Long Ball Powers Stonehill Past Assumption, 6-5

Senior Billy Karalis led Stonehill to a 6-5 win at Assumption College with a 3-for-5 effort at the plate, including two home runs, a double, and three RBI.

Skyhawks smack season-high three homers in comeback victory

WORCESTER, Mass. (April 2, 2014) –Stonehill College got three home runs, including two from senior outfielder Billy Karalis (Pawtucket, R.I./Bishop Feehan), en route to a 6-5 comeback victory over Assumption College this afternoon in Northeast-10 Conference Northeast Division baseball action at Rocheleau Field.

Karalis had a monster day at the plate, as he belted his team-best third and fourth home runs of the season, to go with a double and three RBI out of the leadoff spot. Classmate Dan Fratus (Plymouth, Mass./Plymouth North) continued his strong play of late, as he went 2-for-3 with a walk and one RBI, while junior catcher Eric Schneider (Camarillo, Calif./St. Bonaventure) went 1-for-4 with his first home run of the season. Senior first baseman Anthony Pagano (Cranston, R.I./Cranston West), junior third baseman Christian Baglini (Milford, Conn./Notre Dame), and freshman designated hitter Eddie Bowler (Hingham, Mass./Hingham) also had a hit apiece for the Skyhawks.

Junior Jim Duff (Garden City, N.Y./Garden City) improved his record to 6-0 despite giving up multiple runs for the first time this season. He lasted six innings, allowing five runs (four earned) on nine hits while striking out five and walking none. Junior Steve Pike (Stoughton, Mass./Catholic Memorial) replaced Duff in the seventh and worked two scoreless innings of relief, giving up just one hit, before classmate Armand Rugel (Middletown, R.I./Middletown) collected his fifth save of the season after pitching a scoreless ninth.

Assumption was led offensively by junior infielder Greg O'Donnell (Northbridge, Mass./Northbridge), who went 3-for-4 with a double and two RBI. Senior outfielder Ysander Figueroa (Worcester, Mass./Worcester Tech) went 2-for-5 with a double and a run, while freshman infielder Matt Murphy (Wakefield, R.I./Bishop Hendricken) was 2-for-4 with two RBI and one stolen base.

Sophomore Kevin O'Connor (Leominster, Mass./Leominster) took the loss for Assumption after giving up six runs (four earned) on nine hits in seven innings of work. O'Connor also collected four strikeouts before giving way to freshman Nick Fenuccio (Keene, N.H./Keene) who went the final two innings, giving up just one hit.

Junior Jim Duff improved to 6-0 this season after giving up four earned runs in 6 innings of work today.

After a scoreless first, Assumption jumped ahead with three runs in the bottom of the second inning. O'Donnell led off with a single and eventually came around to score on a Stonehill error, and later in the inning Murphy drove in two more runs with a single up the middle.

Stonehill came right back with a pair of runs in the top of the third, as Karalis delivered an RBI double down the right field line before coming around to score on an Assumption fielding error.

The Skyhawks then took their first lead of the game in the fifth inning by putting three runs on the board. Schneider led off the frame with his first home run of the season, a solo shot to right field, and two batters later Karalis launched another homer to right to put Stonehill up 4-3. Fratus wrapped up the big inning with an RBI single to center field, scoring sophomore Brian Campbell (Franklin, Mass./Mount Saint Charles).

Assumption wasted no time in tying the contest, as the Greyhounds came back with a pair of runs in the bottom of the fifth. With runners on second and third and two down in the inning, O'Donnell plated two runs with a double to right center to even the score at five.

Karalis gave Stonehill the lead for good with his second home run of the day in the seventh inning, before Pike and Rugel closed the door on the Greyhounds.

Stonehill (14-10, 4-3 NE-10) will be off until Saturday, when the Skyhawks are set to host Adelphi University in an NE-10 doubleheader at Lou Gorman Field. Stonehill is also scheduled to host Pace University on Sunday in another twinbill. Assumption (6-7, 3-2 NE-10) will be back in action tomorrow with a 3:30 p.m. contest at Merrimack College.

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