NORTH ANDOVER, Mass. – Sixth-ranked Southern New Hampshire took both ends of a Northeast-10 baseball doubleheader from Merrimack College Sunday at Warrior Diamond, winning the first game 4-2 before scoring three times in the top of the 15th for a 4-1 win in the nightcap. The Penmen, who upped their win streak to 10 games, improved to 25-2 and 4-0 in the NE-10's Northeast Division, while the Warriors are now 11-15 and 0-4 in division play.
With the wins, Southern New Hampshire tied its single-season record for victories, established last season when the Penmen went 25-22.
In the opener, SNHU plated single runs in each of the first three innings and also plated a run in the sixth. In the first, an Al Stanton (Sandwich, Mass.) (pictured) single plated Brendan O'Brien (East Bridgewater, Mass.), who opened the frame by reaching on an error. In the second, Jon Minucci (Madison, Conn.) singled with one away and eventually scored from third on a squeeze play with Jeremy Tejada (Bronx, N.Y.) laying down the bunt.
Southern New Hampshire took a 3-0 lead in the third when Bryan Toland (Wildwood, N.J.) doubled to lead off the inning, followed by a Stanton walk and a Matt Boulter (Wrentham, Mass.) single to load the bases. Andy Lalli (Lakeville, Mass.) then walked to bring in Toland. Merrimack would get out of the inning with a strikeout followed by a double play. In the sixth, Tejada tripled with two out and came home on an O'Brien single.
Having scored twice in the bottom of the ninth, Merrimack sent the tying run to the plate with two outs with Dionys Quezada on second, but Alex Powers (Brewster, Mass.) came in and got Eddie Newton swinging to end the game.
Minucci and Riley Palmer (Goffstown, N.H.) each had two hits for the Penmen as they outhit Merrimack 10-7. Zach LeBarron (Bennington,, Vt.) threw seven shutout innings to pick up the victory, allowing five hits and fanning six without walking a batter. Powers was credited with a save.
In the nightcap, the Penmen broke a 1-1 deadlock by scoring three times in the top of the 15th. Toland opened the frame with a single and advanced to second before Stanton walked. The pair would come in when Boulter reached on a throwing error and advanced to third. Boulter would later score on a wild pitch. Tyler Gauthier (Lynn, Mass.) worked a 1-2-3 bottom of the frame to secure the win.
SNHU appeared poised for a big first inning, opening the game with four straight singles, including a Stanton single that plated O'Brien. However, Merrimack starter Joe Carnevale worked out of the bases-loaded, no out jam with a strikeout, a groundout and a lineout.
The Warriors tied the game in the bottom of the sixth. Joe Mantoni reached on a one out single and after moving into scoring position on a sacrifice bunt, scored on a single to the gap in left-center by Newton.
Gauthier earned the victory in relief, not allowing a hit in two innings of relief while fanning two. Penmen starter Junior Mendez (Patchogue, N.Y.) went eight innings and allowed six hits and the one run while recording eight strikeouts. Powers worked 2.2 innings of relief and did not surrender a hit while fanning five and walking two while Jon Massad (Shrewsbury, Mass.) worked 2.1 innings and fanned three while allowing one hit. Stanton had three hits in game two, with Toland and Jamie Wollerman (Hasbrouck Heights, N.J.) each notching two hits.
Southern New Hampshire returns to action Tuesday afternoon when it travels to Franklin Pierce University for a 3:30 contest.