|Ryan Healey blasted his team-leading fourth homerun of the season in the 9-8 loss to Southern Connecticut on Saturday.|
Skyhawks Swept Behind Game One No-Hitter
Easton, Mass. - Southern Connecticut sophomore starter Maxx Catapano twirled a no-hitter, striking out 13 Stonehill batters in a 1-0 win over the host Skyhawks in game one and the Owls scored four runs in the first inning of game two en route to a 9-8 win in the nightcap to sweep a key Northeast-10 baseball doubleheader on Saturday afternoon on Lou Gorman Field.
Catapano improved to 2-4 with the win, while Stonehill starter Matt Giusti (Hopkinton, Mass.) was the tough luck loser, falling to 4-2 on the season.
With the sweep, the Owls stay at No. 2 in the Northeast-10 at 16-8, while the Skyhawks dip to 11-12 in league play but remain in the final spot for a playoff spot at No. 8 with a week left in the regular season.
SCSU scored the game's only run with two outs in the first, getting two of their four hits. Reigning Northeast-10 player of the year Karl Derbacher doubled to deep center and then scored on a sharp single to left by Ryan Geffert.
Giusti then settled in only allowing an infield single to leadoff the second and a one out single in the sixth. A key double play turned by the middle of the Skyhawk infield erased a Southern Connecticut scoring threat and ended the sixth inning.
Catapano, meanwhile, was in control from the very beginning, retiring the first 14 batters he faced before allowing a walk to Shane Franz (Cazenovia, N.Y.) with two outs in the fifth. During a stretch that covered the sixth, seventh and eighth innings, he struck out eight of the ten batters he faced.
Stonehill's best chance for a hit came in the ninth inning with one out when Scott Hackett (Bangor, Maine) dropped a bunt down the first base line but the ball was ruled foul. He later grounded back to the pitcher for the inning's second out. Nate Weber (Hanson, Mass.) was the Skyhawks' last chance for a hit but he grounded out to second to end the game.
Giusti went nine innings for his fifth complete game of the year. He allowed one walk, struck out seven and hit a batter.
In game two, the Owls jumped on Stonehill starter Andy Hillier (Hanover, Mass.) early, getting four runs as Hillier struggled, getting only two outs before being relieved by freshman Matt Olsen (Winchester, Mass.).
Stonehill got two runs back in the bottom of the first with one coming on a Weber RBI groundout and the other a coming home on an error.
Southern Connecticut scored three more times in the second highlighted by a two-run double by Derbacher and then the Owls added another run in the top of the fourth to make the score 8-2.
The Skyhawks chipped away - first getting a two run homerun that sailed over the scoreboard in left field from Weber that made the score 8-4.
A golden chance to tighten the gap presented itself in the sixth inning for Stonehill when they loaded the bases with no outs. They could only muster one run, however, as Owl reliever Steve Corbett worked his way out of the situation.
After SCSU tacked on another run in the top of the seventh to make the score 9-5, the Skyhawks inched closer in the bottom of the frame when Ryan Healey (Lynn, Mass.) blasted a three-run homer to dead center field to bring Stonehill to within one at 9-8.
The Skyhawks would get no closer as the Owls third pitcher of the day, Mike Connors, worked the final three innings to collect his second save of the season.
Stonehill and Southern Connecticut will play a single game on Sunday in New Haven Beginning at 1 p.m.