Wojciak pitches in as Merrimack blanks Trinity
MERRIMACK - There's no secret to the Merrimack baseball team's success this season. The Tomahawks haven't allowed many runs - at least not when they win.
Merrimack has surrendered nine runs in its seven victories, which includes Monday's 4-0 triumph over Trinity of Manchester.
"Our pitching definitely keeps us in games," said Merrimack coach Nick Jaskolka, a former catcher at Manchester Memorial and Plymouth State. "Then it's our defense, and our bats are probably our third-best aspect. All the games we've lost, we've lost on errors."
Merrimack, which hasn't allowed more than three runs in any of its victories, received stellar pitching from starter Matt Wojciak, who will pitch for Franklin Pierce University next season. Wojciak allowed three hits and struck out seven before he was removed after the fifth inning. He threw 99 pitches.
"When he gets right around 100 pitches I'm going to pull him," Jaskolka said. "He's a strikeout pitcher, so he throws a lot of pitches. Plus we made some errors early that extended his pitch count."
Conor Urquhart, Merrimack's No. 3 starter, tossed the final two innings. He recorded all six outs on strikeouts.
First baseman Nate Cushman had two of Merrimack's five hits. The Tomahawks scored two runs in the third, one in the fifth and one in the sixth.
Alex Currier started on the mound for Trinity and surrendered three runs on four hits. He struck out four and walked two. Merrimack scored its other run against reliever Colby Fortin.
The victory raised Merrimack's Division I record to 7-3. Trinity, which won four of its first five games, dropped to 5-6.
The game was like a recurring nightmare for Trinity coach Ed Poisson, who has watched his team make 47 errors in 11 games.
"It's the story of our season so far," Poisson said. "We kick the ball around and make errors. We're not a smart baseball team at this point."
The Pionneers committed two errors Monday, and also had two obvious miscues on the basepaths. Two of Merrimack's runs were unearned.
Currier and Ryan Slatky each had two hits for Trinity, which fell below .500 even though its top two starting pitchers - Currier and Carmen Giampetruzzi - each has an ERA below 2.00.
"Alex did a great job, I thought, but didn't get any help," Poisson said. "We don't give them much support in the field or at the plate. When you make as many errors as we've made in 11 games you're not going to win many games."