No. 1 SNHU (38-12)
No. 6 Dowling (31-17)
Thursday, May 17, 2012 - 11:00 am
NCAA East Regional
Penmen Field - Manchester, N.H.
THE MATCHUP: Southern New Hampshire makes its NCAA Tournament debut Thursday morning when it takes on Dowling in the first round of the East Regional.
THE COACHES: Scott Loiseau is in his fourth season as head coach at SNHU...Loiseau, a 2002 graduate of Franklin Pierce, spent four seasons as an assistant at his alma mater before being named head coach in June, 2008...he owns a career 95-85-2 record, including a 63-34 mark since the start of the 2011 season...Tom Caputo is in his first season as head coach at Dowling after spending 2011 as an assistant...Caputo was an All-Conference performer at Hofstra and played profesionally for the Long Island Ducks.
THE SERIES:Dowling has captured three of four lifetime meetings with Southern New Hampshire...the two teams last met in 2011, with Dowling taking a 1-0 victory in Lantana, Fla....the Golden Lions scored their lone run in the fifth when a Eddie Squeri single scored Dan Masiello, who led off the inning with a single...Tim Flight struck out 10 and allowed five hits in seven innings in the setback, while JJ Bessell held the Penmen to two hits in a complete-game effort, fanning seven.
THE PENMEN: Southern New Hampshire is making its first-ever NCAA Tournament appearance after winning a school record 38 games, posting a 38-12 record and opening the season 13-0 and 25-2...the Penmen, who missed qualifying for the Northeast-10 Tournament after finishing fifth in the Northeast Division, have been idle since May 6, when they swept a doubleheader from Felician by scores of 11-0 and 1-0...SNHU is led by one of the top pitching staffs in Division II...the Penmen rank second nationally in team ERA (2.23) and first in strikeouts per nine innings (9.4)...junior Tim Flight was named the Northeast-10 Pitcher of the Year in 2012 after leading Southern New Hampshire with a 1.17 ERA and 116 strikeouts in 84.2 innings...the lefthander recorded a 7-1 record...Brad Monroe, who was an NE-10 Second Team selection, is 8-3 with a 2.13 ERA and 98 strikeouts, while Junior Mendez has compiled a 1.24 ERA and 5-2 record...Alex Powers leads the SNHU bullpen with a 4-1 record, five saves and a 0.40 ERA...Powers struck out 34 batters in 22.1 innings.
Junior shortstop Matt Boulter leads the SNHU offense with a .332 average and 50 runs batted in...Boulter, an NE-10 Second Team selection, has already set a program record for RBI in a season...senior catcher Kevin Spatkowski, likewise an NE-10 Second Team choice, is batting .314 with 20 RBI...Spatkowski also will likely see time at designated hitter...Jon Minucci has belted a team-best eight home runs and knocked in 40 runs while batting .301.
THE GOLDEN LIONS: Dowling captured its second-straight East Coast Conference tournament championship with a 7-0 win over Bridgeport last Saturday...the Golden Lions are making their eighth NCAA Tournament appearance, all in the last 11 seasons...Andrew Abreu leads Dowling offensively with his .337 average while knocking in 13 runs on the season...Joe Candela is batting .325 with a home run and 22 runs batted in, while Sean Craig is batting .322 with 17 RBI...Rob Veltre has knocked in a team-best 34 runs on the season...Adam Brown leads the Dowling rotation with a 5-1 record and a 1.06 earned run average in 10 appearances (eight starts) while striking out 64 batters...Tyler Badamo is 5-2 with a 1.71 ERA while striking out 90 batters in 82 innings...Marc Rutledge has struck out 85 batters and owns a 9-3 record and 1.87 ERA...Tom Bammann leads the Dowling bullpen with six saves and a 3-3 record in 18 appearances while posting a 1.25 ERA.