UMass Lowell Tops Stonehill, 3-1

Senior Nick Nardacci manufactured the Skyhawks run with a bunt single and stolen base. (PHOTO BY Richard Orr) 

Leathersich, Nunes pitch River Hawks to series split with Skyhawks

LOWELL, Mass. (April 19, 2011) – The University of Massachusetts Lowell, ranked fifth in this week's National Collegiate Baseball Writers Association (NCBWA) Division II East Regional poll, used a strong pitching performance to post a 3-1 victory over Stonehill College, among teams receiving votes in the NCBWA Division II poll and ranked fourth in the East Region, in Northeast-10 Conference baseball action at LeLacheur Park this evening.

Juniors Jack Leathersich (Beverly, Mass./Beverly) and Dallas Nunes (Easton, Mass./Oliver Ames) combined to hold Stonehill to four hits to lead UMass Lowell to the win. Leathersich allowed an unearned run on four hits with ten strikeouts and a walk over seven innings to earn the win (5-1). Nunes notched his seventh save of the year with two hitless, shutout innings of relief with two strikeouts.

Junior Matt Jacobs (Hudson, Mass./Hudson) paced the UMass Lowell offense as he hit 2-for-4 with a run scored. Classmate Cam Kneeland (Rowley, Mass./Triton Regional) was 1-for-4 with a double and two RBI, while freshman Dylan Flynn (Upton, Mass./Holy Name) batted 1-for-3 with an RBI.

Freshman Zack Soulier (Milford, Conn./Jonathan Law) pitched well in defeat (4-1) for Stonehill, yielding three earned runs on seven hits with three strikeouts and no walks over seven innings. Senior Brenden Shepard (Boxford, Mass./Masconomet) pitched a perfect inning of relief, striking out two.

Senior Nick Nardacci (Glenmont, N.Y./Bethlehem Central) was 1-for-5 with a stolen base and run scored for Stonehill. Junior Steven Popp (Unionville, Conn./Farmington) and sophomore James DeAlto (Briarcliff Manor, N.Y./Briarcliff) both finished 1-for-3.

UMass Lowell struck first with a single run in the second as junior Mark Sanborn (Hopkinton, Mass./Hopkinton) doubled with one out and then scored on a single to right by Flynn. Stonehill got that run right back in the third as Nardacci led off with a bunt single, stole second and then scored when senior Scott Hackett (Bangor, Maine/Bangor) reached on an error.

UMass Lowell took the lead for good in the fifth when senior Connor Burnham (Harwich, Mass./Harwich) and Jacobs reached with infield singles. Kneeland drove them both in with a two out double to center. Stonehill had two base runners in both the seventh and ninth innings, but came away empty.

Stonehill (25-11, 10-6 NE-10) is right back in action tomorrow when it hosts 14th-ranked Franklin Pierce University for a key NE-10 clash at Lou Gorman Field at 3:30 p.m. UMass Lowell (27-6, 12-4 NE-10) hosts Dominican College on Thursday at 5 p.m.

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