MANCHESTER, N.H. – Seventh-ranked Southern New Hampshire University and Stonehill College split a Northeast-10 baseball twinbill at Penmen Field Saturday afternoon, with the Penmen posting an 8-6 win in game one before the Skyhawks recorded a 6-5 win in the nightcap. SNHU, which is also ranked first in the latest NCBWA East Region poll, now stands 31-5 overall and 7-2 in the NE-10's Northeast Division, while the Skyhawks, who are fourth in the region, now stand 23-11 and 6-2 in divisional play.
Southern New Hampshire, which trailed 4-1 after four innings in the opener, took control of game one with four runs in the bottom of the sixth. Riley Palmer (Goffstown, N.H.) led off the inning with a home run to make it a 6-5 game, the Matt Boulter (Wrentham, Mass.) put the Penmen on top with his two-run double that plated Kevin Spatkowski (Bristol, Conn.) and Brendan O'Brien (East Bridgewater, Mass.). Boulter later scored on Andy Lalli's (Lakeville, Mass.) single up the middle of a drawn-in infield.
The Penmen had tied the game 4-4 with three runs in the fifth, with Jamie Wollerman (Hasbrouck Heights, N.J.) recording a two-run single to the gap in left center, and later scoring from third on a wild pitch after moving over on a double by Greg Pezzuto (Hastings-on-Hudson, N.Y.). Stonehill retook the lead with two runs in the sixth, taking advantage of a walk and a hit batsman with the bases loaded.
Spatkowski, Lalli and Palmer all went 2-4 in the opener, with Spatkowski extending his hit streak to 12 games. Alex Powers (Brewster, Mass.) earned the win in relief after recording a pair of strikeouts in the sixth. Lucas Olen (Bedford, N.H.) picked up a save after inheriting a two-on, no-out situation in the top of the ninth. After getting the first batter on a sac bunt, Olen got James DeAlto to line into a 3-6 double play to end the game.
In the nightcap, Stonehill never trailed, scoring twice in the top of the first. The Skyhawks extended their lead to 6-2 in the top of the seventh with a three-run frame, with Dan Fratus singling and advancing on an error to bring in three runs. The Penmen came back with three runs in the bottom of the inning to pull within 6-5. Boulter knocked in the first run when Jeremy Tejada (Bronx, N.Y.) scored on his groundout. A Lalli single plated O'Brien, while Lalli would score on a Pezzuto single through the left side.
Southern New Hampshire got the tying run into scoring position in the ninth as Boulter led off with a deep double to left-center, but Skyhawk reliever Armand Rugel would strike out the next two batters before inducing a fly out to end the game.
The hosts plated single runs in the second and sixth innings. In the second, Lalli led off with a home run to left, while in the sixth a Pezzuto sac fly scored Lalli after Lalli led off with a double and moved over on a fly out by Wollerman.
SNHU outhit Stonehill 12-8 in the nightcap but was harmed by three errors. Junior Mendez (Patchogue, N.Y.) scattered eight hits and surrendered six runs (four earned) in a complete-game effort. Lalli and Pezzuto each finished with three hits, while Spatkowski saw his hit streak snapped with an 0-5 effort.
Zach Soulier upped his record to 5-0 for Stonehill with his 6.2 inning outing, allowing eight hits and four runs while fanning nine. Rugel worked the final 2.1 innings to pick up the save.
SNHU and Stonehill play the rubber match of their three-game series Sunday night at 6:00 at Penmen Field.