When and Where: April 24, 2016 – No. Andover, Mass. (Warrior Diamond)
Game 1 Score: Southern New Hampshire University 5, Merrimack College 3 (10 inn.)
Game 2 Score: Southern New Hampshire University 12, Merrimack College 2
Records: SNHU 37-3 (22-1 NE-10, 14-1 NE-10 NE), Merrimack 24-14 (14-7 NE-10, 8-5 NE-10 NE)
Graduate student Ryan Gendron (Nashua, N.H.) and junior Zach Goldstein (Merrick, N.Y.) each homered twice, while seniors Tim Viehoff (Derry, N.H.) and Joe McCarthy (Nashua, N.H.) turned in stellar starts, to lead the fifth-ranked Southern New Hampshire University baseball team to a doubleheader sweep of Merrimack College on Sunday at Warrior Diamond. SNHU needed 10 innings to record a 5-3 win in the first game before leaving no doubt about it in game two with a 12-2 drubbing.
Gendron was 5-for-10 with two home runs, five RBI and two runs in the two games, while Goldstein was 3-for-7 with two walks, two home runs, three RBI and four runs scored. Juniors Carson Helms (Farmington, Conn.) and Manny Cruz (Wolcott, Conn.) were both 4-for-9 with a walk, two RBI and two runs scored.
Southern New Hampshire jumped out to a 1-0 lead in the top of the third inning of game one as Goldstein launched a solo home run over the fence in left-center.
Merrimack tied the game in the fifth on an unearned run that scored on a two-out passed ball, but an RBI double down the left field line from Helms and a sacrifice fly to right by fellow junior Derek Bauer (Millis, Mass.) put the Penmen in front, 3-1, in the sixth.
The game stayed that way into the ninth when sophomore Jake Walkinshaw (Seymour, Conn.) relieved Viehoff, looking to record his league-best ninth save. Matt Nicholson led off with a single through the right side before Mike Hoalcraft came up and drove a ball to deep left that was caught by sophomore Sean Webster (Boston, Mass.), who dove fully outstretched to bring the ball in before sliding into the fence. Walkinshaw then punched out the next batter looking, but, following a wild pitch that moved Nicholson into scoring position, Ricky Smith deposited a 2-0 pitch over the wall in left to tie the game.
SNHU wasted no time in picking up Walkinshaw in the 10th as Webster led off with a single to left-center and then scored two batters later on a double to right-center from Cruz. Helms followed two batters later with a double to the gap in left-center to plate Cruz and make it 5-3.
Merrimack brought the winning run to the plate with one out in the bottom of the frame, but Walkinshaw induced a game-ending 6-4-3 double play to keep the winning streak intact.
Viehoff was tagged with the tough-luck no-decision as he allowed just one run – none earned – on three hits, while striking out 10 and walking three, in eight innings of work. Walkinshaw (2-0) gave up two runs on four hits, while fanning a pair, over two innings.
Helms (two RBI), Cruz (RBI, run) and Gendron were all 2-for-5, while Goldstein went 2-for-4 with a walk, RBI and pair of runs scored.
Southern New Hampshire jumped all over Merrimack early in game two as it hung a five-spot in the first. Goldstein swatted the second pitch of the game out of the park to left for his second solo homer of the twin bill before Bauer's sac fly to right made it 2-0. Gendron came through with the big blow of the inning as he crushed the first pitch he saw for a three-run shot to left that pushed the early advantage to 5-0.
A sac fly from grad student Mike Mastroberti (Ramsey, N.J.) in the second and Bauer's leadoff solo jack in the third made it 7-0 before the Penmen plated a pair of unearned runs in the sixth, including one on a Goldstein sac fly to left, to bring the score to 9-0.
Merrimack made it onto the board in the bottom of the frame on a two-out wild pitch, but SNHU answered in the eighth with a sac fly to center from Cruz that ran the score to 10-1.
The Warriors again scored one in the eighth on Sean O'Neil's RBI groundout before Gendron blasted his second home run of the game – a two-run dinger to left – to cap the scoring.
McCarthy (4-1, 3.37 ERA) allowed two runs – one earned – on five hits, while striking out six and walking four, across seven-and-two-thirds innings. Sophomore Ivon Clough (Dublin, N.H.) worked one-and-a-third perfect innings.
Gendron finished 3-for-5 with five RBI and two runs scored, while Cruz (walk, RBI, run), Helms (walk, two runs) and Mastroberti (RBI, run) were all 2-for-4. Goldstein (walk, two RBI, two runs) and Webster (walk, two runs) were each 1-for-3, with Bauer going 1-for-4 with a pair of RBI and a run scored.
- The Penmen extend the program's best start ever to 37-3. The 2012 squad that advanced to the Division II College World Series was 32-8 through its first 40 games.
- The 37 victories stand as the third most in program history.
- The Penmen have won 23 of their last 24, including 19 straight, which extends both the longest winning streak in program history and in the nation, currently.
- Southern New Hampshire is outscoring its opponents, 193-57, during its current 19-game winning streak.
- Over his last six starts, Viehoff is 5-0 with a 0.42 ERA. Over the 43 innings during the stretch, Viehoff has allowed just three runs – two earned – on 15 hits, while striking out 59 and walking only 11.
- In McCarthy's last two outings, he is 2-0 with a 1.23 ERA as he has allowed three runs – two earned – on 11 hits, while striking out 15 and walking five, in 14-and-two-thirds innings.
- Mastroberti currently owns the longest hitting streak on the team at 13 games, during which he is 29-for-57 (.509) with 12 extra-base hits, 14 RBI and 16 runs scored, to go with a slash line of .554/.772/1.326.
- Goldstein extends his hitting streak to nine games, during which he has five home runs.
- Bauer has driven in at least one run in eight straight games, totaling 19 RBI during that stretch.
- Gendron's two home runs give him nine on the year and leapfrog him over Bauer, who hit his eighth in the second game, for the team lead.
- Clough extends his scoreless streak to begin the season to 13-and-a-third innings over seven appearances.
- Bauer leads the Northeast-10 in RBI (46) and is second in home runs (8). Mastroberti ranks first in extra-base hits (28), doubles (14) and triples (12), while placing second in RBI (45) and seventh in hitting (.364). Cruz paces the league in runs (48) and is second in hitting (.372). Viehoff is tied for the conference lead in wins (8) despite narrowly missing out on No. 9 in game one. His 1.65 ERA also tops all starters in the league.
- The Penmen own the top four individual spots on the runs scored league leader list with Cruz, Goldstein (45), Gendron (44) and Helms (44) all scoring more than anyone else.
The Penmen are back in action Tuesday, April 26 (3:30 p.m.) when they go for the season sweep of Saint Anselm College at Sullivan Park. 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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