 Southern N.H. in his previous start back on April 27 and only allowed only one run on six hits and four walks while striking out five. In 46 innings through 11 appearances and eight starts this season, Desautels sports a 3.52 ERA and has 44 strikeouts.

-King has not allowed a run in each of his last four appearances. During that span, he has pitched 6.1 innings and has struck out nine while allowing only six hits. In 20.2 innings this season, King has a 1.74 ERA with 23 strikeouts and has allowed only nine hits and 11 walks with a 2-0 record.

-In addition to Lonardo's antics at the plate, Richardson went 3-for-4 with one RBI and one run. Jones led the Ravens with two RBIs and the homer. Brad Roberto had two hits and one run while Derek Duffy earned the loss by giving up four runs (three earned) in 6 2/3 innings while striking out seven.

HOW IT HAPPENED: GAME TWO

-The Hounds set themselves up perfectly for the win in game two only to allow Franklin Pierce to score three runs in the bottom of the eighth in their 3-2 comeback win in game two. James McNamara (Westford, Mass. / Westford Academy), pitched seven scoreless innings and then gave way to MacGuire O'Sullivan (Durham, Conn. / Coginchaug Regional), who had not given up a run in his last 13 innings of work. He began the inning by allowing a single and a walk. With runners on first and second and nobody out, Jones placed a good bunt down the third baseline and the throw to first on the play went high and wide and into right field, scoring both Franklin Pierce runners to tie the game at two. The Hounds brought in Mike Keinz (North Branford, Conn. / Notre Dame) for O'Sullivan following the play and he immediately struck out the first two batters he faced. However, on a 3-1 count to Ural Forbes, Keinz allowed Forbes singled through the left side. Jones scored from second on the play, giving Franklin Pierce a 3-2 lead before Keinz struck out Mead to end the inning.

-Ryan Covelle came in for the ninth and allowed the Hounds to put runners on first and second with two outs on two hit batsmen with Hunter Tralli (Berlin, Conn. / Northwest Catholic) up to bat. Tralli was the team's most potent hitter in game two, providing an RBI-double in the second and a solo home run in the eighth and almost came through yet again in the ninth. He hit a ball to deep center field, but not quite long enough as Lara made a play on the ball to end the Hounds' hopes of a comeback.

INSIDE THE NUMBERS:

-McNamara gave the Hounds every chance to win it while on the mound in game two. He left with a 2-0 lead through seven innings and struck out four while stranding three hits and two walks. O'Sullivan earned the loss giving up three runs (two earned) on two hits and one walk. Keinz struck out three and gave up one hit in one inning of relief.

-Zach Hart earned the win for the Ravens, giving up two runs on four hits and two walks in eight innings of work while striking out six. Covelle earned his first save of the season, pitching a scoreless ninth while striking out one.

-Tralli's home run gives him six home runs this season and 14 throughout his career. He also has 25 RBIs and 24 runs this season.

-The doubleheader split means that the Hounds and Ravens remain in a tie for fourth place within the NE10 conference. They will face each other again tomorrow as previously scheduled to decide who earns the fourth-seed in the division and a place in the NE10 playoffs.

UP NEXT:

- The two teams will play again tomorrow, May 4, at Franklin Pierce with first pitch set for 12 p.m. It is the final regular season game for both teams.

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