Skyhawks totaled 18 hits in two key victories on the road
Rocco went 4-for-7 with 1 run scored, three doubles, and 1 RBI
MANCHESTER, N.H. (April 28, 2018) – The Stonehill College baseball team earned its third shutout of the season, 1-0, and came-from-behind for a 9-7 victory against Saint Anselm College, picking up its third- and fourth-straight victories Saturday afternoon at Sullivan Field in Northeast-10 Conference divisional play.
GAME 1: Stonehill 1 – Saint Anselm 0
Matthew Rocco (Newington, Connecticut/Newington) tallied the first of Stonehill's six hits in the game, as he registered his ninth double of the season to right center. The Skyhawks were unable to drive him in as the Hawks retired the next three batters. Saint Anselm was retired by Stonehill's freshman Jared Brooks (Scarborough, Maine/Cheverus) with a fly out, a ground out and his first strikeout of the game.
The Hawks connected on their first two hits of the game in the bottom of the second with back-to-back singles but were left on base with a groundout for the third out of the inning.
In the top of the third, John Orzechowski (Monroe, Connecticut/Masuk) led off with a single through the left side and he quickly moved over to third with back-to-back batters hit by a pitch. Harrison Sabo (Wilton, Connecticut/Wilton) sent a deep fly ball to right field for his first sacrifice fly of the season, scoring Orzechowski for the first run of the game, 1-0. On a fielder's choice, Rocco tried to put another run on the board, but was halted by the throw by third base to home and as Tyler Carey (Raynham, Massachusetts/Bridgewater-Raynham) tried to get another base, he was throw out at third by the catcher.
Both teams were unable to get a run across through the rest of the game, as Stonehill left two on base in the top of the fifth and the Hawks responded in the bottom of the eighth with some offensive pressure. After a single through the left side, the Skyhawks got one out with a strikeout and put runners on the corners on another single through the left side. Brooks concluded the inning with a bunt that popped up to the catcher and a groundout.
Stonehill went down quickly as Saint Anselm retired three-straight, and the Hawks tried to push a run across once again in the bottom of the ninth as Oscar Larranaga went to third after his single, a sacrifice bunt and a wild pitch. Connor Parent walked, putting runners on the corners once again for the Hawks. After a pitching change, Parent was picked off on second on a throw from Chris Murphy (Swampscott, Massachusetts/St. John's Prep) to shortstop in his attempt to put two runners in scoring position. On an 0-2 count, Dan Bodi sent a long fly ball out to center field, giving the Skyhawks their third shutout of the season, Brooks' fifth win of the season, and Murphy's first save of the season.
GAME 2: Stonehill 9 – Saint Anselm 7
After a scoreless first inning, the Hawks recorded the first run of the game in the bottom of the second on one hit and two errors, 1-0. With two outs and a runner on third, Jason Turner reached on a throwing error but the catcher and Bodi crossed home for the first run after he went from first to third on a failed pickoff attempt.
Stonehill responded in the top of the third, as the Skyhawks loaded the bases and Sabo singled to the shortstop for the first RBI of the game, bringing home Justin Nicklas (Foxboro, Massachusetts/St. Sebastian's) from third. Alex Hurley (Rumford, Rhode Island/Worcester Academy) then reached on a throwing error and Orzechowski and Carey added another two runs on the board, 3-1, for the first lead of the game. William Kelleher (Mansfield, Massachusetts/Mansfield) followed up with a RBI single to right field for the fifth hit of the inning and fourth run for the Skyhawks, 4-1.
In the bottom of the frame, Saint Anselm matched the Skyhawks top of the inning with four runs of their own on two hits and two errors to take back its lead, 5-4. With one out, Bodi singled up the middle to score one run, and John Marculitis doubled to center field to clear the bases adding another three runs. The Skyhawks ended the inning with a strikeout and a ground out to the pitcher, leaving two runners on base.
Klingensmith earned his sixth save of the season
With two outs, Stonehill's Rocco launched a double to right center and Pat Downey (Cheshire, Connecticut/Xavier) advanced to third sitting in scoring position for Carey. The senior connected on a pitch driving the ball up the middle bringing home two runs for a one-run advantage, 6-5. The Hawks fought back with two runs of their own in the bottom of the fifth inning, on two hits and an error, taking back the lead, 7-6.
Neither team was productive in the sixth and seventh innings, as Stonehill tallied three runs on another two out rally in the top of the eighth. Downey was hit by a pitch and Nicklas walked putting runners on first and second. Orzechowski sent the ball to left center driving in Nicklas and Downey for its second lead of the game, 8-7. The Skyhawks bats weren't done, as Rocco connected on a pitch and doubled to left center for his second of the game, easily scoring Orzechowski from second, 9-7.
Saint Anselm fought back with vengeance, as the Hawks notched two hits and stranded two on base in the bottom of the eighth. They recorded another two hits in the bottom of the ninth for a last chance, but Joe Klingensmith (Topsfield, Massachusetts/Masconomet) collected his sixth save of the season as he got out of a jam after the seeing the bases loaded once and retiring the side with back-to-back strikeouts.
Stonehill (16-18, 9-12 NE10) will take on Saint Anselm College for the final game of the three-game series tomorrow, Sunday, April 29 with a start at 11:00 a.m. at Sullivan Field in Manchester, New Hampshire.
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