Stanton's Walkoff Lifts Baseball to Win in Season Opener

Stanton's Walkoff Lifts Baseball to Win in Season Opener

MYRTLE BEACH, S.C. – Sophomore Al Stanton (Sandwich, Mass.) hit a walkoff two-run home run in the bottom of the ninth inning to lift Southern New Hampshire University to a 10-8 baseball victory over Concordia (N.Y.) College Thursday night at the Ripken Experience.  The game marked the season opener for both schools.

The Penmen entered the ninth inning with a 8-6 lead, but the Clippers scored twice in the top of the frame to tie the game.  Reliever Alex Powers (Brewster, Mass.) limited further damage by working out of a bases-loaded, one-out jam by notching a strikeout and a groundout to second.

Kevin Spatkowski (Bristol, Conn.) led off the bottom of the ninth by working a walkoff.  Stanton then lifted a ball over the fence in the gap in left-center for the walkoff.

Concordia scored twice in the top of the first, but Southern New Hampshire tied the game with a pair of runs in the second.  Matt Boulter (Wrentham, Mass.) worked a leadoff walk and scored on a single by Jamie Wollerman (Hasbrouck Heights, N.J.).  Wollerman would score on a double by James McGowan (Mahopac, N.Y.).  Spatkowski would get on board to lead off the third and scored to give the Penmen a 3-2 lead.

After the Clippers tied the game with a run in the fifth, Jon Minucci (Madison, Conn.) belted a three-run home run in the bottom of the sixth to give Southern New Hampshire a 6-3 lead.  Concordia got one back in the seventh to make it 6-4, but the Penmen tacked on a pair in the bottom of the seventh.  Stanton plated Brendan O'Brien (East Bridgewater, Mass.) with a sac fly, while Boulter's single scored Spatkowski.

Powers picked up the win pitching 2/3 of an inning of relief.  Starter Tim Flight (Portsmouth, R.I.) worked 5.1 innings and allowed three hits and two runs, striking out five while walking three.  Both teams recorded eight hits on the evening.

SNHU and Concordia are slated to meet again Friday at 3:30.