When and Where: May 18, 2019 – Hooksett, N.H. (Penmen Field)
Game 1 Score: Southern New Hampshire University 8, Long Island University-LIU Post 2
Game 2 Score: Southern New Hampshire University 4, Long Island University-LIU Post 1
Records: SNHU 40-13, LIU Post 38-16
Redshirt-sophomore Marcus Chavez (Queens, N.Y.) snapped a seventh-inning tie with a three-run home run in the decisive game of the NCAA East II Regional final, as the 17th-ranked and second-seeded Southern New Hampshire University baseball team claimed a 4-1 win against 25th-ranked and third-seeded Long Island University-LIU Post on Saturday at Penmen Field, to sweep the Pioneers and advance to the NCAA East Super Regional. The Penmen secured an 8-2 victory in game one to avoid elimination and force the winner-take-all game two.
Southern New Hampshire will now host a best-of-three series with the fifth-seeded New York Institute of Technology on Friday, May 24 and Saturday May 25 at Penmen Field. The winner will be crowned champion of the East Region and will earn one of the eight spots in the College World Series on June 1-8 in Cary, N.C.
- Chavez went 5-for-9 in the doubleheader with the home run, three RBI and two runs scored.
- Redshirt-senior Kevin Alexy (Newton, Mass.) was red hot in the two games, going 6-for-8 with a walk, home run, two doubles, two RBI and two runs scored.
- Junior Tom Blandini (Bow, N.H.) also came up big with a 4-for-6 afternoon, as he walked twice and scored three runs.
- Redshirt-sophomore Alex Gomes (Peabody, Mass.) staked claim to the win in game two, allowing just one run on two hits in four-and-two-thirds innings of relief, striking out a pair and walking one.
- Junior Wesley Tobin (Portsmouth, N.H.) earned the win in game one, allowing two runs – one earned – on seven hits, while striking out eight and walking three, over seven innings.
- Sophomore Jeffrey Praml (Bridgewater, N.J.) collected his 10th save of the season with a pair of shutout frames in the first game, giving up just one hit and recording a strikeout.
HOW IT HAPPENED – GAME 1
- Southern New Hampshire seriously threatened in the top of the first, putting a pair in scoring position with one out, but a strikeout and groundout allowed LIU Post to escape unscathed.
- The Penmen again stranded a runner in the second, as Alexy led off with a double off the third-base bag and moved to second on a groundout to the right side from junior Jake Coro (Johnston, R.I.), but was left there, as a pop out and grounder right at the first baseman ended the threat.
- LIU Post made the early stranded runners hurt against Tobin (8-3) in the home half of the second, as Michael Manzione led off with a double to left-center and scored when Andy Camilo followed with a single up the middle. Camilo, who moved up to second on the throw home and went to third two batters later on a fly out to right, scored when a sky-high pop up that would have been the final out of the inning dropped safely between the mound and the plate.
- The Penmen finally kicked the door down in the fourth, hanging a three-spot on the strength of four singles. Sophomore Dakota Mulcay (Goffstown, N.H.) led it off with a base hit to right, before Alexy and Coro followed with singles through the right side to put SNHU on the board. An RBI groundout by redshirt-junior Joshua Goldstein (Haverhill, Mass.) plated the tying run, before sophomore Idelson Taveras (Lawrence, Mass.) drove a two-out single back through the box to put Southern New Hampshire on top, 3-2.
- SNHU added some insurance in a big way in the eighth, with freshman Alex Kennedy (Braintree, Mass.) and Alexy hitting back-to-back solo home runs to right that stretched the lead to 5-2.
- The Penmen extended the lead further with a three-run ninth, as senior Joshua Zbierski (Stafford Springs, Conn.) plated the first run with a pinch-hit RBI fielder's choice, with Kennedy and Alexy following with RBI singles to make it 8-2.
INSIDE THE BOX SCORE – GAME 1
- Alexy was a perfect 5-for-5 with two RBI and a pair of runs scored.
- Chavez finished 3-for-5 and scored a run.
- Kennedy turned in a 2-for-5 performance with a pair of RBI and two runs scored.
- Blandini was 2-for-4 with a run.
- Taveras (run) and Mulcay were each 1-for-4.
- Coro (RBI, run) and Goldstein (RBI) both went 1-for-5.
HOW IT HAPPENED – GAME 2
- Southern New Hampshire drew first blood in the bottom of the first, with Blandini drawing a leadoff walk, going to second on a base hit from Chavez, advancing to third on a sacrifice bunt by sophomore Sam Henrie (Middleboro, Mass.) and scoring on an RBI groundout from Mulcay. The Penmen looked to add a second run with runners at first and third when they put the runner at first in motion, but were thwarted when the Pioneers' throw down was cut by the shortstop, who threw a strike to the plate to get the runner and end the inning.
- SNHU left the bases loaded in the fourth, with a called third strike getting LIU Post out of the jam.
- The Pioneers had the bases packed in the top of the fifth against SNHU starter, grad student Cameron Scotia (Dudley, Mass.), with just one out, but the Penmen went to the bullpen for Gomes, who induced an inning-ending 6-4-3 double play to preserve the 1-0 lead.
- LIU Post tied it in the sixth against Gomes, with Dave Brehm leading off with a double into the right-center field gap that was just out of the reach of the diving Taveras, and then scoring on an Camilo sac fly to center.
- SNHU went back on top in the bottom of the seventh with Chavez delivering the clutch swing. Following a base hit from Taveras and a walk to Blandini, Chavez crushed a three-run homer to left that put the Penmen up, 4-1.
- Gomes continued to cruise, setting down six of the final seven to seal the win.
INSIDE THE BOX SCORE – GAME 2
- Chavez was 2-for-4 with three RBI and a run scored.
- Blandini was an on-base machine, going 2-for-2 with two walks and a pair of runs scored.
- Taveras went 1-for-2 and scored a run.
- Alexy finished 1-for-3 with a walk.
- Coro was 1-for-4.
- Scotia twirled four-and-a-third scoreless innings, relinquishing four hits, while striking out two and walking one.
- Senior Hayden Manning (Portland, Conn.) walked the only batter he faced.
- Southern New Hampshire has won 12 of its last 15 after finishing the NCAA East II Regional with a record of 4-1.
- The Penmen reach the 40-win plateau for the fourth straight season.
- SNHU improves to 27-16 (.628) all-time in its eighth NCAA Championship appearance, including 3-1 against LIU Post.
- This marks the fourth straight season Southern New Hampshire is one of the final two teams left standing in the region. After making the NCAA East Regional final each of the last three years, SNHU will now try and win the Super Regional in the first year under the new format to earn a second straight trip to the College World Series.
- The Penmen better their record to 20-5 at home this season and are now 95-22 (.812) at Penmen Field since the start of the 2014 season.
- Kennedy finished the NCAA East II Regional 8-for-16 with two home runs, five RBI and five runs.
- The Penmen will host NYIT in the first game of the best-of-three NCAA East Super Regional on Friday, May 24 at Penmen Field.
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