Fort Pierce, Fla. – The St. Mary's College of Maryland baseball team opened up their Florida Coast Spring Training trip with two losses to Western Connecticut State University on St. Patrick's Day. The Seahawks dropped a 7-6 decision in extra innings in the first half of the doubleheader before enduring an 11-3 setback in the nightcap.
In the first game, St. Mary's (0-7) found themselves down 4-3 heading into the seventh and final inning after giving up a 3-2 lead. Junior Garrett Pope (Port Republic, Md./Calvert) came in relief at the start of the seventh and proceeded to retire the Colonials side in order to keep it a one-run game.
Senior outfielder Paul Roemer (Westminster, Md./Westminster) knocked in the game-tying run with a two-out RBI single to score sophomore outfielder Nick Raimondo (Annapolis, Md./South River) who had connected on a one-out double as the inning's second batter. The Seahawks loaded the bases with two outs on the board but senior Rob Valunas (Oakville, Conn./Watertown) got out of the jam with a fly out.
Following a scoreless eighth inning, Western Connecticut (3-4) notched three runs with no outs to claim a 7-4 lead in the top of the ninth. Senior Matt Holdefer (Columbia, Md./Wilde Lake) came in for Pope and used a ground out, an out at home, and a strikeout to prevent any more runs and get out of the bases-loaded jam.
The Seahawks rallied in the ninth, scoring two runs with an out on the board to close the gap to 7-6. However, with runners on the corners, the rally was cut short by a line out and a strikeout. Valunas (1-1) collected the win for WCSU after surrendering just one hit with one strikeout and one walk in 1.1 innings of relief. Sophomore Peter Nanos (Farmington, Conn./Farmington) led at the plate with a 3-for-5 effort.
Roemer and junior infielder Hunter Mohler (La Plata, Md./Bishop McNamara) paced St. Mary's offensively by each going 3-for-4 with an RBI. Pope (0-2) was saddled with the loss as he gave up three runs on six hits with three strikeouts in 2.0 innings of relief.
Western Connecticut opened up the nightcap with a five-run first inning and never looked back en route to scoring 11 runs on 15 hits for its second win in a row. First-year infielder Stanley Rijo (Torrington, Conn./Torrington) was the Colonials' offensive leader with a 4-for-4 performance and three RBI. First-year Andrew Fogarty (Mystic, Conn./Gunnery) pitched the complete-game win with six strikeouts.
First-year designated hitter Max Godwin (Columbia, Md./Glenelg Country) led the Seahawks in Game 2 with a 2-for-3 effort, including his first career double. Junior starter Michael O'Neill (Ocean City, Md./Decatur) took the loss after allowing five runs on seven hits in 3.0 innings.
The Seahawks return to action tomorrow, March 18th when St. Mary's continue play down in Florida. The team faces Albright College at 1:30 p.m. before taking on WCSU again at 4:30 p.m.
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