POMONA, N.Y. – No. 9/28 Southern New Hampshire University and Saint Thomas Aquinas College split a baseball doubleheader at Provident Bank Park Sunday afternoon. The Spartans edged the Penmen 4-3 in the opener before the guests exploded for a 12-1 win in the nightcap. SNHU, which is ranked first in the NCBWA East Region poll, now stands at 16-2, while STAC, which is ranked eighth regionally, now stands 11-7 on the season.
In the nightcap, Southern New Hampshire broke a 1-1 tie with seven runs in the top of the fifth, pounding out five hits while also taking advantage of an error, a walk and a hit batsman. A triple by Matt Boulter (Wrentham, Mass.) drove in two runs, while Bryan Toland (Wildwood, N.J.) knocked in a pair with a single to center.
The Penmen tacked on four more runs in the sixth. Jamie Wollerman (Hasbrouck Heights, N.J.) doubled to bring in Boulter and Al Stanton (Sandwich, Mass.), who each worked walks to open the frame. A single by Jon Minucci (Madison, Conn.) brought in Andy Lalli (Lakeville, Mass.), who also walked, while Wollerman scored when Zach Robins (Westford, Mass.) reached on a fielders choice.
SNHU took a 1-0 lead in the top of the first when Brendan O'Brien (East Bridgewater, Mass.) singled to open the game and scored on a sac fly by Stanton. The Spartans tied the game in the bottom of the first when George Wargo singled to plate Frank Salerno.
Wollerman finished 3-3 with three runs batted in in game two to lead the Penmen offensively, while Minucci also registered three hits. Boulter also drove in three runs. Junior Mendez (Patchogue, N.Y.) (pictured) scattered seven hits in six innings to earn the win on the mound, fanning three. David Gibson (Hanover, Mass.) worked the seventh of the seven-inning contest and fanned two.
In the opener, the Spartans staked themselves to a 2-0 lead in the bottom of the first then made it 3-0 in the third. In the first STAC got on the board with a two-run single by Andrew Hancsak, while in the third an infield single by Joe Antenucci brought in Nicholas Barbalato.
Southern New Hampshire got on the board in the fifth when Toland's RBI single brought in Lalli. The Spartans reclaimed a three-run advantage in the bottom of the fifth, but the Penmen made it a 4-2 game in the sixth when a sac fly by Boulter brought in Kevin Spatkowski (Bristol, Conn.).
Wollerman homered to lead off the seventh to cut the gap to 4-3. In the top of the ninth, Boulter worked a leadoff walk off STAC reliever Joe DePool, and moved into scoring position with one away on Lalli's sac bunt, but DePool would strike out Wollerman and Minucci to end the game.
Brad Monroe (Hampton, N.H.) went the distance on the mound for SNHU, surrendering 11 hits and four runs while fanning four. Saint Thomas Aquinas starter Matt Marotta allowed just three hits in eight innings of work, striking out seven.
SNHU returns to action Thursday afternoon when it hosts Saint Anselm College for its home opener. Game time for the non-conference contest is slated for 3:30 pm.