Senior Armand Rugel (7-0, 1.97 ERA) will get the start for Stonehill tomorrow morning against Franklin Pierce.
Skyhawks and Ravens meeting in final round for the third time
WEST HAVEN, Conn. (May 8, 2015) – Stonehill College and Franklin Pierce University are set to face off tomorrow morning at 11 a.m. on the final day of the Northeast-10 Conference Baseball Tournament at Frank Vieira Field on the campus of the University of New Haven.
Northeast Division top seed Franklin Pierce (45-2, 24-1 NE-10), ranked No. 1 in the Collegiate Baseball Newspaper NCAA Division II Poll and No. 3 in the National Collegiate Baseball Writers Association (NCBWA) DII Poll, needs just one more victory to claim the NE-10 title. Stonehill (33-12-1, 16-7 NE-10), the third seed from the Northeast Division and No. 3 ranked team in the NCAA East Region, would need to defeat the Ravens in the morning in order to force a winner-take-all championship contest.
Admission for tomorrow's action is $6 for adults, $4 for children and senior citizens and $1 for students with a valid ID from a participating school. Live stats and live video streaming will both be available via www.newhavenchargers.com.
Stonehill opened the NE-10 Tournament with a 4-3 win at Southern New Hampshire University on Tuesday evening, before posting a 2-1 win over Adelphi University yesterday. Earlier today, the Skyhawks fell to Franklin Pierce 4-1 but bounced back with a 14-3 victory against Adelphi to avoid elimination. The Ravens rolled in their first round matchup, defeating Merrimack College 11-4, before topping host New Haven 6-2 on Thursday and Stonehill 4-1 this afternoon.
Tomorrow's final round will feature two of the most decorated programs in the history of the NE-10, with seven combined conference titles between them. Franklin Pierce, which is in the midst of a program record 26-game winning streak, has made 15 appearances all-time in the NE-10 Tournament, reaching the final eight times and winning four titles. Making its 16th appearance all-time in the conference tournament, Stonehill has reached the final on five occasions and captured three championships. Tomorrow will mark the third time that Stonehill and Franklin Pierce have met in the final round of the NE-10 Tournament. The Ravens posted a 7-4 victory in 2005 for their first-ever NE-10 title, while Stonehill claimed a 5-4, 10-inning triumph in 2010 for its third championship.
Junior Brian Campbell is leading the Skyhawks in four NE-10 Tournament games with a .375 batting average to go with a double, two RBI and five runs scored.
Senior right-hander Armand Rugel (Middletown, Rhode Island/Middletown) will get the ball tomorrow as the Skyhawks look to force a final game with Franklin Pierce. The two-time All-NE-10 second team selection, who is 7-0 with a 1.97 earned run average and 50 strikeouts in eight starts this season, led Stonehill past Southern New Hampshire in the opening round with eight strikeouts over 7.2 innings of two-hit ball.
Through four NE-10 Tournament contests, junior outfielder Brian Campbell (Franklin, Massachusetts/Mount Saint Charles Academy) and senior catcher Eric Schneider (Camarillo, California/Saint Bonaventure) have led the Stonehill offense. Campbell is hitting .375 (6-for-16) with a double, two RBI and five runs scored, while Schneider checks in at .333 (5-for-15) with two doubles, one triple, a team-high six RBI and three runs scored. Senior shortstop Dan Fratus (Plymouth, Massachusetts/Plymouth North) has chipped in with a home run, three RBI and three runs scored.
Junior Paul Covelle (Medford, Massachusetts/Malden Catholic) will likely get the start for Franklin Pierce tomorrow morning as the Ravens look to complete a 4-0 tournament. In eight starts this season, Covelle is 5-0 with a 2.17 ERA and 40 strikeouts in 49.2 innings of work.
The Franklin Pierce offense is led by NE-10 Player of the Year Jay Jabs (Schwenksville, Pennsylvania/Perkiomen Valley), who got on base three times today against Stonehill with two walks and a single, while also stealing a pair of bases and scoring two runs. The sophomore is hitting .341 this season with 13 doubles, five triples, 13 home runs and 49 RBI. Sophomore outfielder Chris LaVorgna (North Haven, Connecticut/Tulane) has also driven in 49 runs, while three-time All-NE-10 first team catcher Matt Walsh (Plymouth, Massachusetts/Plymouth North) is batting .371 with 14 doubles, four home runs and a conference-leading 52 RBI.