#17 Baseball’s Four-Run Ninth Not Enough in 9-8 Loss to NYIT in Wild NCAA East Super-Regional Opener

Jake Coro swings

BOX SCORE

When and Where: May 24, 2019 – Hooksett, N.H. (Penmen Field)
Score: New York Institute of Technology 9, Southern New Hampshire University 8
Records: NYIT 36-14, SNHU 40-14

Junior Jake Coro (Johnston, R.I.) homered twice and knocked in four runs, but the 17th-ranked and second-seeded Southern New Hampshire University baseball team had its furious ninth-inning rally come up just short in a 9-8 loss to the fifth-seeded New York Institute of Technology on Friday evening in game one of the NCAA East Super Regional at Penmen Field.

The two teams will play game two Saturday (May 25) at noon, with the winner-take-all game three following, if necessary.

STANDOUT PERFORMERS

  • Coro finished 2-for-4 with a walk, four RBI and two runs scored.
  • Redshirt-junior Joshua Goldstein (Haverhill, Mass.) went a perfect 3-for-3 with an RBI.
  • Sophomore Dakota Mulcay (Goffstown, N.H.) was 2-for-3 with a pair of walks, an RBI and two runs scored.

For NYIT…

  • Kieran Dowd (three RBI, three runs), Jake Lebel (three RBI, run) and Matt Malone (run) were all 3-for-5.
  • D.J. Masuck (12-1) allowed four runs on eight hits over six-and-two-thirds innings, striking out five and walking three.
  • Ariel Taveras collected his 12th save, giving up one run in a scoreless inning of work, while allowing a pair of inherited runners to score.

HOW IT HAPPENED

  • Southern New Hampshire loaded the bases in the bottom of the first, with a leadoff single to left from junior Tom Blandini (Bow, N.H.), hit batsmen for sophomore Sam Henrie (Middleboro, Mass.) and a base hit to right by Mulcay, but Masuck recorded back-to-back strikeouts to get out of the jam.
  • Coro would give the Penmen the lead in the second, leading off the frame with a drive to deep right that the outfielder could only watch sail over the fence to make it 1-0.
  • With two outs and a runner at first in the top of the fourth, a ball in on the hands was ruled it hit the batter. Following a conference of the umpires, however, the call was overturned, as they ruled it hit the knob of the bat. With Dowd back at the plate, he delivered an RBI single to left off graduate student Jake Walkinshaw (Seymour, Conn.) and moved up on the throw to the plate that came late. Matt DeAngelis made that hurt with a base hit through the left side that plated Dowd and put the Bears on top, 2-1.
  • SNHU filled the bases again in the home half on a single by redshirt-senior Kevin Alexy (Newton, Mass.), a walk to Coro and a hit by pitch for Goldstein, but Lebel snared a sharp line drive off the bat of sophomore Idelson Taveras (Lawrence, Mass.) and stepped on first for the inning-ending double play.
  • Chris Campbell capitalized for the Bears, leading off the fifth inning with a solo shot to right that nudged the lead to 3-1. NYIT would load the bases with one out later in the frame, but Walkinshaw would pick up a strikeout and a groundout to end the threat.
  • The Penmen put a pair on in the sixth when Mulcay and freshman Alex Kennedy (Braintree, Mass.) drew leadoff walks. After a fly out and a passed ball moved both runners into scoring position, Coro struck again by driving a ball out to right that kept carrying until it sailed over the fence for a three-run bomb that flipped Southern New Hampshire into the lead at 4-3.
  • The Bears went back in front in the top of the seventh when Dowd delivered a run-scoring single to right field and the ball went under the outfielder's glove, allowing Dowd to race around and slide in safely at the plate to give NYIT the 5-4 advantage.
  • A leadoff flare to center on an 0-2 pitch and bunt back to Walkinshaw on an attempted sacrifice that ended with the ball in center field when the pitcher's throw to try and get the lead runner was errant, put runners at the corners with no outs for NYIT in the top of the eighth. Sophomore Jeffrey Praml (Bridgewater, N.J.) entered from the bullpen and immediately registered a punch out and foul out. Following an intentional walk to EJ Cumbo that loaded the bases, Lebel hit a deep fly ball toward the wall that the left fielder leaped for, but it hit off his glove and three runs scored to stretch the Bears' lead to 8-4.
  • Dowd added more cushion for NYIT, leading off the ninth with a no-doubter to left off senior Matthew Messier (No. Troy, Vt.) that nudged the gap to 9-4.
  • The run would prove important, as the Penmen erupted for four runs in the ninth against a trio of NYIT relievers. Blandini led off the inning by getting hit with a pitch, before a base hit to center by redshirt-sophomore Marcus Chavez (Queens, N.Y.) put a pair on and prompted the Bears to make their third pitching change of the evening. A walk to Henrie loaded the bases with no outs, before Mulcay drew another free pass to force in the first run and prompt another call to the bullpen. Ariel Taveras entered for NYIT and traded a run for an out with consecutive batters, as Kennedy and Alexy drove sac flies out to right to make it 9-7. Coro then followed with a hard-hit ball to first that scooted under the first baseman's glove and put a pair at the corners with the winning-run at the plate. Goldstein quickly delivered a single through the left side to make it a one-run game, but Taveras would finally nail down the save by inducing a foul out to the catcher.

INSIDE THE BOX SCORE

  • Henrie was 1-for-3 with a walk and a run scored.
  • Alexy (RBI), Blandini (run) and Chavez (run) were all 1-for-4.
  • Kennedy, who was coming off a regional in which he went 8-for-16 with two home runs, five RBI and five runs scored at the plate in five games, was 0-for-3 with a walk, RBI and run scored.
  • Walkinshaw was charged with seven runs – four earned – on 10 hits, while fanning six and walking a pair, over seven-plus innings.
  • Praml allowed one run – unearned – on one hit in two-thirds of a frame, striking out one and walking one.
  • Messier relinquished a run on two hits, punching out three in an inning-and-a-third of work.

NOTES

  • Southern New Hampshire had won 12 of its last 15 entering the day.
  • This was the first time the two teams met in their program histories.
  • SNHU is now 27-17 (.614) all-time in its eighth NCAA Championship appearance.
  • The Penmen dip to 20-6 at home this season and are now 95-23 (.805) at Penmen Field since the start of the 2014 season.
  • 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 become the first East Region team to earn a second straight trip to the College World Series since Franklin Pierce University in 2008.
  • Walkinshaw's six strikeouts give him 102 on the season and move him past Derrick Sylvester (2014), Ryan Quinn (2009) and Brad Monroe (2012) for fifth on the program's single-season list. In the career record book, he leapt Tim Flight (2011-12) and Sylvester (2010-11, 13-14) into fourth place all-time with 234 strikeouts. His seven-plus innings also give him 98-and-two-thirds on the year, which bumped him past Tim Viehoff (2016), Sylvester (2014) and Junior Mendez (2013) and into second place.
  • Praml's 24th appearance of the season broke a second-place tie with Walkinshaw (2016) for SNHU's single-season record. He is now one shy of matching Ben Criscuolo's (2014) top mark.

UP NEXT

  • SNHU and NYIT will play game two of the Super-Regional at Penmen Field on Saturday (May 25) at 12 p.m., while the winner-take-all game 3 will start at approximately 3:30 p.m., if necessary.

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