Junior Armand Rugel struck out 2014 Atlantic-10 Rookie of the Year Mike Geannelis in his first career NEIBA All-Star Game appearance.
Skyhawk duo combines to pitch one inning of relief
EASTON, Mass. (June 3, 2014) – Stonehill College senior lefthander Zack Soulier (Milford, Connecticut/Jonathan Law) and junior righthander Armand Rugel (Middletown, Rhode Island/Middletown) combined to pitch an inning of relief in the 40th Annual New England Intercollegiate Baseball Association (NEIBA) Joe Walsh All-Star Game on Sunday night at LeLacheur Park in Lowell, Massachusetts.
The University Division All-Stars, comprised of New England's top Division I talent, defeated the College Division All-Stars, made up of the region's top Division II and III players, by an 8-7 score. Junior Connor Lyons of Northeastern University led the University team, as he went 3-for-5 with three RBI, while sophomore Chris Shaw of Boston College was 3-for-3 with a run. Southern New Hampshire University junior outfielder Brendan O'Brien paced the College Division offense with a 2-for-4 effort at the plate, including one RBI and two runs.
Soulier, a second team All-Northeast-10 Conference and American Baseball Coaches Association All-East Region selection, entered the contest in the top of the eighth inning with the College Division All-Stars trailing, 6-5. Soulier was able to strike out the first batter he faced, pinch-hitter Matt Mottola of the University of Massachusetts Lowell. The senior southpaw then gave up consecutive hits, a solo home run by Sacred Heart University's Zack Short followed by a single off the bat of Ryan Lukach, a redshirt junior from the University of Hartford. Soulier, who went 9-2 with a 2.13 ERA in 2014, wrapped up his first NEIBA All-Star Game appearance by getting Vincent Guglietti, a freshman from Quinnipiac University, to fly out to right field for the second out of the inning.
Senior Zack Soulier recorded one strikeout but also gave up a pair of hits in Sunday night's NEIBA All-Star Game.
Rugel took the ball from Soulier to face Mike Geannelis, the Atlantic-10 Rookie of the Year from the University of Massachusetts Amherst. Rugel, who ranked third on Stonehill with 37 punchouts this season, was able to strike Geannelis out swinging to end the inning. Like Soulier, Rugel was also named to the NE-10 All-Conference and ABCA All-East Region second teams.
Stonehill junior righthander Jim Duff (Garden City, New York/Garden City) also earned a selection to Sunday night's NEIBA All-Star Game, but he did not see any action in the contest. Duff, a consensus All-East Region selection after earning first team honors from the American Baseball Coaches Association (ABCA) and second team accolades from the National Collegiate Baseball Writers Association (NCBWA) and Daktronics, went 8-2 this season and posted a 1.84 earned run average, good for seventh in the NE-10.
The NE-10 All-Conference first team selection recorded 62 strikeouts and held opponents to a .221 batting average, while issuing just five walks over 83 innings of work. Duff registered three complete game efforts (one shutout), and earned victories in his first six starts of the season, including two against eventual East Region Champion and NCAA Division II College World Series participant Saint Thomas Aquinas College.
Stonehill was represented at the NEIBA All-Star Game for the seventh time in the past ten seasons. Former pitcher/utility player Michael White, '12, appeared in three consecutive contests from 2010-12, while pitcher Billy Sittig, '06, earned three selections (2003, 2005-06) as well. Stonehill's three representatives this season tied Southern New Hampshire University and Franklin Pierce University for the most in the NE-10.
Stonehill (30-20, 17-10 NE-10) finished third in the NE-10 Northeast Division after going 13-8 in divisional play during the 2014 regular season. The Skyhawks reached the 30-win mark for the fourth time in five years, and earned a berth in the NE-10 Championship for the 13th time in head coach Pat Boen's 17-year tenure.