Stonehill Bounces Back with Saint Michael’s Sweep

Junior Rich McHugh was a combined 4-for-6 this afternoon, including 2-for-3 with a key three run home run in game two. (PHOTO BY Richard Orr) 

McCormick and Shepard pitch Skyhawks to 1-0 win in game one
McHugh home run sends Skyhawks to 6-3 win in nightcap

EASTON, Mass. (April 25, 2011) – Stonehill College, ranked sixth in this week's National Collegiate Baseball Writers Association (NCBWA) Division II East Regional poll and sixth in the NCAA Division II regional rankings, got back on track by sweeping Saint Michael's College in a non-conference baseball doubleheader at Lou Gorman Field this afternoon.

Junior Rich McHugh (Pembroke, Mass./Thayer Academy) paced the Stonehill offense as he hit a combined 4-for-6 with a stolen base, home run, three RBI with two runs scored in the two games. Sophomore James DeAlto (Briarcliff Manor, N.Y./Briarcliff) was 3-for-6 with a double and run scored.

Seniors righthander Alex McCormick (Weymouth, Mass./Cardinal Spellman) and Brenden Shepard (Boxford, Mass./Masconomet) combined on a six-hit shutout on the mound in game one.

Senior Pete Estes (Bennington, Vt./Mount Anthony Union) hit a combined 5-for-8 with a run scored for Saint Michael's. Junior Tim McDonnell (Durham, N.H./Oyster River) contributed a pair of doubles, an RBI and run scored.

Stonehill 1, Saint Michael's 0

Alex McCormick and Brenden Shepard combined on a six hit shutout to lead Stonehill to a 1-0 victory over Saint Michael's in game one.

McCormick scattered six hits over eight shutout innings to earn the win (4-3), striking out eight and walking just one. Shepard struck out all three batters he faced in the ninth to notch his tenth save of the season. He hasn't allowed a run in his last 12 appearances (14.1 innings) dating back to March 14.

Rich McHugh hit 2-for-3 with a stolen base for Stonehill, while senior Nick Nardacci (Glenmont, N.Y./Bethlehem Central) went 1-for-4 with an RBI. Senior Angelo Bruno (Norwalk, Conn./Norwalk) batted 2-for-4 for the Skyhawks, while junior Michael Magnussen (Carver, Mass./Coyle & Cassidy) finished 1-for-3 with a double.

Senior Alex McCormick scattered six hits over eight scoreless innings to pick up his fourth win of the year. (PHOTO BY Richard Orr) 

Sophomore righthander Collin Fishman (Bethesda, Md./Our Lady of Good Counsel) pitched well in defeat for Saint Michael's (1-3), yielding just the one earned run on eight hits with eight strikeouts and four walks over 7.1 innings.

Pete Estes hit 2-for-4 with a stolen base for Saint Michael's, while junior Tim McDonnell batted 1-for-3 with a double. Freshman Alec Tice (Chelmsford, Mass./Chelmsford) went 1-for-3 for the Purple Knights.

Stonehill had base hits in every inning except the sixth, but finally broke through in the seventh. Junior Steven Popp (Unionville, Conn./Farmington) led off with a single to left, advanced to second when McHugh drew a two out walk and then scored on a single up the middle by Nardacci.

It was enough for McCormick, who retired the side in order in the top of the eighth, and Shepard, who struck out all three batters swinging he faced in the ninth.

Stonehill 6, Saint Michael's 3

Stonehill broke open a tie game with five runs over its last two at bats to complete the sweep with a 6-3 win over Saint Michael's in game two.

Senior Scott Hackett's two-run single in game two put the Skyhawks in front for good. (PHOTO BY Richard Orr)

Rich McHugh paced the Stonehill offense again as he hit 2-for-3 with a home run and three RBI. Senior Scott Hackett (Bangor, Maine/Bangor) went 1-for-3 with two RBI, while junior Michael White (Lisbon, N.H./Lisbon Regional) finished 1-for-3 with a triple and RBI. James DeAlto batted 2-for-3 with a run scored.

Junior lefthander Michael Von Stein (Trumbull, Conn./Trumbull) picked up the win (5-0) in relief for Stonehill, allowing just a walk in 1.1 no-hit shutout innings. Senior Shane Penzone (Hudson, Mass./Hudson Catholic) started for the Skyhawks and allowed just a run on four hits with two strikeouts and two walks over 4.1 innings.

Pete Estes led Saint Michael's by batting 3-for-4 with a run scored. Tim McDonnell hit 1-for-3 with a double, RBI and run scored, while junior Ben Mitchell (Pembroke, N.H./Pembroke Academy) went 1-for-3 with an RBI. Junior Chad Estey (New Haven, Vt./Mount Abraham Union) was 1-for-4 with an RBI.

Sophomore righthander Andrew Duprat (Fairfax, Vt./Bellows Free Academy-Fairfax) took the loss (1-2), allowing three earned runs on six hits with two strikeouts and five walks over 4.1 innings.

Stonehill opened the scoring with a run in the bottom of the first as Nick Nardacci singled down the leftfield line, advancing to second on a throwing error, before scoring when White followed with a triple to right center. Saint Michael's answered right away with the tying run in the second as sophomore Jacob Begnoche (Essex Junction, Vt./Essex) drew a one out walk and later scored on a single to right center by Mitchell.

The game remained tied until Stonehill scored a pair in the fifth. McHugh drew a leadoff walk and was sacrificed to second. White and Angelo Bruno drew walks to load the bases before Hackett delivered a two-run single through the right side with one out.

Stonehill broke the game open in the sixth as sophomore Michael Zeiner (Simsbury, Conn./Simsbury) and DeAlto singled before McHugh smacked his fourth home run of the year to left center. Saint Michael's rallied for two runs in the seventh on an RBI double by McDonnell and RBI single from Estey, but could get no closer.

Stonehill (27-12, 10-7 NE-10) is right back in action at Gorman Field on Tuesday when it hosts Saint Anselm College for a Northeast-10 Conference clash at 3:30 p.m. Saint Michael's (5-21) travels to Middlebury College on Wednesday for a doubleheader starting at 2 p.m.
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