SPRINGFIELD, Mass. - The Southern New Hampshire University baseball team rallied from a 5-0 deficit and scored four times in the top of the ninth to post a 6-5 win and complete a sweep of American International College in Northeast-10 action Saturday afternoon at AIC Park. The Penmen, who have now won four in a row, improve to 5-8 and 2-0 in the NE-10, while the Yellow Jackets are 2-12 and 0-2 in the league.
Trailing 5-2 entering the ninth, the Penmen got the lead runner on when Tim Rines (Merrimack, NH) singled to right. Skyler Byrd (Milford, NH) then doubled to left-center, moving Rines to third. Joseph Gargan (Hudson, NH) then reached on a fielder's choice, with Rines scoring. The next batter, Scott Strong (Naperville, IL), reached on an error, scoring Byrd to make it 5-4.
Jeff Giannino (Beverly, MA) then tied the game with a sac fly to right that played Gargan. Bob Wronski (Arlington, MA) drove in the winning run when he doubled to score Strong. SNHU's Bryant Gauthier (Lynn, MA) would come in in the bottom of the ninth and work around a two-out single to earn the save.
American International jumped out to a 4-0 lead in the second on back-to-back two run doubles by Dan Fey and Dillon Fontaine. AIC tacked on another run in the fourth when a Fey single scored Dan Mooney, who had earlier reached on a walk. The Penmen got on the board in the fifth when Gargan worked a bases-loaded walk to bring Wronski home, then scored again in the eighth when Giannino walked to lead off the inning and scored on a single up the middle by Wronski.
Wronski finished 3-5 at the plate with two RBI to lead the Penmen while Gargan also knocked in a pair of runs. Ryan Hagan (Bedford, NH) pitched two innings of perfect relief to earn the win. SNHU starter Brad Monroe (Hampton Falls, NH) lasted three innings, allowing four hits but getting hurt by five walks.
In the opener, the Penmen jumped on the Yellow Jackets with a pair of runs in the top of the first. Chris O'Neil (Chelmsford, MA) and Rines both singled to start the game, then came home on a two-run single by Giannino. AIC would get one back in the fourth when Fey was hit by a pitch with the bases loaded to score Jared DePatto.
SNHU would score single runs in the sixth and seventh to increase its lead to 4-1. Koby Thibault (Salisbury, MA) would lead off the sixth with a single and scored on a sac fly by Eric Pelletier (Beverly, MA). In the seventh, Rines was hit by a pitch to start the inning then scored on a sac fly by Gargan.
Eight of SNHU's nine players in the lineup got a hit in the opener, with O'Neil and Thibault each finishing with a pair of hits. Ryan Quinn (Lebanon, CT) went the distance on the mound for the Penmen, striking out a career-best 14 batters while scattering eight hits and allowing two runs.
With Sunday's home game against the Yellow Jackets postponed, the Penmen return to action Tuesday when they host nationally-ranked Franklin Pierce in a 3:30 game at Penmen Field.
NOTES: Quinn's 14 strikeouts leave him one shy of 100 for his career...SNHU has won four straight for the first time since 2006.