Baseball drops pair at Limestone in season-opening twinbill

GAFFNEY, S.C. – The Saint Anselm College baseball team dropped a pair of decisions on their opening day of competition, falling to host Limestone College 6-1 and 6-5 (7 INN) on Saturday afternoon at Founders FCU Stadium in Gaffney, S.C.

Box Score Game 1 | Box Score Game 2

Game 1 – Limestone 6, Saint Anselm 1
In game one against the Saints, the Hawks fell into an early 6-0 hole they could not climb out of as the Hawks offense was limited to just one run on six hits in the 6-1 setback.

Aaron Crandall, Nick Bragole and Jon McQuarrie each went 1-for-4, while Max Wadington, Shaine Carpenter and Matthew Flynn all had 1-for-3 days, respectively. Bragole scored the Hawks' lone run, with Carpenter picking up his first RBI of the season.

Joseph Levasseur suffered the setback on the bump for Saint Anselm, throwing 4.0 innings and allowing four runs (three earned) on four hits with three walks and seven strikeouts. Zane Byrne pitched two innings and gave up two runs on four hits, with Andy Williams pitching the final two innings and allowing only two hits. Byrne and Williams had two strikeouts apiece.

The Saints put together a four-run third inning on a two-run triple to right from Ryan Creps and a two-RBI double from Matt Orth. Limestone added a run apiece in the fifth and sixth inning as Garrett Lowery drove in a run with an RBI single and Trace Whetsell added a sac fly.

In the top of the seventh, Bragole led off the inning with a single to left field and Carpenter drove in the Hawks' first run of the season with an RBI double to right center that made it a 6-1 game. The Hawks put on two runners apiece in the eighth and ninth innings, but came away empty-handed as the Saints won the series opener, 6-1.

Game 2 – Limestone 6, Saint Anselm 5
Game two saw some fireworks from the Saint Anselm offense as they were able to plate five runs, but came up just short to the Saints.

Nick Bragole added two more hits to his total for the day, going 2-for-4 with another run scored, while Crandall and Tyler McKeon each went 1-for-4 and combined for three RBI's. Dan Bodi had the other hit for the Hawks as he went 1-for-1.

Autrey Gates fell to 0-1 on the year with the defeat, allowing four runs on six hits in two innings of work with three walks and three strikeouts. Adam Krol came out of the bullpen to toss 3.0 innings and give up a pair of unearned runs on only one hit with two strikeouts. Jared Ferris pitched a clean sixth inning in his collegiate debut.

Limestone held a 4-0 lead after two innings of play as Orth struck again with an RBI single in the first followed by an RBI single from Chase Allen. The Saints plated two in the second inning on an RBI double by Whetsell, and he later scored on a wild pitch.

The Hawks responded with three runs in their half of the fourth as they took advantage of some Limestone miscues. After Bragole singled to center to open the inning and Jon McQuarrie worked a walk, the Hawks loaded the bases with two outs as Jason Turner reached on an error. Andre Gaudet picked up his first career RBI by getting hit by a pitch and Flynn followed with an RBI walk to make it a 4-2 game. Aaron Crandall then drove in a run with an RBI single to make it 4-3, but Turner was gunned down at the plate trying to tie the game to end the inning.

Saint Anselm returned the favor in the bottom of the fourth as Limestone scored a pair of unearned runs to take 6-3 lead. Zach Piazza opened the inning by reaching on an error, and after Orth was walked, Brennan Strovnik reached on another error that plated Piazza. Orth would later score on a sacrifice fly from Garret Lowery.

The Hawks made some noise in the sixth as Vincent Fortini and Mike Goddu worked walks to get on base before being sacrificed into scoring position by Matthew Flynn. Crandall followed with an RBI groundout and Tyler McKeon plated Goddu with an RBI single, but that would be all they would get in the inning as the Hawks still trailed 6-5 headed to the seventh.

After two outs, Dan Bodi pinch hit and roped a single to right field, but the tying run would be stuck there as Fortini grounded out to end the game.

Saint Anselm and Limestone wrap up the three-game set tomorrow afternoon with a 12 p.m. game.

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