When and Where: March 26, 2016 – Waltham, Mass. (Robert DeFelice Baseball Field)
Game 1 Score: Southern New Hampshire University 1, Bentley University 0
Game 2 Score: Southern New Hampshire University 5, Bentley University 4
Records: SNHU 17-2 (3-0 Northeast-10, 3-0 Northeast Division), Bentley 5-12 (0-2 Northeast-10, 0-2 Northeast Division)
Senior Tim Viehoff (Derry, N.H.) pitched brilliantly in game one, sophomore Matt Rabbito (Chelmsford, Mass.) drove in the go-ahead run in the sixth inning of game two with a pinch-hit single and the bullpen came up huge in both games as the 14th-ranked Southern New Hampshire University baseball team recorded a pair of one-run victories against Bentley University on Saturday at Robert DeFelice Baseball Field. The Penmen eked out a 1-0 win in the first game and pulled out a 5-4 triumph in game two.
In game one, both pitchers matched scoreless frames until the top of the fourth when junior Carson Helms (Farmington, Conn.) reached on a two-out error by the third baseman, stole second and scored on a double to left by graduate student Ryan Gendron (Nashua, N.H.).
That would prove to be the only run of the contest as Viehoff blanked the Falcons into the ninth before giving way to sophomore Jake Walkinshaw (Seymour, Conn.) with two on and one out. Walkinshaw induced a 6-4-3 game-ending double play.
Viehoff (4-0) threw eight-and-a-third shutout innings, allowing just five hits, while striking out six and walking two. Walkinshaw picked up his sixth save of the season with a perfect two-thirds of an inning.
Will Alden went the distance for Bentley, relinquishing just one run – unearned – on three hits, while fanning six and walking one.
In the second game, Bentley took advantage of a pair of first-inning errors to jump out to a 2-0 lead. The Falcons scored another unearned run in the second on a Mike Muir single to center to make it 3-0.
Southern New Hampshire grabbed two back in the third on an RBI single by junior Zach Goldstein (Merrick, N.Y.) and a sacrifice fly to right from Cruz, but Bentley pushed across another run in the bottom of the frame to take a 4-2 lead.
The Penmen crept back within one in the fourth as Helms singled to left to lead off the inning and swiped second. After Gendron drew a walk, fellow junior Derek Bauer (Millis, Mass.) flied out to right, which advanced Helms to third, but Gendron got hung up between first and second and was able to stay in a run-down long enough for Helms to cross the plate and make it 4-3.
Helms was at the center of things again in the sixth as he led off with a double to left and later scored on Bauer's RBI knock through the right side that tied the game. Rabbito then came through with a one-out, pinch-hit single to right that plated the go-ahead run to put SNHU in front, 5-4. The Penmen would leave the bases packed in the inning.
That did not matter much, however, as Bentley put only one runner on base over the next three innings until threatening against Walkinshaw in the ninth. With two on and two out, Walkinshaw punched out Nick Neshe to end the game and solidify a perfect 2-0 afternoon for the Penmen.
Junior Ben Criscuolo (Branford, Conn.) started and gave up four runs – one earned – on four hits, striking out one and walking a batter over two-plus innings of work. Sophomore Ivon Clough (Dublin, N.H.) was stellar in relief, working five shutout innings, allowing just two hits, while striking out a batter, to earn his first career win. Walkinshaw tossed a pair of scoreless frames, giving up a hit and striking out four, as he nailed down league-leading save No. 7.
Helms (two runs), Cruz (RBI) and sophomore Andrew Lalonde (Bedford, N.H.; run) were all 2-for-4, while Gendron went 1-for-3 with a walk and a run scored. Bauer and Goldstein (walk) both were 1-for-4 and drove in a run.
- SNHU is still even with the 2012 team, matching it for the best 19-game start in program history.
-Viehoff set down the first eight batters he faced and retired 13 of the first 14, overall.
- Clough began his outing by retiring six straight and 12 of 13 as he faced the minimum through the first four innings.
The Penmen are back in action Wednesday, March 30 (3 p.m.) when they take on Franklin Pierce University. The home opener for the Penmen is scheduled for Thursday, March 31 (3 p.m.) against Saint Michael's College.
For the latest on Southern New Hampshire University athletics, follow the Penmen via social media on Twitter, Facebook, Youtube and Instagram. Sign up to receive text message alerts and e-mail newsletters about your favorite Penmen teams here.