When and Where: April 5, 2019 – Hooksett, N.H. (Penmen Field)
Score: Southern New Hampshire University 5, Southern Connecticut State University 4 (10 inn.)
Records: SNHU 21-6 (7-1 NE10), SCSU 10-16 (1-6 NE10)
Junior Jake Coro (Johnston, R.I.) hit a walk-off home run in the 10th inning to send the seventh-ranked Southern New Hampshire University baseball team to a 5-4 victory over Southern Connecticut State University on Friday afternoon at Penmen Field.
- Coro went 2-for-3 with two RBI and two runs scored.
- Redshirt-senior Kevin Alexy (Newton, Mass.; two RBI) and junior Tom Blandini (Bow, N.H.; walk, RBI, run) were each 2-for-4.
- Freshman Alex Kennedy (Braintree, Mass.) finished 2-for-5 and scored a run.
- Sophomore Jeffrey Praml (Bridgewater, N.J.) claimed the win with three shutout innings of relief, allowing just one hit, while striking out three and walking one.
HOW IT HAPPENED
- Southern New Hampshire threatened in the bottom of the first when Blandini led off with a base hit through the left side and redshirt-junior Joshua Goldstein (Haverhill, Mass.) followed with a walk. The pair was in scoring position with two out, but Southern Connecticut would get out of it after junior Dylan Faircloth (Cleveland, Texas) put a charge into one to deep center, but just missed getting all of it.
- SNHU would take a 1-0 lead in the bottom of the second when Coro walked, swiped second and scored on an RBI single down the left field line from Alexy.
- The Owls tied it in the top of the third inning against redshirt-junior Endy Morales (Holyoke, Mass.), as back-to-back singles from Anthony Zambito and Jim Palmer, followed by stolen bases, put a pair in scoring position for Nick Lamberti, who knocked in the run with a fielder's choice grounder to short.
- Southern Connecticut went in front with an unearned run in the fifth, as Nolan Cloutier reached on a throwing error and scored on Jim Palmer's double to left-center.
- Blandini pulled the Penmen even with a monster swing in the home half, clubbing a solo shot toward the right field foul pole that made it 2-2.
- The Penmen grabbed the lead back in the sixth, with singles from Kennedy and Faircloth setting up the inning, before a Coro sacrifice fly to center and another run-scoring single from Alexy made it 4-2.
- The Owls tied it again in the seventh, loading the bases with no outs on a single, walk and an error. Senior Hayden Manning (Portland, Conn.) entered, but hit the batter with his first pitch to force in a run. The Penmen then went to Praml, who induced a fielder's choice grounder to third that plated the tying run and recorded the first out. After a walk that re-loaded the bases, a strikeout put SNHU one out away from getting out of the mess. Mac Finnegan hit a chopper back up the middle that went off the glove of Praml and slowed down behind the mound, but Blandini charged hard from short and made an incredible barehanded play to throw the runner out on a bang-bang play at first and preserve the tie.
- Southern New Hampshire put the first two on in the bottom of the ninth, with walks to sophomore Idelson Taveras (Lawrence, Mass.) and Blandini. After a strikeout, a groundout to first put both runners in scoring position, but a fly out to right sent the game to extras.
- Southern Connecticut put a scare into the Penmen in the 10th, with Tyler Criscuolo singling with one out, before a Praml strikeout marked the second out. Mike DeMartino followed by hitting a high fly ball down the line in right, but sophomore Sam Henrie (Middleboro, Mass.) made the catch just in front of the wall.
- Coro ended it with two outs in the 10th, crushing a no-doubter to right that sent that home crowd home happy.
INSIDE THE BOX SCORE
- Morales allowed four runs – two earned – on six hits, striking out two and walking one, over seven innings.
- Faircloth (run) and sophomore Dakota Mulcay (Goffstown, N.H.) were both 1-for-5.
- Southern New Hampshire has won 14 of its last 17, including eight of the last nine, and six straight.
- SNHU has now won eight-in-a-row against Southern Connecticut.
- The Penmen improve to 4-1 in extra innings this season.
- It is the first walk-off home run for Southern New Hampshire in extra innings since Zach Goldstein led off the bottom of the 10th inning with a long-ball that lifted the Penmen to a 7-6 win against Assumption on April 16, 2016.
- SCSU's 2-1 lead in the top of the fifth inning marked the first time all season the Penmen had trailed in six games at Penmen Field, snapping the streak at 49-and-a-third innings.
- Coro's home run was his second of the season and fourth of his career.
- It was the second time this season SNHU walked off on a Coro at bat, as he dropped down a bunt that ended the March 1 game against Merrimack College (6-5) in the 11th inning.
- The Penmen return to action Saturday, April 6 when they play host to the College of Saint Rose in a doubleheader that begins at noon from Penmen Field.
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