LOWELL, Mass. – Visiting Southern New Hampshire University plated a pair of runs with two outs in the top of the ninth to rally past UMass Lowell 5-4 in Northeast-10 baseball at LeLacheur Park Sunday afternoon. With the victory, the Penmen improve to 6-13 overall (1-3 in NE-10 play) while the River Hawks fall to 13-10 overall and 2-5 in Northeast-10 play.
The victory snapped a 21-game winless streak against UMass Lowell for Southern New Hampshire. The last Penmen victory against the River Hawks was a 7-4 win on April 10, 2002 at Penmen Field.
A rally in the top of the ninth inning proved to be the difference in the game. With one out, Brandon Dutch (Monroe, Conn.) singled to the pitcher. Following a pitching change, Kevin Spatkowski (Bristol, Conn.) singled up the middle. With two men on, a groundout to the pitcher advanced the two base runners into scoring position. Jon Minucci (Madison, Conn.) followed up the productive out with an infield hit to the shortstop that tied the game at 4. Thomas Quicker (West Islip, N.Y.) followed up with the inning’s second infield hit, this time to third, that plated the go-ahead run in the ninth inning.
UMass Lowell threatened in the bottom of the ninth, as Cam Kneeland worked a leadoff walk and after moving to second on a sac bunt, went to third with one away on a single by JT Leary. Steve Golbranson (Abington, Mass.), who came in after the leadoff walk, then retired the last two batters on a groundout back to the mound and a flyout to right.
The River Hawks started the scoring off in the bottom of the first inning, where two singles preceded an RBI double by Kneeland. A sacrifice fly by Jared Notargiacomo later in the inning plated the second River Hawks baserunner to give UMass Lowell the early 2-0 advantage.
The Penmen posted two quick runs during the next half inning. Robert Wronski (Arlington, Mass.) led off the inning with an infield single to the shortstop. After getting two quick outs, River Hawks starter Garrett Cole served up a two-run home run to Dutch that evened the score at 2 apiece.
In the bottom of the third inning, Peter Onorato of the River Hawks drove in two runs with a double to left field to put the River Hawks ahead 4-2.
Southern New Hampshire would plate one run in the seventh, as catcher Kevin Spatkowski (Bristol, Conn.) stroked an RBI double to right center field, scoring Patrick Copp (Cumberland, Maine) who led off the inning with a single.
Derrick Sylvester (Franklin, N.H.) pitched seven innings, allowing nine hits, three walks, four strikeouts, and four earned runs. Relieving Sylvester was John Pickowicz (Hill, N.H.) who pitched a scoreless inning of relief. Golbranson earned his first save of the season with his work in the ninth.
The Penmen return home on Wednesday as they take on UMass Lowell at Penmen Field in a 3:30 p.m. contest.