MANCHESTER, N.H. – Tim Flight (Portsmouth, R.I.) struck out a career-high 18 batters and Jamie Wollerman (Hasbrouck Heights, N.J.) delivered a walkoff single in the bottom of the ninth to lead No. 7 Southern New Hampshire University to a 1-0 non-conference baseball victory over Saint Anselm College in front of a crowd of nearly 800 Thursday night at Penmen Field. The Penmen, who are also ranked first in the NCBWA East Region poll, improve to 17-2, while the Hawks are now 7-10 on the season.
Thursday night's game was the first under permanent lighting at Penmen Field, as SNHU installed lights at its baseball and softball facilities last summer.
Flight opened his complete-game shutout by striking out the side in the first and also struck out the side in the fourth. He allowed just two hits, a Rett Ostafin single to shallow left in the third and a double to Mike Hayden to lead off the fifth, while issuing just one walk. The southpaw's previous career high was 13 strikeouts, achieved twice last season. With the win, Flight upped his record to 4-0 in five starts while lowering his earned run average to 0.52.
In the bottom of the ninth, Matt Boulter (Wrentham, Mass.) hit an infield single deep in the hole at second to lead off the inning, knocking Saint Anselm starter John Healy out of the game, with Sean Hayden entering in relief. Andy Lalli (Lakeville, Mass.) bunted Boulter into scoring position, then Wollerman singled to right. Hawk right fielder Daniel DeCoste charged the ball and delivered a strike to the plate, but Boulter was able to evade the tag of catcher Nate Gonya to end the game.
Saint Anselm's best chances to get on the board came in the fifth and sixth innings. Mike Hayden's double led off the fifth, and he would move to third with one away as Gonya bunted him over. Flight proceeded to get DeCoste and Ostafin swinging to end the threat. In the sixth, leadoff man Tito Llubares was hit by a pitch, then bunted over by Nate Manzi. Llubares moved to third when Flight uncorked a pitch over the head of catcher Lalli, but Flight again dug in and got Dan Lagasse and Jeff Criscuolo swinging.
Healy was the hard-luck loser for Saint Anselm, suffering his first loss of the season despite fanning 12 batters in eight-plus innings of work with one walk while scattering four hits. Kevin Spatkowski (Bristol, Conn.) had two of Southern New Hampshire's five hits on the evening.
Southern New Hampshire opens Northeast-10 play Saturday when it travels to American International College for a noon doubleheader.
Matt Boulter evades catcher Nate Gonya's tag at home for the lone run in Thursday night's game. Photo by Gil Talbot.