RINDGE, N.H. – James Roche hit a walkoff two-run home run to lift Franklin Pierce University to a 6-5 Northeast-10 baseball victory over fourth-ranked Southern New Hampshire University at Pappas Field Tuesday afternoon. The Ravens improve to 15-10-1 and 3-1-1 in the NE-10's Northeast Division, while the Penmen see a 10-game win streak snapped and are now 25-3 and 4-1 in divisional play.
Trailing 5-4 entering the ninth, FPU's Dan Hennigan started the rally with a one-out single off SNHU reliever David Gibson (Hanover, Mass.). Hennigan stole second, but Gibson would get the next batter, Dan Kemp, to strike out. Roche then took a 2-2 pitch to left to give the hosts the victory.
Southern New Hampshire took a 2-0 lead in the top of the third when the first two batters, Riley Palmer (Goffstown, N.H.) and Brendan O'Brien (East Bridgewater, Mass.) walked. Kevin Spatkowski (Bristol, Conn.) then laid down a bunt that turned into a single, but a throwing error allowed Palmer and O'Brien to score.
Franklin Pierce would grab a run in the bottom of the inning when Hennigan reached on a one-out double and scored when Kemp got on via error. The Ravens tied the game in the fourth when Anthony Peguero singled up the middle to plate Zach Mathieu.
The Penmen reclaimed the lead in the top of the fifth when a two-run single by Matt Boulter (Wrentham, Mass.) brought home O'Brien and Spatkowski. SNHU made it a 5-2 game in the seventh when Jon Minucci (Madison, Conn.) worked a bases-loaded walk to bring in Palmer. FPU pulled within 5-4 in the eighth when back-to-back singles by Nick LaCroix and Matt Walsh plated Roche and Mathieu.
Spatkowski led the Penmen offensively, going 4-5 with a run scored, while O'Brien finished with a pair of hits for SNHU, which was outhit 13-9. Gibson took his first loss of the season in relief of Tim Flight (Portsmouth, R.I.), who surrendered 11 hits and four runs (three earned) in eight innings while notching 11 strikeouts. Flight saw his scoreless streak snapped at 27.2 innings.
Hennigan and Mathieu each recorded three hits for FPU, which saw the win go to Doug Willey after allowing just one hit in two innings of relief while fanning four. Raven starter Vladimir Camacho went the first five-plus innings and allowed give hits and four runs (three earned) while registering five strikeouts and four walks.
Southern New Hampshire returns to action Friday afternoon when it hosts Pace University in a 3:00 Northeast-10 doubleheader at Penmen Field.