When and Where: May 17, 2018 – Pleasantville, N.Y. (Finnerty Field)
Score: Southern New Hampshire University 7, Franklin Pierce University 2
Records: SNHU 36-15, FPU 32-14-1
Redshirt-junior Jake Walkinshaw (Seymour, Conn.) fired the first complete game of his career to lead the fourth-seeded Southern New Hampshire University baseball team to a 7-2 triumph over fifth-seeded Franklin Pierce University on Thursday in its NCAA East Regional Championship opener at Pace University's Finnerty Field.
Southern New Hampshire advances in the winner's bracket to take on top seed and host University of New Haven on Friday (3 p.m.). The Ravens are now off until Saturday (3 p.m.) when they will meet the loser of Friday's matchup between second-seeded St. Thomas Aquinas College and third-seeded Le Moyne College.
Freshman Dakota Mulcay (Goffstown, N.H.) gave the Penmen a 1-0 lead in the bottom of the second when he took the second pitch of the inning the other way to left for a solo shot. Freshman Sam Henrie (Middleboro, Mass.) reached on an infield single a batter later and moved to second on a balk before a two-out throwing error on a groundball to short from senior Kyle Pangallo (Ft. Lauderdale, Fla.) plated Henrie and extended the inning. Redshirt-sophomore Joshua Goldstein (Haverhill, Mass.) made it hurt more with a single to center that scored Pangallo, moving up to second on the throw home, and then coming around to score when sophomore Tom Blandini (Bow, N.H.) ripped a base hit to the same spot to make it 4-0.
Franklin Pierce jumped on the board in the fourth, taking advantage of a two-out walk. Freshman Idelson Taveras (Lawrence, Mass.), who made a dazzling diving catch two batters earlier, nearly made another terrific grab, making a long-run and appearing to bring the ball in, but it came loose as he hit the wall, and Adam Chase ended up on third with an RBI triple that cut it to 4-1.
The Ravens pulled within 4-2 in the sixth on a one-out home run to right-center from Brad Roberto.
The Penmen answered in the home half as singles from Taveras and Pangallo, followed by Goldstein's 17th hit-by-pitch of the year, which set a new program single-season record, loaded the bases before Blandini's fielder's choice groundout to second made it 5-2.
SNHU nudged its lead to 6-2 in the seventh on a sacrifice fly from Henrie that scored senior Caleb Potter (Mentor, Ohio), who began the frame by getting plunked.
Southern New Hampshire tacked on one more in the eighth when Pangallo singled to center, swiped both second and third, and scored on a fielder's choice grounder to third from sophomore Ethan Harris (Middleton, Mass.).
Walkinshaw (6-0) allowed two runs on five hits, while striking out five and walking only one, in nine innings.
Goldstein was 2-for-2 with a walk, run and RBI, as he was on base four times. Pangallo finished 2-for-4 and scored a pair of runs. Henrie (RBI, run) and redshirt-senior Ryan Sullivan (Hopkinton, Mass.) were each 1-for-3, with Mulcay (walk, RBI, run) and Taveras (run) both going 1-for-4.
- Southern New Hampshire improves to 18-13 (.581) all-time in NCAA Tournament play.
- The Penmen won for the 17th time in 20 contests.
- SNHU betters its record against the Ravens this season to 4-0 for the first time ever. The Penmen have captured seven of the last eight meetings between the clubs, as they even the all-time series at 39-39-1.
- Walkinshaw turns in the longest outing of his career, as he moves into a seventh-place tie on the program's all-time wins list with former teammate Ben Criscuolo (2014-16), notching his 16th victory.
- Mulcay's home run was his eighth of the season and the first in NCAA postseason play for a Southern New Hampshire freshman.
- Goldstein's HBP snapped a four-way tie at the top of the single-list with Andy Lalli (2012) and Zach Goldstein (2015, 2017).
- Pangallo's two hits give him an even 100 in his Penmen career.
- Potter saw his hitting streak come to an end at 12 games.
The Penmen return to action at the NCAA East Regional on Friday, May 17 (3 p.m.) against New Haven.
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