When and Where: May 2, 2019 – Hooksett, N.H. (Penmen Field)
Score: Southern New Hampshire University 8, Merrimack College 7
Records: SNHU 34-11 (20-6 NE10, 15-4 NE10 NE), Merrimack 25-16 (18-7 NE10, 14-5 NE10 NE)
Sophomore Idelson Taveras (Lawrence, Mass.) delivered a two-run, walk-off single, as the 15th-ranked Southern New Hampshire University baseball team scored three times in the bottom of the ninth to defeat Merrimack College, 8-7, in its final at bat Thursday night at Penmen Field.
- Taveras finished the contest 3-for-4 with a walk, two RBI and two runs scored.
- Classmate Sam Henrie (Middleboro, Mass.) was 2-for-5 with a pair of RBI and a run scored.
- Redshirt-sophomore Marcus Chavez (Queens, N.Y.) went 1-for-4 with a walk, an RBI and two runs scored, as he hit his first home run in a Penmen uniform.
- Sophomore Jeffrey Praml (Bridgewater, N.J.) struck out both batters he faced in the top of the ninth to earn the win and improve to 4-0.
- Senior Thomas Novick (Sudbury, Mass.) turned in two-and-a-third huge innings of near-perfect relief, retiring seven of the eight batters he faced.
HOW IT HAPPENED
- Merrimack went ahead, 1-0, in the top of the third against junior Wesley Tobin (Portsmouth, N.H.), when Joey Porricelli hit a two-out solo shot to left.
- Southern New Hampshire tied it in the home half, as Taveras led off with a double down the line in left, moved to third on a groundout and scored on a two-out infield single up the middle by Henrie.
- The Warriors went back in front with a pair in the top of the fourth. Singles from Thomas Joyce and Thomas Crowley put a pair on with one out, before Matthew Ronai singled through the left side to plate the first run. Michael Jamele's sacrifice fly to left made it 3-1. Merrimack would leave the bases loaded.
- SNHU struck for three in the fifth to take the lead for the first time. Redshirt-junior Joshua Goldstein (Haverhill, Mass.) started it by laying down a perfect bunt toward third that he beat out for a hit. Taveras followed with a single through the right side and then swiped second to put a pair in scoring position. Junior Tom Blandini (Bow, N.H.) drove in the first run with a grounder to second, before Chavez walked to make it first and third. Henrie tied the game when he hit a hard grounder to second and reached on an error, with a two-out double down the left field line from freshman Alex Kennedy (Braintree, Mass.) putting the Penmen on top, 4-3.
- Merrimack grabbed the three back against the Penmen bullpen in the sixth. The Warriors had a runner on first with two outs when Jamele singled through the left side and Porricelli reached on an error to extend the inning and load the bases. SNHU made a pitching change, but Michael Golankiewicz came through with a two-run single up the middle to put the visitors up, 5-4. Nick Shumski was then hit by a pitch to re-load the bases, before Joyce grounded one to short, but Blandini's flip to second was not in time, allowing another run to come home. A wild pitch plated the final run of the frame to extend the lead to 7-4.
- Chavez got one back for the Penmen, taking the first pitch of the seventh deep to left to trim the deficit to 7-5.
- In the bottom of the ninth, Henrie led off with a double to the gap in left-center, before sophomore Dakota Mulcay (Goffstown, N.H.) struck out, but reached first on an errant throw from the catcher. Kennedy followed with a sac bunt that put a pair in scoring position with one out. Redshirt-senior Kevin Alexy (Newton, Mass.) made it a one-run game with an RBI groundout to short, with junior Jake Coro (Johnston, R.I.) and Goldstein following with walks to load the bases with two outs. Taveras came to the plate and sliced a ball down the left field line that dropped in fair, allowing two runs to come around and give the Penmen a monster come-from-behind win.
INSIDE THE BOX SCORE
- Kennedy (walk, RBI) and Goldstein (walk, run) were both 1-for-3.
- Coro went 0-for-1, but walked four times and scored a run.
- Tobin allowed three runs on six hits, while striking out five and walking a pair in four innings.
- Senior Matthew Messier (No. Troy, Vt.) worked a perfect inning of relief.
- Redshirt-freshman Joshua Eastman (Marshfield, Mass.) was charged with three runs – all unearned – on one hit, walking one and striking out a batter in two-thirds of an inning.
- Redshirt-junior Brendan Welch (Easton, Mass.) relinquished one unearned run on one hit, striking out the only batter he retired.
- The victory moves the Penmen to within one win of clinching their third straight NE10 Northeast Division title and the No. 1 seed for the NE10 Championship.
- Southern New Hampshire has won six of its last seven.
- SNHU has won 18 of the last 22 meetings with Merrimack.
- The Penmen improve to 14-3 at home this season and better their record to 89-20 (.817) at Penmen Field since the start of the 2014 season.
- The Penmen wrap up the series with Merrimack in doubleheader action that begins at 3:30 p.m. on Saturday (May 4) at Penmen Field. SNHU will honor its 10 seniors prior to game one.
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