Four-Run Sixth Lifts New Haven Over Baseball in NE10 Championship Weekend Kickoff

BOX SCORE

When and Where: May 10, 2018 – Hooksett, N.H. (Penmen Field)
Score: University of New Haven 5, Southern New Hampshire University 3
Records: New Haven 36-8, SNHU 34-14

Sophomore Tom Blandini (Bow, N.H.) staked the Southern New Hampshire University baseball team to a 2-0 lead with a double in the second inning, but the eighth-ranked University of New Haven scored five unanswered runs and held on for a 5-3 win on the first day of competition at Northeast-10 Championship Weekend on Thursday at Penmen Field. 

Southern New Hampshire, seeded first in the Northeast Division, will take on the top seed from the Southwest Division, Le Moyne College, in an elimination game Friday at 11 a.m. The Chargers, the Southwest's No. 2 seed, will face off with Merrimack College, the No. 3 seed from the Northeast, at 2 p.m. on Friday, with the winner of the first game and the loser of the second game squaring off in another elimination contest at 5 p.m.

Southern New Hampshire struck first in the bottom of the second inning on a huge two-out hit from Blandini. Graduate student Taylor Olmstead (Greenwich, Conn.) dropped a perfect bunt down the third base line for a one-out single and then stole second before redshirt-sophomore Joshua Goldstein (Haverhill, Mass.) was hit by a pitch for his league-leading 16th time on the season. Blandini fell behind in the count, 1-2, before rocketing the next pitch to right for a two-run double that made it 2-0.

New Haven claimed one back in the top of the fifth when Andrew Garcia struck a solo shot to center to lead off the frame. Grad student Andrew Lalonde (Bedford, N.H.) waded into more trouble in the sixth, as a walk and an error put runners at the corners with no outs before a passed ball tied the game, 2-2. After a bunt single from Tom Walraven placed runners at the corners once again, Joe Caico followed with a three-run blast to right that put the Chargers in front for the first time at 5-2. Sophomore Wesley Tobin (Portsmouth, N.H.) came on and needed just seven pitches to retire the side.

The Penmen were able to cut into the deficit in the bottom of the eighth when senior Caleb Potter (Mentor, Ohio) led off by lining a single to left before moving to second on a groundout from freshman Idelson Taveras (Lawrence, Mass.) and scoring on an Olmstead double into the left field corner. With Olmstead on third a batter later, New Haven was able to get out of it and keep the score 5-3.

Blandini led off the ninth with a base hit through the right side, but was stranded there. 

Blandini (two RBI) and Sullivan each finished 2-for-5, while Potter (run) and Olmstead (RBI, run) were both 2-for-4. Goldstein was 1-for-3 with a run, with senior Kyle Pangallo (Ft. Lauderdale, Fla.) going 1-for-4. 

Lalonde allowed five runs – four earned – on five hits, while striking out seven and walking two, over five-plus innings. Tobin struck out three in a pair of perfect frames. Senior Ivon Clough (Dublin, N.H.) walked one in a hitless eighth, while freshman Jeffrey Praml (Bridgewater, N.J.) punched out a pair in a perfect ninth. 

Notes:
- Southern New Hampshire dips to 11-5 (.688) all-time in NE10 Championship play.
- The Penmen had won 15 of 16 and seven straight entering the day.
- SNHU is still outscoring opponents 150-43 over its last 17 contests.
- Southern New Hampshire is now 15-3 at home this season and falls to 74-16 (.822) at Penmen Field since the start of the 2014 season.
- Potter extended his hitting streak to 10 games.
- This was the first time in his career Lalonde had allowed two home runs in one game. 

Up Next:
The Penmen return to action Friday, May 11 (11 a.m.) when they play host to Le Moyne College in an NE10 Championship Weekend elimination contest at Penmen Field. Le Moyne won the coin toss and will serve as the home team for the game.

Click HERE for more information on Northeast-10 Championship Weekend.

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