When and Where: March 18, 2017 – Yaphank, N.Y. (Baseball Heaven)
Game 1 Score: Saint Thomas Aquinas College 1, Southern New Hampshire University 0
Game 2 Score: Southern New Hampshire University 7, Saint Thomas Aquinas College 6
Records: SNHU 12-4, STAC 8-7
Junior Caleb Potter (Mentor, Ohio) went 4-for-7 and drove in three runs as the ninth-ranked Southern New Hampshire University baseball team halved a pair of games with Saint Thomas Aquinas College on Saturday at Baseball Heaven. The Spartans eked out a 1-0 win in game one, while SNHU battled back for a 7-6 victory in the second game.
In game two, Saint Thomas Aquinas took advantage of an error to push across four unearned runs in the third inning against senior starter Alex Person (Foxboro, Mass.). An RBI single from Anthony Maisano broke the ice, before a Mark Shkrelja sacrifice fly made it 2-0. Giovanni Dincong then doubled the lead with a two-out homer that brought the score to 4-0.
Southern New Hampshire put together a big inning of its own in the fourth as senior Derek Bauer (Millis, Mass.) began the two-out rally with a single before Stanton plated sophomore Kyle Ruth (Albany, N.Y.), who was hit by a pitch earlier in the inning. Potter followed with a double to score Stanton and Bauer, while Fulkerson bopped a double of his own that brought in Potter to tie the game. Sophomore Joshua Zbierski (Stafford Springs, Conn.) put the Penmen in front, 5-4, as he singled for the fifth straight SNHU hit to score Fulkerson.
The Spartans tied it in the seventh as Person allowed a leadoff single to Ryan Coulon, who later scored on a Joseph Pena base knock against the Penmen bullpen.
Southern New Hampshire went back ahead with a pair of runs in the eighth. Ruth drew a leadoff walk before redshirt-junior Ryan Sullivan (Hopkinton, Mass.) was hit by a pitch. Both runners moved into scoring position on a Bauer groundout, with Stanton making it 6-5 with a hard-hit ball that allowed him to reach on an error and score Ruth. Potter followed by swatting a sacrifice fly to bring in Sullivan for an important insurance run.
In the ninth, after freshman Nick Artymowicz (Seaville, N.J.) issued a leadoff walk, junior Ivon Clough (Dublin, N.H.) entered and allowed an RBI single, following a passed ball, but then recorded three straight outs, including a game-ending punch out, to seal the win.
Person, despite being hurt by the untimely error, pitched well, as he allowed five runs – just one earned – on eight hits, while striking out five and not walking a batter in six-and-a-third innings. Graduate student Stephen Fortuna (Metuchen, N.J.) gave up a hit and struck out a batter in a third of an inning. Redshirt-freshman Brendan Welch (Easton, Mass.) earned his first collegiate win with an inning-and-a-third of shutout ball, giving up just one hit and striking out one. Artymowicz walked the only batter he faced and was charged with a run, while Clough notched his second career save as he did not relinquish a run in an inning of work, giving up a hit and registering a strikeout.
Potter was 2-for-3 with three RBI and a run scored, while Fulkerson was 2-for-4 with an RBI and a run. Zbierski (RBI) and junior Sean Webster (Boston, Mass.) went 1-for-3. Stanton (two RBI, run) and Bauer (run) were both 1-for-4, with Ruth going 0-for-1 with a walk and pair of runs scored.
In the first game, Saint Thomas Aquinas scored early against junior starter Jake Walkinshaw (Seymour, Conn.) as Shkrelja started things with a two-out single and scored on a double by Dincong to make it 1-0.
That would prove to be all the Spartans would need, as starter Frankie Moscatiello fired eight shutout innings and limited the Penmen to just two hits, while striking out 14 and walking five.
In the ninth, Potter tried to begin a rally against the STAC bullpen with a two-out single and a steal of second, but a groundout ended it.
Walkinshaw (3-1) allowed one run on two hits, while striking out two and walking one, in two innings of work. Junior Mitchell Powers (Portland, Maine) was valiant in relief, slamming the door on the Spartans with seven shutout innings. He allowed three hits, while fanning seven and walking four.
Potter led the charge, offensively, going 2-for-4, while Fulkerson had the other Penmen hit and finished 1-for-4. Ruth was 0-for-1, but walked three times, while Webster also went 0-for-1 and walked twice.
- The loss in game one snapped a seven-game winning streak for SNHU, which has now won eight of its last nine.
- This marked the first time in six appearances this season that Artymowicz, who had a chance to earn the save in game two, has not factored into the decision.
The Penmen, who have postponed their Tuesday, March 21 (3:30 p.m.) game at Saint Anselm College, are schedule to play at the Hawks again on Thursday, March 23 (3:30 p.m.), but are looking for a clear field to play on. Stay tuned to snhupenmen.com for the latest.
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