Baseball Starts Fast, Can’t Hold on as Southern New Hampshire Takes Rubber Match, 10-4

Senior Brian Hocking registered a double and a run today.

Skyhawks surrender seven runs in the eighth inning after leading the entire game

MANCHESTER, N.H. (May 1, 2016) – The Stonehill College baseball team couldn't hold on to its four run advantage as No. 1 Southern New Hampshire University rallied to take the deciding game in the weekend series at Penmen field, 10-4, in Northeast-10 Conference Northeast Division action.

Stonehill pieced together a 4-0 lead heading to the bottom of the fifth and was able to limit Southern New Hampshire as the Penmen started to rally, taking a 4-3 lead into the bottom of the eighth inning. Southern New Hampshire exploded in the eighth, scoring seven runs to create an insurmountable 10-4 lead going into the ninth inning and coming away with the victory to take two out of the three games in the weekend series.

Sophomore Justin Nicklas (Foxboro, Massachusetts/St. Sebastian's) was the only Skyhawks to record a multi-hit afternoon, finishing 2-for-5 with a double and a run. Classmate Alex Hurley (Rumford, Rhode Island/Worcester Academy) homered in the third and sophomore Joe Klingensmith (Topsfield, Massachusetts/Masconomet) went 1-for-2 with an RBI and two walks.

Sophomore Michael Young (Mashpee, Massachusetts/Pope John Paul II) earned a no decision after pitching an effective seven innings, allowing three runs (two earned) on five hits to go with six strikeouts.

For Southern New Hampshire, junior Derek Bauer (Millis, Massachusetts/Millis) led the way, going 3-for-4 with three RBI and two runs. Graduate student Mike Mastroberti (Ramsey, New Jersey/Saint Joseph Regional) and Virginia Tech transfer Carson Helms (Farmington, Connecticut/Farmington) each recorded two walks and two runs, while junior Zach Goldstein (Merrick, New York/Calhoun) went 1-for-5 with two RBI and a run.

On the mound, Southern New Hampshire's pitching racked up 17 strikeouts, led by senior Joe McCarthy (Nashua, New Hampshire/Bishop Guertin) who got the start and went five innings, surrendering four runs (three earned) to go with nine strikeouts. Sophomore Mitchell Powers (Portland, Maine/Cheverus) came on in relief and pitched 2.2 innings, recording six strikeouts.

Stonehill wasted no time getting on the board, as junior Ben Monte (New Haven, Connecticut/Guilford) reached base on a throwing error by the pitcher and subsequently stole second base to put a man in scoring position with one out in the top of the first inning. Senior Brian Campbell (Franklin, Massachusetts/Mount Saint Charles) then grounded out to move Monte over to third and Monte came home to score the game's first run on a wild pitch.

Sophomore Justin Nicklas went 2-for-5 with a double and a run to lead the Skyhawks.

Stonehill plated two more runs in the third to add on to its lead when Nicklas doubled to right center field and Hurley followed by connecting on his first homerun of the season. With Young finding his groove on the mound, the Skyhawks pushed their lead to four as senior Brian Hocking (Duxbury, Massachusetts/BC High) doubled to left field and Klingensmith singled through the left side of the infield to record an RBI.

Southern New Hampshire took advantage of an error as Young looked to get through the fifth unscathed. With two outs, freshman Joshua Zbierski (Stafford Springs, Connecticut/East Catholic) hit a grounder to third base, but a wild throw allowed him to be safe and scored the Penmen's first run.

Southern New Hampshire cut into the Stonehill lead further in the sixth as Bauer hit a two out single through the right side of the infield, scoring Helms and Mastroberti to bring the Penmen within one run. The Skyhawks maintained their lead until the eighth inning when Southern New Hampshire erupted for seven runs, highlighted by freshman Kevin Alexy (Newton, Massachusetts/Newton North) and Goldstein each registering a two RBI base knock. Stonehill went down in order in the ninth inning to complete the Penmen's comeback.

Stonehill (24-16, 12-9 NE-10) will return to the diamond on Tuesday when the Skyhawks travel to Assumption College for a single contest starting at 3:30 p.m. Southern New Hampshire (40-5, 25-3 NE-10) closes out its regular season schedule on Tuesday as the Penmen host Saint Michael's for a single contest starting at 6:00 p.m.

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