When and Where: April 16, 2016 – Manchester, N.H. (Penmen Field)
Game 1 Score: Southern New Hampshire University 7, Assumption College 6 (10 inn.)
Game 2 Score: Southern New Hampshire University 18, Assumption College 3
Records: SNHU 30-3 (15-1 NE-10, 9-1 NE-10 NE), Assumption 14-17 (9-8 NE-10, 5-7 NE-10 NE)
Graduate student Mike Mastroberti (Ramsey, N.J.) went 6-for-10 with five RBI and junior Zach Goldstein (Merrick, N.Y.) hit a walk-off home run in the 10th inning of game one as the eighth-ranked Southern New Hampshire University baseball team swept a twin bill from Assumption College on Saturday at Penmen Field. SNHU pulled out a 7-6 win in the first game and exploded for an 18-3 victory in game two.
In addition to Mastroberti's stellar performance, junior Manny Cruz (Wolcott, Conn.) went 3-for-5 with four walks and three RBI and graduate student Ryan Gendron (Nashua, N.H.) was 2-for-6 with two walks, a pair of homers and four RBI.
With the game tied at six in the bottom of the 10th inning, Goldstein hammered a 1-2 pitch to left and over the wall for his first home run of 2016, lifting the Penmen to victory.
Southern New Hampshire jumped out to a 3-0 lead in the bottom of the first inning. A double steal, with Cruz swiping second and Goldstein beating the throw to the plate, netted the Penmen their first run. With runners at first and second and two out later in the inning, freshman Kevin Alexy (Newton, Mass.) ripped a single just inside the first base bag that plated two runs. SNHU tried the first-and-third double steal again, but Assumption would cut the run down at the plate to end the inning.
SNHU grabbed another run in the fourth as sophomore Sean Webster (Boston, Mass.) drew a one-out walk and went to third on an errant pickoff throw. Mastroberti made it hurt with an opposite-field single to right-center that stretched the lead to 4-0.
Assumption sliced its deficit in half in the top of the third when Mike Coggeshall hit a two-out, two-run homer to left off junior starter Ben Criscuolo (Branford, Conn.) that pulled the Greyhounds within 4-2.
Gendron made it 5-2 in the bottom of the frame when he absolutely connected on his fourth home run of the season to left.
Coggeshall tied it in the seventh with another two-out home run – this one of the three-run variety that knotted the game at five. Sophomore Mitchell Powers (Portland, Maine) relieved Criscuolo and recorded a strikeout to get out of the inning.
SNHU went ahead in the bottom of the eighth on a sacrifice fly to left with the bases loaded by junior Carson Helms (Farmington, Conn.), but the Greyhounds would tie it in the top of the ninth, when Kevin Quinlivan hit the first pitch of the inning from Powers out of the yard to straight away center.
Criscuolo allowed five runs on six hits, striking out five and walking four over six-and-two-thirds innings. Powers, a day after earning his first career save, blew one in game one, but pitched effectively other than the home run as he gave up just the one run and one hit over two innings, while striking out four and walking none. Sophomore Jake Walkinshaw (Seymour, Conn.) earned his first win of the season with one-and-a-third perfect innings, striking out a pair.
Helms went 2-for-3 with an RBI and a run scored, while Goldstein (two walks, two runs, RBI) and freshman Joshua Zbierski (Stafford Springs, Conn.) finished 2-for-4. Mastroberti was 2-for-5 with an RBI, with Gendron going 1-for-3 with two walks, an RBI and a run scored.
In game two, the Penmen went ahead with a three-run third that was jump-started with a leadoff home run from sophomore Taylor Olmstead (Greenwich, Conn.). An RBI single to left-center by Mastroberti scored Cruz, who had tripled to right-center, before a Gendron sac fly to center plated Mastroberti to make it 3-0.
SNHU opened the lead to 7-0 with a four-spot in the fourth that was highlighted by an RBI single from Mastroberti and a two-run double to center by junior Derek Bauer (Millis, Mass.).
The Penmen then erupted for seven in the fifth. Goldstein's run-scoring single through the left side opened the scoring before freshman Christian Aybar (Cranston, R.I.) dropped a two-run single into center to make it an even 10-0. Another two-run double for Bauer and a two-run tater to center by Gendron ballooned the lead to 14-0.
Southern New Hampshire was not finished however, as Mastroberti's two-run double to right underscored a three-run sixth that pushed the advantage to 17-0.
Coggeshall's RBI single put the Greyhounds on the board in the eighth, but SNHU answered as triples from Mastroberti and Webster produced a run. Assumption would scrape two across in the ninth.
Junior Alex Person (Foxboro, Mass.) submitted a fantastic outing that was overshadowed by the offense. Person (6-0, 2.49 ERA) tossed seven shutout innings as he allowed just a single hit, while striking out eight and walking three. Graduate student Lucas Olen (Bedford, N.H.) was charged with one run on two hits in an inning of work, while sophomore Rob Del Signore (Londonderry, N.H.) struck out the only batter he faced. Freshman Mike Pineda-O'Donnell (Pennington, N.J.) relinquished two runs – both unearned – on one hit, while recording his only out via the K. Freshman Cameron Scotia (Dudley, Mass.) pitched a third of an inning, allowing a hit and a walk.
Mastroberti finished the second game 4-for-5 with a walk, four RBI and three runs scored, while Bauer was 2-for-3 with a walk, four RBI and a run scored. Cruz was 3-for-3 with a walk and pair of runs scored. Olmstead went 2-for-2 with two walks, an RBI and four runs scored.
- At 30-3, the Penmen are off to their best start ever. The 2012 squad that advanced to the Division II College World Series was 28-5 through its first 33 games.
- Southern New Hampshire has reached 30 wins for the fifth consecutive season.
- The Penmen have won 16 of their last 17, including 12 straight.
- Southern New Hampshire is outscoring its opponents, 121-31, during its current 12-game winning streak.
- With 11 triples, Mastroberti has matched Chris O'Neil's 2011 record for the best single-season mark in program history.
- Mastroberti currently owns the longest hitting streak on the team at six games, during which he is 13-for-26 (.500) with six extra-base hits, eight RBI and five runs scored.
- The middle-infield tandem of Cruz and Mastroberti put on a defensive clinic for most of the day, with Cruz making a sensational catch in the second inning of game one that landed him as the No. 2 play on ESPN SportsCenter's Top 10.
The Penmen are back in action Sunday, April 17 (6 p.m.) when they play host to Assumption at Northeast Delta Dental Stadium, home of the New Hampshire Fisher Cats, Double-A affiliate of the Toronto Blue Jays.
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