When and Where: April 22, 2016 – Manchester, N.H. (Penmen Field)
Game 1 Score: Southern New Hampshire University 11, Southern Connecticut State University 0
Game 2 Score: Southern New Hampshire University 7, Southern Connecticut State University 5
Records: SNHU 34-3 (19-1 NE-10), Southern Connecticut 10-22-1 (3-13 NE-10)
Graduate student Mike Mastroberti (Ramsey, N.J.) went 7-for-9 over two games to lead the fifth-ranked Southern New Hampshire University baseball team to Friday's doubleheader sweep of Southern Connecticut State University at Penmen Field. SNHU posted an 11-0 win in the first game before rallying for a 7-5 victory in game two.
In addition to his 7-for-9 performance at the plate, Mastroberti collected three extra-base hits, drove in a pair of runs and scored four times. Mastroberti also hit his 12th triple of the season in game one – the most by a Penmen in a single season. Junior Carson Helms (Farmington, Conn.) was 3-for-4 in the twinbill sweep, walking three times, while homering, driving in four runs and scoring twice.
Southern New Hampshire went up 2-0 in the bottom of the first in game one when Mastroberti disrupted the potential 1-2-3 inning with a double to left and then Helms followed by crushing a two-run home run to straightaway center field.
The Penmen doubled their lead in the bottom of the sixth as junior Zach Goldstein (Merrick, N.Y.) led off with a single up the middle, moved to second on a base hit through the left side by fellow junior Manny Cruz (Wolcott, Conn.), advanced to third on a fielder's choice grounder from Mastroberti and scored when the attempt to record the double play at first was dropped. Helms' double to left-center to score Mastroberti later in the inning made it 4-0.
SNHU again doubled its lead in the seventh as it used four hits and took advantage of an error to push across four unearned runs. Cruz' RBI fielder's choice opened the scoring before Mastroberti's two-out, two-run triple to left-center made it a seven-run game. Junior Derek Bauer (Millis, Mass.) stretched the advantage to 8-0 later in the inning with a run-scoring single to right.
Goldstein made it an even 10 when he hammered a two-run shot to left-center in the eighth. A sacrifice fly from Helms later in the inning ran the lead to 11-0.
Sophomore Justin Valdespina (Garfield, N.J.; 7-2 2.57 ERA) pitched seven shutout innings, allowing just four hits, while striking out seven and walking one. Freshman Connor Gavin (E. Bridgewater, Mass.) and grad student Lucas Olen (Bedford, N.H.) each tossed 1-2-3 frames in the eighth and ninth, respectively.
Helms was 3-for-3 with four RBI and a run scored, while Mastroberti went 4-for-5 with a pair of RBI and three runs scored. Goldstein went 2-for-5 with two RBI and two runs, with Cruz going 1-for-4 with a walk, an RBI and two runs scored.
Southern Connecticut grabbed a 1-0 lead in the top of the first when Ethan Joyce stroked a one-out double to right-center, swiped third and scored when Kyle Hart reached on a throwing error on what would have been an RBI groundout.
The Owls went back ahead in the third when Hart delivered a big blow with a three-run homer to left-center that made it 4-1. Southern Connecticut would tack another one on via an RBI double from Jake Lieberman that bumped the gap to four.
Southern New Hampshire sliced its deficit in half in the bottom of the frame on run-scoring fielder's choices from Bauer and Gendron that pulled the Penmen within 5-3.
SNHU grabbed the lead back in the fifth as walks from Cruz and Helms put a pair on before Gendron hit an absolute missile into the trees in dead center for a two-out, three-run bomb that put the Penmen in front, 6-5.
The Southern New Hampshire bullpen came up big down the stretch as sophomore Mitchell Powers (Portland, Maine), with runners at first and second in the seventh, induced an inning-ending 5-4-3 double play to thwart the Southern Connecticut threat. Sophomores Ivon Clough (Dublin, N.H.) and Jake Walkinshaw (Seymour, Conn.) followed with 1-2-3 innings in the eighth and ninth, respectively.
Person (7-0, 3.02 ERA) allowed five runs on six hits, while fanning six and walking two, in six innings. Powers walked a batter and struck out one in his scoreless inning of work, while Clough and Walkinshaw each struck out one.
Mastroberti finished 3-for-4 with a run scored, while Gendron was 1-for-3 with four RBI and a pair of runs scored.
- At 34-3, the Penmen are off to their best start ever. The 2012 squad that advanced to the Division II College World Series was 32-5 through its first 37 games.
- The Penmen have won 20 of their last 21, including 16 straight, which extends the longest winning streak in program history.
- Southern New Hampshire is outscoring its opponents, 156-38, during its current 16-game winning streak.
- Mastroberti's 12th triple of the season topples Chris O'Neil's 2011 mark of 11. Mastroberti also matches the program's career record for three-baggers, tying O'Neil's 15 from 2007-11.
- Mastroberti currently owns the longest hitting streak on the team at 10 games, during which he is 23-for-42 (.548) with nine extra-base hits, 12 RBI and 10 runs scored, to go with a slash line of .604/.857/1.461.
- Goldstein extends his hitting streak to six games, during which he has three home runs.
- The home runs for Helms and Gendron were their sixth of the year.
- Gavin has not allowed a run in 10-and-a-third innings, spanning 10 appearances, to begin his career.
- Clough extends his scoreless streak to begin the season to 12 innings over six appearances.
- Mastroberti leads the Northeast-10 in RBI (44), extra-base hits (26) and triples (12), while ranking second in doubles (12) and seventh in hitting (.360). Cruz paces the league in runs (44) and is fifth in hitting (.366). Bauer is tied for second in home runs (7). Person is tied for second in wins (7), while Walkinshaw paces the conference in saves (8).
The Penmen are back in action Saturday, April 23 when they take on Merrimack College at 3:30 p.m. The next home game for the Penmen is Wednesday, April 27 (6 p.m.) when they play host to eighth-ranked Franklin Pierce University at Penmen Field.
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