Criscuolo’s No-Hitter Highlights Second Straight Sweep for #20 Baseball

Criscuolo’s No-Hitter Highlights Second Straight Sweep for #20 Baseball


When and Where: February 27, 2016 – Myrtle Beach, S.C. (Ripken Experience)
Game 1 Score:
Southern New Hampshire University 4, Wilmington (Del.) University 0
Game 2 Score: Southern New Hampshire University 14, Nyack College 0
Records: SNHU 4-0, Wilmington 0-2, Nyack 0-3

Junior Ben Criscuolo (Branford, Conn.) tossed a no-hitter in his first career start and senior Tim Viehoff (Derry, N.H.) shut out the defending NCAA East Regional Champions as the 20th-ranked Southern New Hampshire University baseball team earned its second consecutive sweep to open the season Saturday in Myrtle Beach, S.C. The Penmen posted a 4-0 shutout in game one against Wilmington (Del.) University and then blanked Nyack College, 14-0, in game two.

In the second game against Nyack, the offense wasted no time jumping out to an early lead in favor of Criscuolo, who has been stellar out of the bullpen the last two seasons (8-1, 16 saves, 1.25 ERA, 67 Ks in 57.2 innings). The Penmen plated five in the first inning, with a two-run single by freshman Kevin Alexy (W. Norton, Mass.) and an RBI double off the left field wall from classmate Joshua Zbierski (Stafford Springs, Conn.), who collected his first collegiate hit on the play, doing most of the damage.

SNHU then broke it open with a four-run third that featured run-scoring singles from Alexy, junior Manny Cruz (Wolcott, Conn.) and graduate student Mike Mastroberti (Ramsey, N.J.) to make it 9-0.

Criscuolo continued to deal, keeping it a nine-run game into the seventh when the Penmen struck for four more. Mastroberti stroked a two-run triple down the right field line to push the lead to double digits before an RBI single through the left side from sophomore Andrew Lalonde (Bedford, N.H.) and an error extended the lead to 13-0.

Junior Carson Helms (Farmington, Conn.) added the exclamation point with a solo tater to left in the eighth inning that brought the score to 14-0.

It was then Criscuolo's turn to add some punctuation of his own as he came back out for the ninth and polished off the no-hitter. Criscuolo (1-0) punched out 15, walked none and struck out the side three times during his masterful performance.

Alexy went 2-for-3 with three RBI and a pair of runs scored, while Mastroberti also drove in three as he was 2-for-6 and scored a run. Zbierski was 2-for-4 with a pair of RBI and a run scored, with Cruz going 3-for-5, driving in a run and scoring twice. Grad student Ryan Gendron (Nashua, N.H.) went 2-for-3 with an RBI and two runs scored.

The Penmen moved out in front, 1-0, in the bottom of the first of game one when junior Zach Goldstein (Merrick, N.Y.) was hit by a pitch and later scored on an errant pickoff throw. Viehoff then received a big double play to maneuver out of a jam in the bottom of the frame to keep the Wildcats off the board. His offense would give him a bit of breathing room in the third as Mastroberti laced a one-out, stand-up triple and then scored on a passed ball to make it 2-0.

Goldstein doubled the lead in the seventh when he followed a ground-rule double off the bat of Sean Webster (Boston, Mass.) with a two-run double down the left field line to open it up to 4-0.

It was all Viehoff (1-0) from there as he went the distance, throwing a two-hit, complete-game shutout, while striking out seven and walking just one.

Goldstein went 1-for-4 with two RBI and a run scored, while Mastroberti and Webster were both 1-for-3 with runs scored.

- Criscuolo's no-no is the first for the Penmen since Junior Mendez held the University of the Sciences hitless in a 2-0 win March 3, 2013.
- The Penmen racked up 14 hits in game two after being limited to just four in the first game.
- In the two games, Viehoff and Criscuolo combined to throw 18 shutout innings, allowing two hits, striking out 22 and walking just one batter.

Up Next:
The Penmen wrap up their South Carolina trip Sunday, Feb. 28 when they take on Mercy College at 9 a.m.

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