When and Where: May 19, 2017 – Manchester, N.H. (Penmen Field)
Score: Southern New Hampshire University 15, Long Island University-LIU Post 3
Records: SNHU 42-9, LIU Post 31-19
The sixth-ranked and top-seeded Southern New Hampshire University baseball team homered three times and had eight different batters drive in a run as it opened the NCAA East Regional Championship with a 15-3 triumph against fourth-seeded Long Island University-LIU Post on Friday at SNHU's Penmen Field.
LIU Post jumped on junior starter Mitchell Powers (Portland, Maine) out of the gate, going single-double to put a pair in scoring position for ECC Player of the Year Rob Andreoli, who drove in the first run of the game with a grounder to second. Powers then settled in, inducing a foul out to first and striking out a batter to get out of the inning with the limited damage done.
Southern New Hampshire leapfrogged in front in the home half as senior Derek Bauer (Millis, Mass.) crushed a two-out, two-run shot just inside the right field foul pole to put the Penmen on top, 2-1. Junior Kyle Pangallo (Fort Lauderdale, Fla.) reached with one out when he was hit by a pitch. SNHU then loaded the bases with walks to junior Caleb Potter (Mentor, Ohio) and redshirt-sophomore John Stanton (Sandwich, Mass.), as well as a single off the pitcher by sophomore Joshua Zbierski (Stafford Springs, Conn.), but had its inning come to an end with an "out" call on a bang-bang play on a straight steal of home.
The Penmen struck for another pair in the bottom of the second as senior Cam Oliveira (Tewksbury, Mass.) walked and then scored on an RBI triple to right-center by graduate student Zach Goldstein (Merrick, N.Y.). Pangallo followed by driving a fly ball to deep center, scoring Goldstein with the sacrifice fly to stretch the lead to 4-1.
SNHU put up three more in the third as Bauer roped a single to right to lead off the frame before Zbierski hit a two-out, two-run blast to dead center just two batters later. The Penmen kept the rally going with two outs as Oliveira drew another walk, went to second on a single to left from sophomore Kyle Ruth (Albany, N.Y.) and scored on Goldstein's RBI knock to left that made it 7-1 and knocked LIU Post starter Noah Lorenzo from the game.
Goldstein's two-out RBI single to left in the fifth nudged the lead to 8-1 after Zbierski and Ruth had reached with singles.
Southern New Hampshire broke it open with a five-run sixth as it began the inning with four straight singles before a walk and another single made it six straight reaching base before the first out of the frame. Potter and Stanton delivered RBI singles before a wild pitch brought in the third run of the inning. A two-run single to left from Oliveira capped the scoring and widened the SNHU advantage to 13-1.
With Powers exiting after six with the large lead, the Pioneers grabbed one back in the seventh as Thomas Asbaty led off with a solo shot to right off junior Joe DeSarro (Frankfort, N.Y.).
Ruth then made it 15-2 in the eighth, crushing his first home run in a Penmen uniform – a two-run shot – to center.
The Pioneers tacked on one in the ninth on Sal Geraci's RBI single to left-center.
Powers (6-2) allowed one run on five hits, striking out four and not walking a batter, in six innings. DeSarro gave up one run on three hits in two innings of work, while freshman Ryan Steffens (Commack, N.Y.) was charged with one run on two hits and a walk in one inning.
Lorenzeo (7-2) relinquished seven runs on seven hits and four walks, striking out one over two-and-two-thirds innings.
Goldstein finished 3-for-6 with three RBI and a run scored. Bauer (walk, two RBI, two runs) and Zbierski (walk, two RBI, three runs) were each 3-for-4, while Ruth went 3-for-5 with two RBI and a run. Oliveira turned in a 2-for-3 performance, as he walked twice, drove in a pair of runs and scored three times.
Andreoli and Geraci were both 2-for-4 with an RBI, while Asbaty went 1-for-3 with an RBI and a run. Kenny Daley finished 2-for-5.
- SNHU has now won 21 of its last 24 contests
- After coming off a pair of losses last Friday – the first time the Penmen lost twice on the same day in over two years – and being shut out for just the fourth time in three seasons, Southern New Hampshire bounced back in a big way with its second highest hit total (17) and fourth highest run total of the season.
- SNHU, which improves to 15-1 (.938) at home this season, is now 58-11 (.841) at Penmen Field since the start of the 2014 season. The Penmen have not been beaten at home in a nine-inning regulation game since April 30, 2016.
- Goldstein's second-inning triple was the 17th of his career, which gave him SNHU's all-time record.
- Powers, who set down six straight after giving up the first run of the game, retired 10 of the last 12 he faced to end his outing.
- Over his last 10 appearances, which include seven starts, Powers has five complete games and is 6-1 with a 1.14 ERA, allowing just 39 hits in 71 innings to hold opponents to a .159 batting average, while punching out 86 and walking just nine.
- Bauer's home run was his seventh of the season, while Zbierski's was his fifth and Ruth's was his first.
- The Penmen avenged a 4-3 loss to LIU Post in the season opener back on Feb. 23.
Southern New Hampshire will meet the winner of Friday's third game between the second-seeded University of New Haven and third-seeded St. Thomas Aquinas College in a winner's bracket contest Saturday at 7 p.m., while LIU Post will play seventh-seeded Dominican (N.Y.) College in an elimination game Saturday morning at 11 a.m.
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