Mount Drops Three in a Row to Start Season

ST. MARY’S CITY, MD. – The Mount Saint Mary College Baseball team opened the 2017 season last weekend with a three game series on the road at St. Mary’s-Maryland. The Knights dropped the opener on Saturday 10-2 and then fell in a pair of one run games, falling 6-5 and 5-4 to close the series. Senior Vincenzo Pepe collected two hits in Sunday’s contest, while newcomer Christopher Introcaso homered for the Knights in game two on Saturday.

Game 1 – St. Mary’s 10 – Mount Saint Mary 2
In the first game of the season, the Knights were outhit 9-7 by the Seahawks. St. Mary’s put up four runs in the home half of the second and four more in the bottom of the fourth to open an 8-0 lead. The Mount got on the board with two runs in the top of the fifth on the strength of four hits. Alexander Nova and Nick Rizzo set up the inning with a single and double to start of the inning.

Chris McLaren drove in Rizzo with a single to get the Knights on the board and Peter Knights later scored on a wild pitch to close out the scoring in the game for the Knights.
John Santana finished the game 2-for-3 at the plate for Mount Saint Mary and joined Rizzo with a double. McLaren, Introcaso and Knights also picked up safeties in the game for the Mount.

Christopher Ruggiero suffered the loss in his season debut after working 3.2 innings and allowing seven earned runs. He allowed six hits, walked four and allowed six hits. James McCleary allowed two runs on three hits in 2.1 innings of relief work.

Game 2 – St. Mary’s 6 – Mount Saint Mary 5
After surrendering a run in the bottom of the first in game two on Saturday, the Knights responded with a run in the top of the second to even the score at 1-1. After Pepe walked to lead off the frame and was moved along on a sacrifice bunt, Matthew Kozireski delivered the Mount’s first run with a double to center field.

The Seahawks responded with four runs in the fourth and a single run in the fifth to open a 6-1 lead before the Knights plated four runs over their final two at-bats. In a three run sixth inning, the Mount took advantage of two hits, an error and a walk to slice its disadvantage to 6-4. After Pepe reached on an error and Michael Doxey walked, Joey Pugliese plated them both with a double to left field. Pugliese later crossed with the third run of the inning on a Rizzo single.

In their final at-bat, the Knights got a home run from Introcaso with one out and loaded the bases with two outs, but could not find the tying run.

Kozireski finished game two 2-for-4 with an RBI, while Pugliese went 1-for-4 with two runs driven in. Pepe scored two runs for the Mount and McLaren swiped a pair of bases.
Jake Stewart made his collegiate debut for the Knights in game two, working 3.0 innings, allowing three earned runs on four hits. He did not strikeout a batter and walked two. Stephan Sookdeo suffered the loss in relief, allowing a run on five hits in 3.0 innings of work.

Game 3 – St. Mary’s 5 – Mount Saint Mary 4
In the series finale, the Knights took their first lead of the weekend with two runs in the top of the first frame. After Rizzo lead off the inning with a single and stole second and Santana walked, Introcaso delivered both with a single to center field to open a 2-0 lead.

The Mount held the lead until the Seahawks plated single runs in the third, fourth and fifth innings to pull in front 3-2. The Mount evened the score in the sixth when Introcaso scored on a wild pitch, but St. Mary’s answered to move back in front with a run in the seventh.

The back-and-forth continued with the Mount knotting the score at 4-4 in the eighth when Nova drew a bases loaded walk to force in Santana, but St. Mary’s closed the scoring with the eventual game winning run in the home half of the inning on Jay Hammett run scoring single with one out in the inning.

Rizzo finished 2-for-5 with a run and three stolen bases out of the leadoff spot on Sunday, with Pepe rounding out the game 2-for-3. Santana scored two runs and added a steal for the Mount.

Santana made his first start of the season and took a no-decision after working 4.2 innings. He allowed two earned runs on seven hits, striking out four and walking three. The Mount bullpen worked 3.1 innings, allowing two earned runs on two hits.

At 0-3 overall on the season, Mount Saint Mary returns to action on February 25 against Albertus Magnus. First pitch at Dutchess Stadium is scheduled for 12:00 p.m.22

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