BOCA RATON, Fla. – The Southern New Hampshire University baseball team picked up its second straight victory over a nationally-ranked opponent, outdueling ninth-ranked Lynn University 3-2 Wednesday afternoon at the McCusker Sportsplex. The Penmen, who are receiving votes in the NCBWA Division II poll and ranked third in that organization's East Region poll, improved to 11-0, extending their program-best start. The Knights, who took two of three from then-No. 1 Tampa this past weekend, are now 11-6.
With the game tied 2-2, Southern New Hampshire pushed across the game-winning run in the top of the seventh. With two outs, Tyler Poisson (Rochester, N.H.) and Brendan O'Brien (East Bridgewater, Mass.) recorded back-to-back singles, then moved into scoring position on a wild pitch. Kevin Spatkowski (Bristol, Conn.) drove in Poisson for the eventual winning run with a single through the right side.
Lynn threatened in each of the final two innings but came up empty. In the eighth, the Knights had runners on first and third with two away, but Junior Mendez (Patchogue, N.Y.) came out of the bullpen and got Elasik to pop up to Al Stanton (Sandwich, Mass.) in left to end the threat.
The hosts would load the bases with one out in the bottom of the ninth. After retiring the leadoff batter, Mendez surrendered a single to Eric Herrera, then pinch hitter Phillip Mannally reached on an error, with both runners advancing to scoring position. The Penmen intentionally walked Austin Smith, then Mike Diorio grounded into a 4-6-3 double play to end the game.
Southern New Hampshire staked itself to a 1-0 lead in the top of the first. Spatkowski reached on a one-out double then came home on a single up the middle by Stanton. Lynn tied the game in the third, but the Penmen reclaimed the lead in the top of the sixth. Spatkowski worked a leadoff walk and after stealing second, scored when Matt Boulter (Wrentham, Mass.) singled up the middle. Lynn tied the game in the bottom of the sixth.
Jon Massad (Shrewsbury, Mass.) (pictured) picked up the win in his first start of the season on the mound, working seven innings and scattering six hits and allowing two runs (one earned) while fanning four. Lucas Olen (Bedford, N.H.) relieved Massad to start the eighth and retired two batters before giving way to Mendez, who allowed the one hit in his 1.1 innings of work to record the save.
Spatkowski and Boulter each had two hits for the Penmen, who were outhit 9-7. Jon Minucci (Madison, Conn.) saw a season-opening 10-game hit streak snapped, going 0-3 with a walk.
Southern New Hampshire returns to action Thursday morning when it plays Wilmington (Del.) University in an 11:00 am contest at the McCusker Sportsplex.