MANCHESTER, N.H. – The Southern New Hampshire University and Franklin Pierce University baseball teams played to a 3-3 tie in 11 innings on Monday afternoon in a Northeast-10 conference matchup before the game was halted due to darkness. The Penmen are now 14-19-1 overall and 7-9-1 in the NE-10, while the Ravens are 26-11-1 and 12-5-1 in the league.
For the Penmen, Matt Boulter (Wrentham, Mass.) led the way with three hits on the day, and both Tim Rines (Merrimack, N.H.) and Scott Rogers (Orr's Island, Maine) had two hits apiece. Cody Kauffman and Mike Augustine each had two hits for Franklin Pierce on the afternoon.
SNHU starter Brad Monroe (Hampton Falls, N.H.) tossed nine strong innings, allowing three runs on seven hits with a career-high 12 strikeouts. John Pickowicz (Hill, N.H.) struck out two and allowed just two hits in two innings of relief after Monroe's exit.
Franklin Pierce started Heath Wasylow went 4.1 innings and allowed all three Penmen runs while surrendering seven hits.
The Ravens would strike first after Cody Kauffman led off the game with a double that fell into short center. After Kauffman took third on a Mike Dowd groundout, Derek Ingui's bunt attempt was handled by third baseman Thomas Quicker (West Islip, N.Y.) but he didn't have a play, and Kauffman came in to score for the early lead.
In the bottom half of the second, first baseman Eric Pelletier (Beverly, Mass.) led off the inning with a sharp single to right. With one out, Boulter's check-swing grounder found the hole on the left side for an infield single. Catcher Kevin Spatkowski (Bristol, Conn.) followed up with a two-run triple to right field, staking the Penmen to a 2-1 lead.
In the top of the fifth, the Ravens got a leadoff bloop single from Nick LaCroix, who moved into scoring position on a sacrifice bunt. Tim Quinn's RBI double scored LaCroix, and a Dan Kemp RBI single plated Quinn to put Franklin Pierce back on top 3-2. The Penmen avoided any further trouble when a Ravens' hit-and-run attempt backfired as first baseman Pelletier snared a liner by Kauffman and doubled off Kemp at first to get out of trouble.
In the bottom half of the fifth, the Penmen would push across another to even the score. With one down, Rogers dropped a double into center. After Brendan O'Brien (East Bridgewater, Mass.) worked a four-pitch walk, Rines followed by ripping a single past Ingui at third to score Rogers, tying the game at 3-3.
In the top of the eighth, Kauffman doubled down the left field line to put the potential go-ahead run in scoring position for the Ravens. Kauffman took third on a passed ball, and Monroe proceeded to hit the next two batters to load the bases with one out. Monroe roared back to strike out the next two to escape the jam, getting Mike Munoz swinging and Phil Hendricks looking to keep it tied.
In the top of the ninth, Mike Augustine's double to short left field fell just out of the reach of a diving Brandon Dutch (Monroe, Conn.). Quinn walked to put two on with one out, but once again, Monroe escaped trouble by striking out Dan Kemp looking and getting Kauffman to fly out.
In the top of the 10th inning, the Penmen worked around a hit and an error, as Pickowicz got Hendricks to pop out to second and LaCroix to fly out to center to strand runners on first and third.
Rines led off the bottom half with an infield base hit down the third base line. After a groundout and a wild pitch, Rines stood at third as the potential winning run, but Ravens' reliever Rob Nicholas got Dutch to line to line out to short to send it into the 11th.
Nicholas allowed just two hits in 4.1 innings in relief of Wasylow.
The Ravens' Mike Augustine led off the 11th inning with a triple off the right field wall, but Pickowicz again escaped the jam and kept the Ravens off the scoreboard. He got Quinn to strike out looking, Kemp to ground out to third with the infield in, and Kauffman to strike out swinging to strand Augustine at third.
The Ravens left 10 runners on base for the game, including eight in the final four innings, while the Penmen left nine runners on base on the afternoon.
SNHU returns to action tomorrow afternoon when they host cross-town NE-10 counterpart Saint Anselm at Penmen Field for a 3:30 contest.