When and Where: May 1, 2016 – Manchester, N.H. (Penmen Field)
Score: Southern New Hampshire University 10, Stonehill College 4
Records: SNHU 40-5 (25-3 NE-10, 17-3 NE-10 NE), Stonehill 24-16 (12-9 NE-10, 9-8 NE-10 NE)
Junior Derek Bauer (Millis, Mass.) knocked in three Sunday, including the game-tying run in the eighth inning, and also became the program's single-season RBI leader as the fifth-ranked Southern New Hampshire University baseball team scored a 10-4 come-from-behind win against Stonehill College on Senior Day at a damp Penmen Field.
For the first time in the three-game set, which SNHU won, 2-1, Stonehill grabbed the first lead of the game in the top of the first. Ben Monte, who reached on an error, stole second and moved to third on a ground ball that went for the second out of the inning, scored on a wild pitch to make it 1-0.
The Skyhawks stretched the lead to 3-0 in the third on Alex Hurley's two-out, two-run homer to center off senior starter Joe McCarthy (Nashua, N.H.). Joe Klingensmith's two-out single through the left side in the fifth inning bumped the advantage to 4-0.
Southern New Hampshire finally made it onto the board in the bottom of the fifth when Bauer stroked the first pitch of the frame into right for a base hit, stole second, advanced to third on a groundout to short and scored on a two-out throwing error by the third baseman.
Bauer again came up big the following inning with more two-out damage as his single through the right side made it a 4-3 game and gave him 53 RBI on the season, which – for the time being – set a new Penmen single-season record. Following two relatively quick outs, graduate student Mike Mastroberti (Ramsey, N.J.) jump-started the inning with a single up the middle before stealing second and then taking third when the catcher's throw sailed into center. After junior Carson Helms (Farmington, Conn.) walked and stole second to put a pair in scoring position, Bauer delivered.
Bauer would deliver again in the eighth after a pair of one-out walks to Mastroberti and Helms put a runner in scoring position. Bauer hit a sinking liner to center that grabbed some grass and allowed Mastroberti to slide across the plate with the game-tying run.
The Penmen were far from finished, however. After grad student Ryan Gendron (Nashua, N.H.) was intentionally walked to load the bases, Stonehill went to the bullpen and tabbed its closer, Aubrey Solomon, to get it out of the jam. Solomon would do no such thing, however, as sophomore Matt Rabbito (Chelmsford, Mass.) greeted him with a single through the hole at short that put the Penmen on top, 5-4. A two-run, pinch-hit double down the right field line by freshman Kevin Alexy (Newton, Mass.) and a two-run single to center for junior Zach Goldstein (Merrick, N.Y.) opened the SNHU lead to 9-4 and chased Solomon from the game. Fellow junior Manny Cruz (Wolcott, Conn.) said hello to the new Skyhawks pitcher with a single back up the middle that plated a run to cap the scoring in the inning and made it 10-4.
Sophomore Jake Walkinshaw (Seymour, Conn.), who had finished off the eighth inning, breezed through a 1-2-3 ninth to sink the Skyhawks.
McCarthy allowed four runs – three earned – on seven hits, while fanning nine and walking four, in five innings. Sophomore Mitchell Powers (Portland, Maine) worked two-and-two-thirds shutout innings, punching out six and walking just one. Walkinshaw tossed one-and-a-third innings of perfect baseball, while striking out a pair.
Bauer finished 3-for-4 with three RBI and two runs scored. Cruz was 2-for-5 with an RBI, while Mastroberti went 1-for-3 with two walks and a pair of runs. Goldstein went 1-for-5 with two RBI and a run, with Helms (two runs) and Gendron (run) going 0-for-2 with a pair of walks.
- Southern New Hampshire, which has won 26 of its last 29 and 22 of 24, is still on pace for its best record ever at 40-5. The 2012 squad that advanced to the Division II College World Series in Cary, N.C., was 34-11 through its first 45 games.
- The 2016 installment of the Penmen are just the third team in program history to reach the 40-win plateau.
- The big seven-run eighth inning featured 11 batters that totaled five hits and three walks.
- Bauer, who leads the Northeast-10 lead in RBI (54) and is fourth in home runs (8), has driven in at least one run in 13 straight games, totaling 27 RBI during that stretch.
- Bauer breaks Matt Boulter's (2012) record for the most RBI (52) ever in a single season for a Penmen.
- Gendron and Helms both had their respective nine- and seven-game hitting streaks snapped.
- Mastroberti has a hit in 17 of his last 18 contests, while Goldstein has hit safely in 13 of 14.
- McCarthy, Mastroberti, Gendron, grad student Lucas Olen (Bedford, N.H.), seniors Tim Viehoff (Derry, N.H.), Ian Searles (Wareham, Mass.), Lorenzo Papa (Stoneham, Mass.) and junior Mike Robert (Nashua, N.H.) were all honored in a pre-game ceremony on the field.
The Penmen are back in action Tuesday, May 3 (6 p.m.) when they close out their regular-season home slate against Saint Michael's College at Penmen Field.
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