NEWPORT, R.I. - Salve Regina University baseball had just one hit in eight innings - a fourth-inning single from senior Daniel Donohue (Westbury, N.Y.) - but managed to outscore St. Joseph's College, 3-2, behind the seven-hit pitching of four Seahawk hurlers at Reynolds Field.
Salve Regina wins its third straight to improve to 11-3 while St. Joseph's falls to 8-5 with its second straight loss and first game since returning from a Florida spring break trip eight days ago.
Both starting pitchers were perfect through the first two innings. Seahawk freshman Frank Lemieux (Marshfield, Mass.) retired the first eight Monk batters he faced before a two-out single from infielder Zack Graham (Marlborough, Mass.) in the top of the third.
The Monks reached the righthander for a run in the top of the fourth when Lemieux issued a walk to Louie Vigars (Stratham, N.H.) to start the frame. Senior outfielder Alex Lorenc (Nanuet, N.Y.) followed with a single to center field. Lemieux induced catcher Joe Coyne (Duxbury, Mass.) to ground to second baseman Hunter Sleeper (Arlington, Mass.) who charged the slow roller and tagged Lorenc in the basepath before firing to first baseman Ryan Sweenor (South Kingstown, R.I.) for a double play.
Lemieux nearly escaped the inning without any damage but designated hitter Taylor Reuillard (Biddeford, Maine) singled through the right side to score Vigars from third.
Meanwhile, Alex Valenti (Lawrence, Mass.) went through the first nine Seahawk batters without allowing a baserunner, and took a 1-0 lead into the bottom of the fourth. Wednesday, March 19, was St. Joseph's Day, but today was not - particularly in the fourth frame. Valenti hit the first batter - Ryan Kelly (Waldwick, N.J.) - before Donohue struck the only Seahawk hit, a single through the right side.
Valenti then issued his first of four bases on balls in the inning to Seahawk catcher Dominic Di Sano (Central Falls, R.I.) which loaded the bases for designated hitter Tim Harris (Southbury, Conn.). The junior right-handed batter swung at a Valenti pitch and topped it slowly down the third base line. Most of the Monks thought he had fouled it off the plate or perhaps his foot, but Kelly charged across the plate from third with the tying run while urging Harris to get down to first. Third baseman Alex Markakis (Lynnfield, Mass.) picked up the ball too late to get Kelly but Nick Markakis' cousin retired Harris on an RBI groundout.
Valenti then issued a walk to Joe Haley (No. Kingstown, R.I.) to re-load the bases before a wild pitch brought Donohue home with the go-ahead run. Tyler Colby (Easton, Conn.) walked to again load the bases for rightfielder Nicholas Dell'Anno (Reading, Mass.) who delivered the third run of the inning with a base on balls. Totals for the inning were three runs on one hit, no errors and three left on base.
Lemieux worked the fifth inning and stranded two Monks' baserunners. He retired Vigars on a flyout to Dell'Anno and Lorenc on a line shot to Sleeper before Coyne singled through the right side with two out in the sixth. Enter lefty specialist Mike Schuermann (Rockville Centre, N.Y.) who got the one batter he faced - Reuillard - to ground out to Sleeper.
Cory Poplawski (Syracuse, N.Y.) pitched the seventh inning and, after hitting the first batter he faced, retired three straight Monks including the last two on strikeouts. A walk and two singles with one out in the eighth forced Seahawk head coach Eric Cirella to go to his closer early. Kevin Lambert (Fairfield, Conn.) inherited a bases-loaded, one-out situation in a 3-1 game, and he got the first batter he faced to ground weakly to the right side. Lambert quickly scooped and tossed to Di Sano for the force at the plate. He then retired Taylor Black (Cardiff By The Sea, Calif.) on a fly to left for Sweenor who moved there after Dell'Anno suffered an injury his last at-bat.
In the top of the ninth, Lambert got Markakis on a fly to left, and struck out Tim Beaudette (Uxbridge, Mass.) but the Monk left fielder reached on a wild pitch. After Graham walked, the Seahawks nearly had a game-ending double play but the relay from second base was too high for Anthony Conte (Georgetown, Mass.) at first base and allowed Beaudette to score from second.
Lambert got the final out and his third save of the season on a fly out to Kelly in center.
The Seahawks own a 3-0 mark all-time against the Monks which includes a doubleheader sweep in Florida 10 years ago when Cirella and his assistant coach Chris Haddad were players. Salve Regina plays at Rhode Island College on Tuesday; St. Joseph's has its home opener on Wednesday against Husson.