When and Where: May 17, 2019 – Hooksett, N.H. (Penmen Field)
Score: Long Island University-LIU Post 4, Southern New Hampshire University 3
Records: LIU Post 38-14, SNHU 37-13
Junior Tom Blandini (Bow, N.H.) went 3-for-5 and hit a go-ahead solo home run in the third inning, but the 17th-ranked and second-seeded Southern New Hampshire University baseball team had its ninth-inning rally come up short in a 4-3 loss to third-seeded Long Island University-LIU Post on Friday in an NCAA East II Regional winner's bracket matchup at Penmen Field.
- Blandini drove in a run and scored once.
- Freshman Alex Kennedy (Braintree, Mass.) blasted his first career home run – a two-run, pinch-hit bomb in the ninth.
- Redshirt-sophomore Marcus Chavez (Queens, N.Y.) and senior Joshua Zbierski (Stafford Springs, Conn.) were both 2-for-5.
- Graduate student Chris Murphy (Billerica, Mass.) allowed one run on four hits over six-and-two-thirds innings, striking out six and walking three. He earned a no-decision.
HOW IT HAPPENED
- LIU Post threatened in the top of the second, with a two-base error putting a pair in scoring position with just one out. Junior Pheonix Hernandez (Brooklyn, N.Y.) made a nice play at first to knock down a sharp grounder, hold the runner and record the out at first, before Murphy made it out of the sticky situation with a big punchout.
- Southern New Hampshire took the first lead in the bottom of the third when Blandini golfed a low pitch out to right for a solo home run that made it 1-0.
- Sophomore Idelson Taveras (Lawrence, Mass.) made a pair of terrific catches in center field in back-to-back innings, taking away what looked to be a home run from Andy Camilo in the fourth and then robbing Giovanni Ciaccio of extra bases when he crashed into the wall in the fifth.
- The Pioneers mounted a two-out rally in the top of the seventh, with Ciaccio drawing a walk to end Murphy's outing. The Penmen went to sophomore Jeffrey Praml (Bridgewater, N.J.), who allowed a two-run homer to left off the bat of Christopher Wasson, as LIU Post jumped in front, 2-1.
- LIU Post tacked on a pair of important two-out insurance runs in the top of the ninth on RBI singles from Wasson and Dave Brehm.
- Southern New Hampshire made it interesting against the LIU Post bullpen in the bottom of the ninth. Redshirt-junior Joshua Goldstein (Haverhill, Mass.) started it with a leadoff base hit to right-center, before Kennedy stepped in and blasted a pinch-hit home run to dead center to trim the deficit to 4-3. The Pioneers then went to ECC Pitcher of the Year Joshua Loeschorn, who allowed a single to right-center from Blandini, before notching back-to-back outs. Sophomore Dakota Mulcay (Goffstown, N.H.) extended the game with a base hit to right-center, but Loeschorn would end it with a groundout to second.
INSIDE THE BOX SCORE
- Junior Jake Coro (Johnston, R.I.) went 1-for-3.
- Goldstein (run) and Mulcay (walk) were both 1-for-4.
- Sophomore Sam Henrie (Middleboro, Mass.) finished 1-for-5.
- Praml (5-1) suffered his first loss, allowing one run on three hits in an inning-and-a-third, striking out one.
- Redshirt-junior Brendan Welch (Easton, Mass.) was charged with a run without allowing a hit in two-thirds of an inning.
- Senior Matthew Messier (No. Troy, Vt.) relinquished a run on two hits and did not record an out.
- Redshirt-sophomore Alex Gomes (Peabody, Mass.) tossed a third of an inning, striking out one and walking one.
- Southern New Hampshire had won nine of its last 11.
- SNHU falls to 24-16 (.600) all-time in its eighth NCAA Championship appearance, including 1-1 against LIU Post.
- The Penmen dip to 17-5 at home this season and are now 92-22 (.807) at Penmen Field since the start of the 2014 season.
- The home run allowed by Praml was his first since March 1.
- Kennedy is now 4-for-5 with a home run, two RBI and two runs scored in two NCAA Championship contests.
- The Penmen will now take on the winner of sixth-seeded Felician University and seventh-seeded Assumption College on Friday night (9 p.m.) in an elimination contest.
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