Stonehill Finishes Merrimack Sweep, 5-2

Junior Eric Haughn earned his third win of the year with eight strong innings, running his scoreless inning streak to over 20 innings before surrendering a run. 

Haughn wins third-straight decision, White drives in three to lead Skyhawks

EASTON, Mass. (March 31, 2011) – Stonehill College, ranked fifth in this week's National Collegiate Baseball Writers Association (NCBWA) Division II East Regional poll, completed a three game series sweep of Merrimack College with a 5-2 victory in non-conference baseball action at Lou Gorman Field this afternoon.

Junior leftfielder Michael White (Lisbon, N.H./Lisbon Regional) paced the Stonehill offense as he hit 2-for-3, extending his team-best hitting streak to 13 games, three RBI and two stolen bases. Senior third baseman Scott Hackett (Bangor, Maine/Bangor) was also 2-for-3 for the Skyhawks with a double, triple and two runs scored, while junior rightfielder Kyle Shepard (Boxford, Mass./Masconomet) finished 1-for-4 with an RBI. Junior catcher Rich McHugh (Pembroke, Mass./Thayer Academy) chipped in with a solo home run.

Junior lefthander Eric Haughn (Pembroke, Mass./Pembroke) earned his third-straight win on the mound (3-1) for Stonehill as he allowed two earned runs on nine hits with four strikeouts and no walks over eight innings. Senior righthander Brenden Shepard (Boxford, Mass./Masconomet) sealed the win with a scoreless ninth to collect his fifth save of the season, striking out one and allowed just a hit.

Senior third baseman Mike Dooling (Milford, Conn./Joseph Foran) led Merrimack as he hit 3-for-4 with a run scored. Junior leftfielder P.J. Farnham (Andover, Mass./Andover) was 2-for-4 with a stolen base and run scored, while freshman catcher C.J. Flannery (Hudson, Mass./Hudson) batted 1-for-3 with an RBI.

Junior Michael White extended his team-best hitting streak to 13 games, finishing 2-for-3 with three RBI. 

Freshman lefthander Conner McMahon (Westfield, Mass./Westfield) took the loss (1-1) on the mound for Merrimack, allowing four runs, three earned, on seven hits with seven strikeouts and a walk. Freshman righthander Travis Terrill (Hudson, N.H./Alvirne) yielded an earned run on a hit with four strikeouts and two walks in three innings of relief.

Both starting pitchers retired the side in order in the first, but Stonehill broke through with a run in the second, starting a string of four-straight innings with a run for the Skyhawks. Senior Angelo Bruno (Norwalk, Conn./Norwalk) led off the second with a single and later scored on a flare down the rightfield line by Kyle Shepard. The Skyhawks doubled their lead in the third when Hackett tripled into the gap in left center and scored on a sacrifice fly by White. Stonehill extended the lead to 3-0 when McHugh led off the fourth with his first home run of the season down the leftfield line.

Merrimack got on the scoreboard in the fifth when Farnham reached with a bunt single, stole second and later scored on a double down the rightfield line by sophomore Brett Julian (Weymouth, Mass./Weymouth). The run ended Haughn's scoreless inning streak at 21.1 innings. Stonehill got that run back in the bottom of the fifth with an RBI single by White.

Merrimack drew back within two in the sixth as Dooling led off with a double to center and later scored on a two-out RBI single to center by Flannery. Stonehill rounded out the scoring in the seventh when senior Nick Nardacci (Glenmont, N.Y./Bethlehem Central) drew a two out walk and scored on a two-out infield single by White.

Stonehill (17-7, 2-2 NE-10) is scheduled to be back in action on Saturday when it hosts American International College for a Northeast-10 Conference doubleheader at Gorman Field starting at noon. Merrimack (7-9, 0-4 NE-10) visits Adelphi University for a Northeast-10 doubleheader on Saturday at noon.

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