Stonehill Takes Two From Merrimack To Complete Three-Game Sweep

Junior Brian Hocking delivered the game-winning RBI double in the 12th inning of Stonehill's 4-3 game two win over Merrimack today.

Skyhawks top Warriors 6-2 in opener, before posting 4-3 victory in game two

HAVERHILL, Mass. (March 29, 2015) – The Stonehill College baseball team completed a three-game weekend sweep of Merrimack College with a pair of wins today, defeating the Warriors by scores of 6-2 and 4-3 in Northeast-10 Conference action at Trinity Stadium in Haverhill, Massachusetts.

Stonehill used a six-run eighth inning to claim the opener, before outlasting Merrimack for a 12-inning victory in game two. Eleven different Skyhawks recorded hits in today's doubleheader, while ten scored runs.

Junior Brian Hocking (Duxbury, Massachusetts/BC High) led the way at the plate, going 2-for-5 with a double and two RBI. Sophomore Eddie Bowler (Hingham, Massachusetts/Hingham) recorded two doubles and drove in a pair of runs, while freshman Isiah Nunez (Brooklyn, New York/Berkshire School) collected his first career RBI.

Junior Matt Brown (Belmont, Massachusetts/Belmont) paced the Merrimack offense, as he went 2-for-8 with a walk while driving in four of the Warriors' five runs over the course of the doubleheader. Senior John Pastyrnak (Bristol, Connecticut/Bristol Eastern) went 3-for-5 and scored a run, while junior Sean O'Neill (Norwood, Massachusetts/Norwood) reached base five times with three walks and two singles.

Stonehill 6, Merrimack 2

Junior Neal Horan (Mashpee, Massachusetts/BC High) got the start for Stonehill in the opener but did not earn a decision despite turning in an impressive outing, as he gave up just one unearned run on four hits through six innings of work. Senior Ryan Rougeot (Cheshire, Connecticut/Cheshire) picked up the win in relief, while freshman Michael Young (Mashpee, Massachusetts/Pope John Paul II) collected his first career save.

The Warriors took a 1-0 lead in the bottom of the first on an RBI groundout by Brown, and Merrimack senior starter Joe Carnevale (East Providence, Rhode Island/East Providence) held Stonehill scoreless through seven innings. The Skyhawks finally broke through in the top of the eighth, scoring six times to take a 6-1 lead.

Hocking got it started with a one-out RBI single, ending Carnevale's outing, before Stonehill went ahead 2-1 with the help of a Merrimack error. Bowler plated two more runs later in the inning on a double, and junior Chris Hoyt (Walpole, Massachusetts/Xaverian Brothers) recorded an RBI single two batters later as the Skyhawks extended their lead to 5-1. Bowler then came in to score on a wild pitch, capping the big inning.

Merrimack got one run back in the bottom of the eighth on Brown's second RBI groundout of the contest, but left the bases loaded in the ninth as Young came on to retire the final two batters and preserve the victory for Stonehill.

Junior Chris Hoyt recorded an RBI single in Stonehill's 6-2 game one victory.

Stonehill 4, Merrimack 3 (12 innings)

Stonehill extended its winning streak to six games with its 4-3 triumph in game two, while the Skyhawks improved to 2-0-1 in extra inning contests this season. Sophomore lefty Jeremy Roberts (Reading, Massachusetts/Malden Catholic) struck out six and gave up three runs over the first six innings, while junior Patrick Nicholson (Middleboro, Massachusetts/Middleboro) earned the win in relief after tossing six shutout frames.  

Sophomore Perry Kulaga (Lincroft, New Jersey/Middletown South) logged 11 impressive innings on the mound for the Warriors, striking out 12 while allowing just one earned run on six hits.

Nunez staked the Skyhawks to a 1-0 lead in the third inning with an RBI single, and Stonehill added two more runs in the top of the sixth on a Merrimack error. The Warriors answered with three runs in the bottom of half of the inning, however, to tie the contest. Junior Frank Crinella (East Longmeadow, Massachusetts/Cathedral) plated Merrimack's first run on an RBI double, and Brown followed two batters later with a two-run single.

With the game still tied 3-3 in the top of the 12th, Hocking delivered a pinch-hit, two-out, RBI double, scoring freshman Joe Klingensmith (Topsfield, Massachusetts/Masconomet). Nicholson retired the Warriors in order in the bottom of the 12th as Stonehill completed the doubleheader sweep.

Stonehill (15-4-1, 3-0 NE-10) will be back in action on Thursday at 3:30 p.m., when the Skyhawks open a key three-game series at Franklin Pierce University. Merrimack (9-8, 3-3 NE-10) will look to bounce back next Saturday night against Saint Anselm College.  

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