Stonehill Stymies Assumption, 2-0

 Soulier and Duff strike out seven total in combined shutout for Skyhawks

Sophomore Zach Soulier earned his
third win of the season on 6.1 innings
pitched against Assumption.

EASTON, Mass. (March 29, 2012) – Sophomore Zach Soulier (Milford, Conn./Jonathan Law) struck out a game-high five batters over six-and-one-thirds innings pitched and freshman reliever Jim Duff (Garden City, N.Y./Garden City) did not surrender a hit in two-and-two-thirds innings to lead Stonehill College, ranked fourth overall in the latest National Collegiate Baseball Writers Association (NCBWA) East Regional Poll, to a 2-0 shutout over Assumption College in Northeast-10 Conference (NE-10) inter-divisional action on Thursday evening at Lou Gorman Field.

Soulier yielded just five hits and issued one walk to earn his third victory of the season (3-0). Duff, who faced the minimum in his outing, notched his first-career collegiate save on two strikeouts, five groundouts, one fly out and zero walks.

Freshman Zack LaRosa (West Hartford, Conn./Conard) was handed the loss on four innings pitched, five hits, one run (earned), one walk and two strikeouts.

After Soulier erased a first and second situation with one out in the top of the first on two swinging strikeouts, Stonehill claimed a 1-0 lead in the bottom half of the frame as senior first baseman Michael White (Lisbon, N.H./Lisbon Regional) plated junior centerfielder James DeAlto (Briarcliff Manor, N.Y./Briarcliff) from third base on a double play ball.

Soulier held Assumption out of scoring position over the next two innings and retired nine-straight batters from the fourth inning to the sixth inning.

The Greyhounds threatened in the seventh inning loading the bases with one out.

Junior shortstop Shane Keddy (Worcester, Mass./Worcester Tech) led off the frame with a single but was forced out at second base (6-4) on a fielder's choice off the bat of senior third baseman Travis Smith (Coventry, R.I./Bishop Hendricken). Freshman right fielder Billy Johnson (Auburn, Mass./Holy Name) reached on a fielding error and junior first baseman Joe Lopes (Warwick, R.I./Bishop Hendricken) lined a single to left field to setting up a potential Assumption rally.

The Skyhawks went to the bullpen and Duff delivered with a strikeout against junior designated hitter Nick Napoli (Medford, Mass./Boston College) and a groundout from freshman left fielder Zachary Bombard (Belchertown, Mass./Cathedral) to keep the score at 1-0.

Stonehill pushed across an insurance run in the eighth inning as DeAlto tripled to the right centerfield gap to start the frame and junior shortstop Michael Zeiner (Simsbury, Conn./Simsbury) lifted an opposite field sacrifice fly to left for his 14th run batted in on the season and a 2-0 advantage.

Duff made quick work of the Greyhounds in the ninth retiring the side in order on a fly out to centerfield and two groundouts.

Zeiner led Stonehill offensively at the plate going 3-for-3 with one RBI while DeAlto was 2-for-4 with two runs scored out of the leadoff spot. White, sophomore second baseman Dan Fratus (Plymouth, Mass./Plymouth North) and senior designated hitter Michael Magnussen (Carver, Mass./Coyle & Cassidy) all collected a hit to round out the offense.

Stonehill (15-9, 3-3 NE-10, 0-1 Northeast Division) hosts Saint Michael's on Saturday, March 31 for a NE-10 doubleheader with game one scheduled for noon. Assumption (6-9, 0-4 NE-10, 0-1 Southwest Division) travels to Southern Connecticut State University for a doubleheader starting at noon.

Postgame Interview With Head Coach Pat Boen