POUGHKEEPSIE, N.Y. - The Marist baseball team swept a Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference (MAAC) doubleheader against Saint Peter's on Saturday at McCann Baseball Field, taking game one 6-4 and winning game two 4-3. Senior left fielder Eric Helmrich (Yonkers, N.Y.) tied the game with a home run to left field in the eighth, and drove in pinch-runner Eric Molinaro (Kingston, N.Y.) with a one-out single in the bottom of the ninth.
Junior first baseman Mike Orefice (Wappingers Falls, N.Y.) and sophomore third baseman Nick McQuail (Wantagh, N.Y.) each led the Red Foxes with four hits on the day. Orefice went 4-for-9 with a double, a run scored and an RBI. McQuail was a perfect 4-for-4 with two runs scored, two walks and a sacrifice bunt.
In game one, a seven-inning contest, Marist opened its scoring in the second. McQuail led off the inning with a single, and was driven home on a two-out single by sophomore right fielder Jake Berry (South Hamilton, Mass.).
The Red Foxes then expanded their lead with a four-run third. Junior shortstop Zach Shank (Lititz, Pa.) led off the inning with a home run to left field, his second of the year. Helmrich was then hit by a pitch, and sacrificed to second by freshman second baseman Alec Petrone (Mahopac, N.Y.). After McQuail walked, Helmrich scored on a line-drive double to left by red-shirt designated hitter Ben Luderer (River Vale, N.J.), which advanced McQuail to third. Freshman catcher Mark Brennan (Wallingford, Conn.) then hit a ground ball to Saint Peter's second baseman Alberto Rodriguez, who tried to cut down McQuail at the plate. The throw was late, and Saint Peter's catcher Russ Stupienski then threw the ball into right field trying to get Brennan out at first, which allowed Luderer to score from second.
Saint Peter's chipped away at its deficit with a run in the fourth and three in the sixth, but the Red Foxes added an insurance in the bottom half of the inning. Berry reached on a one-out single, and he scored on Orefice's double into the right-fielder corner. The Peacocks brought the potential go-ahead run to the plate in the seventh, but senior right-hander Jake Rifkin (West Deptford, N.J.) shut the door for his third save of the season.
Saint Peter's right fielder Zack Rawson went 2-for-3 with two RBIs in game one. The Peacocks' starter, right-hander Mat Yuhas, took the loss to fall to 3-4. Marist red-shirt senior left-hander Chad Gallagher (Southboro, Mass.) improved to 4-3 with the win, which he earned in 5.1 innings. Freshman right-hander Brandon Dolan (Franklin Park, N.J.) recorded the final two outs of the sixth, and Rifkin pitched a scoreless seventh.
In game two, Saint Peter's scored first with a run in the top of the third, but Marist scored twice in the bottom half. Berry, Orefice and Shank hit consecutive singles to begin the inning and tie the game. A double by Petrone brought home Orefice, putting Marist up 2-1.
Saint Peter's designated hitter Brian Schroeder led off the top of the fourth with a homer to left to tie the game. Schroeder's RBI groundout an inning later gave the Peacocks a 3-2 lead.
The score remained 3-2 until the bottom of the eighth, when Helmrich led off the inning with a homer to left on an 0-2 pitch. In the ninth, Orefice singled on a ground ball through the middle with one out. Molinaro pinch-ran for him, and advanced to second when Shank was hit by a pitch. Helmrich then hit a line-drive single on the first pitch of the at-bat, and Molinaro slid in just underneath the tag to give Marist a 4-3 victory.
The Marist bullpen allowed just one run in 5.2 innings in the second game. Sophomore right-hander Kevin McCarthy (Malverne, N.Y.) pitched a scoreless eighth and ninth to earn the win. McCarthy (1-0) struck out the first four batters he faced. Freshman left-hander Rich Vrana (Lindenhurst, N.Y.) preceded McCarthy with 2.1 hitless and scoreless innings, which also included three strikeouts.
Dom Macaluso (1-4), who pitched the final 4.1 innings for Saint Peter's, took the loss.Marist is now 9-16 overall and 4-4 in the MAAC; Saint Peter's fell to 11-20 overall and 3-3 in the MAAC. The Red Foxes return to action on Tuesday, when they host Albany at 3 p.m.