When and Where: May 11, 2018 – Hooksett, N.H. (Penmen Field)
Score: Merrimack College 9, Southern New Hampshire University 2
Records: Merrimack 29-19, SNHU 34-15
Redshirt-sophomore Joshua Goldstein (Haverhill, Mass.) was a perfect 3-for-3, but the Southern New Hampshire University baseball team was eliminated from Northeast-10 Championship Weekend by virtue of a 9-2 loss to Merrimack College on Friday night at Penmen Field.
Southern New Hampshire, seeded first in the Northeast Division, sees its time at the NE10 Championship come to a close, while Merrimack College, the Northeast's No. 3 seed, advances to Saturday's (10 a.m.) final against the University of New Haven, the second seed in the Southwest.
Merrimack moved out to a 1-0 lead in the top of the first inning. Tyler Lyne drew a one-out walk, stole second and advanced to third on a wild pitch before Matt Nicholson was intentionally walked and swiped second to put a pair in scoring position. Junior Matthew Messier (No. Troy, Vt.) would strike out William Keegan, but the ball bounced in the dirt allow Keegan to reach and Lyne to score the game's first run.
The Warriors struck for two more in the third, as what looked to be an inning-ending strike three was called a ball and Keegan took advantage, depositing a two-run single to left that made it 3-0.
Merrimack extended its advantage to 5-0 in the fifth, as Joey Porricelli led off with a single to left, went to second on Lyne's base hit and scored when Matthew Ronai singled to center. Lyne then scored on a wild pitch, but sophomore Wesley Tobin (Portsmouth, N.H.) came out of the bullpen to get out of the inning, with the help of senior Caleb Potter (Mentor, Ohio), who caught a fly ball and made a terrific throw to third to cut down Ronai. Tobin then struck out Keegan to end the inning.
Southern New Hampshire finally made it on to the board in the home half when Potter led off with a walk, went to second on a wild pitch, moved to third on a groundout and scored as senior Kyle Pangallo (Ft. Lauderdale, Fla.) reached on a two-out error. Goldstein followed by doubling to the gap in left-center, but Pangallo was gunned down at the plate to end the inning.
Merrimack grabbed the run back in the sixth when a pick-off attempt sailed over the first baseman's head and down the right field line, allowing Anthony Garbarino, who drew a two-out walk, to score and make it 6-1.
The Penmen cut into the lead in the bottom of the frame as graduate student Thomas Buonopane (Peabody, Mass.), who was hit by a pitch, scored when freshman Dakota Mulcay (Goffstown, N.H.) reached on an error. After Potter singled to center to put a pair on, freshman Sam Henrie (Middleboro, Mass.) singled up the middle, but a base running blunder enabled Merrimack to escape the inning without further damage.
More two-out production gave Merrimack breathing room in the eighth as Nick Shumski came through with a two-run double down the right field line to stretch the lead to 8-2.
The Warriors tacked on a run in the ninth when Lyne led off with a triple and scored on Ronai's sac fly.
Goldstein went 3-for-3, with Henrie going 2-for-4. Potter (walk, run), Buonopane (run) and sophomore Tom Blandini (Bow, N.H.; walk) were all 1-for-3.
Messier (4-2) was charged with five runs on four hits, while punching out seven and walking three, over four-plus innings. Redshirt-freshman Zachary Merchant (Lunenburg, Mass.) allowed a hit to the only batter he completed and also threw a wild pitch, which allowed a pair of inherited runners to score. Tobin relinquished two runs – one earned – on three hits over three innings, while striking out three and walking one. Sophomore Nick Artymowicz (Seaville, N.J.) gave up a run on a hit and a walk in two-thirds of an inning, with junior Hayden Manning (Portland, Conn.) allowing a run on a hit, fanning two and a walking a batter in an inning-and-a-third.
- Southern New Hampshire dips to 12-6 (.667) all-time in NE10 Championship play.
- The Penmen lost for just the third time in 19 contests.
- Southern New Hampshire is now 16-4 at home this season and falls to 75-17 (.815) at Penmen Field since the start of the 2014 season.
- Potter extended his hitting streak to 12 games.
The Penmen will now await their fate for an at-large bid into the NCAA East Regional, with the selection show airing Sunday, May 13 on NCAA.com.
For the latest on Southern New Hampshire University athletics, follow the Penmen via social media on Twitter, Facebook, Youtube and Instagram. Sign up to receive text message alerts and e-mail newsletters about your favorite Penmen teams here.