May 1, 2011

Strong Pitching Leads Baseball to Sweep of Merrimack

MANCHESTER, N.H. –Southern New Hampshire University starting pitchers Timothy Flight (Portsmouth, R.I.) and David Gibson (Hanover, Mass.) (pictured) combined to allow three hits as the Penmen swept a baseball doubleheader from Merrimack College by scores of 4-0 and 5-0 Sunday afternoon.  Sunday's first game was a Northeast-10 Conference contest, while game two was a non-conference game.  The Penmen are now 23-21 overall and 10-13 in the NE-10, while the Warriors fall to 13-24 and 5-16 in the league.

With the victories, Southern New Hampshire set a single-season school record for victories, surpassing the previous record of 21 set in 1994.

In the opener, lefthander Flight went eight innings and allowed just two hits while striking out 13 and allowing four walks.  In the nightcap, freshman righthander Gibson carried a no-hitter into the eighth that was broken up by a Joe Santos single through the right side with one out, the only hit Merrimack would get in game two.  Gibson fanned 10 while issuing a pair of walks in eight innings of work.

In the opener, the Penmen were held without a hit for the first 3.2 innings until a triple by Kevin Spatkowski (Bristol, Conn.) to left plated Matt Boulter (Wrentham, Mass.) and Bobby Wronski (Arlington, Mass.), who had worked back-to-back walks.  Southern New Hampshire made it 3-0 in the sixth as Chris O'Neil (Chelmsford, Mass.) led off with a triple and scored on a single through the right side by Boulter.

O'Neil would also score the fourth SNHU run in the eighth when he led off with a single and came home on a groundout by Jon Massad (Shrewsbury, Mass.).

The only Merrimack hits in the opener were a second-inning double by Joe Mantoni and a sixth inning double by Mike Dooling.  Conner McMahon took the loss for the guests, allowing three hits and three runs in six innings.

In the nightcap the Penmen staked themselves to a 3-0 lead in the third on a three-run triple by O'Neil.  Southern New Hampshire made it 4-0 in the sixth when Greg Pezzuto (Hastings-on-Hudson, N.Y.) doubled to lead off the frame.  He scored on a sacrifice fly by Tim Rines (Merrimack, N.H.).  In the seventh, Boulter led off with a double and after stealing third, scoring on a throwing error by the Warrior catcher on the play.

With hits in both games, O'Neil extended his hit streak to 13 games, one shy of his career-best of 14.

Southern New Hampshire is idle until Saturday when it hosts American International College in a noon doubleheader at Penmen Field.