Stonehill Squeezes Past Saint Anselm, 5-4

Sophomore Michael Zeiner drove in two runs, including the game-winner with a squeeze bunt in the bottom of the ninth. (PHOTO BY Richard Orr) 

Skyhawks erase 4-0 deficit in last two at bats, capped by Zeiner's squeeze bunt

EASTON, Mass. (April 26, 2011) – Stonehill College, ranked sixth in this week's National Collegiate Baseball Writers Association (NCBWA) Division II East Regional poll, erased a four-run deficit in its last two at bats, capped by a game-winning squeeze bunt, to rally for a 5-4 win over Saint Anselm College in Northeast-10 Conference baseball action at Lou Gorman Field this afternoon.

Sophomore Michael Zeiner (Simsbury, Conn./Simsbury) delivered a perfect squeeze bunt with one out in the bottom of the ninth with runners on first and third that scored freshman pinch runner Mitch Beaulieu (Falmouth, Maine/Falmouth) with the deciding run and cap Stonehill's rally from a 4-0 deficit entering the bottom of the eighth.

Zeiner finished 1-for-3 with two RBI and a run scored. Sophomore James DeAlto (Briarcliff Manor, N.Y./Briarcliff) hit 3-for-3 with an RBI, while junior Michael Magnussen (Carver, Mass./Coyle & Cassidy) went 2-for-4 with an RBI and run scored. Senior Angelo Bruno (Norwalk, Conn./Norwalk) chipped in by batting 1-for-4 with a double and run scored.

Freshman lefthander Zack Soulier (Milford, Conn./Jonathan Law) picked up the win (5-1) in relief for Stonehill, working around two hits in a scoreless ninth, striking out one. Senior righthander Bryan Galligan (Brockton, Mass./Brockton) allowed four runs, three earned, on eight hits with five strikeouts and a walk over eight innings.

Sophomore Robert Kelly (Rancho Santa Margarita, Calif./Santa Margarita Catholic) paced the Saint Anselm offense as she hit 2-for-4 with a double and run scored. Senior TJ Murphy (Reading, Mass./Reading) and junior Jeffrey Criscuolo (Durham, Conn./Xavier) both went 2-for-4. Senior James Garrigan (Plymouth, Mass./Plymouth North) and freshman Dan Lagasse (Londonderry, N.H./Londonderry) both hit 1-for-4 with a home run.

Sophomore James DeAlto was 3-for-3 with an RBI for the Skyhawks. (PHOTO BY Richard Orr) 

Senior righthander James Farrington (West Milford, N.J./DePaul Catholic) took the loss (2-2) in relief for Saint Anselm, yielding two runs, one earned, on two hits and a walk in a third of an inning. Junior righthander Sean Hayden (Haverhill, Mass./Haverhill) started for the Hawks and allowed three earned runs on seven hits with six strikeouts and a walk over eight innings.

Stonehill trailed 4-0 heading to the bottom of the eighth when it mounted its rally after scattering just three hits (all singles) over the first seven innings off Hayden. Magnussen sparked the rally with a one out single, followed by a single up the middle by junior Steven Popp (Unionville, Conn./Farmington). The Skyhawks got a big break with a single from Zeiner that skipped past first base on a bad hop to drive in Magnussen, before DeAlto followed with an RBI single to center. After junior Rich McHugh (Pembroke, Mass./Thayer Academy) walked to load the bases, Zeiner scored when senior Nick Nardacci (Glenmont, N.Y./Bethlehem Central) reached on a fielder's choice to pull the Skyhawks within a run.

Bruno led off the ninth with a double off the top of the wall in right center and scored the tying run on a single through the left side by Magnussen. Beaulieu pinch ran for Magnussen and stole second, advancing to third on a throwing error by the Saint Anselm catcher on the play. After Popp drew a one out walk, Zeiner dropped down the squeeze bunt with Beaulieu sprinting down the third base line for the winning run.

Saint Anselm struck first with a single run in its first at bat as freshman Tito Lluberes (Lawrence, Mass./Lawrence) led off with a single to center, stole second and scored on a sacrifice fly to center by senior Matt Sucharewicz (Peabody, Mass./Peabody).

Both starting pitchers cruised until the Hawks added single runs in the sixth, seventh and eighth to open their four run lead. Kelly doubled with one out in the sixth, reached third on a passed ball and then scored on a delayed double steal with junior Daniel DeCoste (Chelmsford, Mass./Chelmsford). Lagasse homered with one out in the seventh and Garrigan hit a one out blast of his own in the top of the eighth to seemingly give Hayden all the offense he would need.

Stonehill (28-12, 11-7 NE-10) and Saint Anselm (18-20, 8-11 NE-10) conclude their two game midweek series in Manchester, N.H., on Thursday at 3:30 p.m. The Skyhawks are scheduled to return home on Monday to host The College of Saint Rose for an NE-10 doubleheader at Gorman Field at 1:30 p.m.

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