RINDGE, N.H. – No. 6 Southern New Hampshire University nearly rallied from a 10-3 deficit, but fell 10-9 to Franklin Pierce University in Northeast-10 baseball action Tuesday afternoon at Pappas Field. The Ravens improved to 24-12-1 overall and 6-3-1 in the NE-10 Northeast Division with the win, while the Penmen now stand 32-6 overall and 8-3 in the division.
All six of Southern New Hampshire's losses this season have been by one run.
Franklin Pierce jumped out to a 4-0 lead in the bottom of the first and tacked on a run in the second before the Penmen scored three times in the fourth to pull within 5-3. SNHU opened the frame with back-to-back singles by Jamie Wollerman (Hasbrouck Heights, N.J.) and Greg Pezzuto (Hastings-on-Hudson, N.Y.) before Jon Minucci (Madison, Conn.) homered to center. For Minucci it was his second home run in as many games and sixth on the season.
The Ravens notched five runs in the fifth to take what seemed to be a comfortable 10-3 lead, but the Penmen attempted to get back in the game with three runs in the sixth and three more in the eighth. In the sixth, Minucci led off with a single and eventually scored on a wild pitch. Kevin Spatkowski (Bristol, Conn.) made it 10-5 when he grounded into a double play, bringing in Bryan Toland (Wildwood, N.J.). Andy Lalli (Lakeville, Mass.) singled up the middle to bring home Alejandro Diaz (Old Bridge, N.J.).
Lalli struck again in the eighth when his two-run single up the middle played Spatkowski and Diaz. Wollerman followed Lalli with a single that plated Matt Boulter (Wrentham, Mass.).
Southern New Hampshire got the tying run into scoring position in the top of the ninth, with Brendan O'Brien (East Bridgewater, Mass.) reaching on a one-out single and moving to third on a base hit by Boulter with two away. Raven reliever T.J. Ferguson ended the threat and the game by getting Lalli on a called third strike.
Boulter finished 3-4 at the plate with two walks, while O'Brien, Lalli, Wollerman and Minucci each had two hits as the Penmen outhit the Ravens 13-11. Brad Monroe (Hampton, N.H.) took the loss for SNHU, giving up a pair of home runs and four runs in just two-thirds of an inning as the starter. Zach LeBarron (Bennington, Vt.) worked the final 3.2 innings and allowed a pair of unearned runs while retiring the final 10 FPU batters of the afternoon.
Southern New Hampshire returns to action Wednesday afternoon when it travels to Saint Anselm College for a 3:30 contest at Sullivan Park.