Purple Knights split doubleheader with regionally-ranked Stonehill

COLCHESTER, Vt. - The Saint Michael's College baseball team split a Northeast-10 Conference Northeast Division doubleheader with regionally-ranked Stonehill College, winning the first game, 9-1, before dropping game two, 6-3, on Sunday at Doc Jacobs Field. The Purple Knights, who recorded their first win over Stonehill since April 22, 2008, move to 9-19 overall and 2-8 in the division, while the Skyhawks, who are ranked fifth in the most recent New England Intercollegiate Baseball Association (NEIBA) poll, go to 19-13-1 and 5-3-1.

Sophomore Danny Caddigan (Clarksville, Md./River Hill/Mary Washington) went 2-for-2 with a triple, an RBI, two runs and two steals for Saint Michael's in the opener, while classmate George Buteau (Burlington, Vt./Trinity-Pawling School) was 3-for-5 with a double and an RBI. Senior Jacob Begnoche (Essex Junction, Vt./Essex) hit a double and drove in a pair, and junior Jason Moore (Avon, Conn./Northwest Catholic) picked up two hits, an RBI and a stolen base. Junior David Valley (Essex, Vt./Essex/Keene State) and sophomore Nicky Elderton (Shelburne, Vt./Rice Memorial) each went 2-for-4 with an RBI, while first-year Matt Feeney (Portsmouth, N.H./Portsmouth) hit 2-for-4. Senior Andrew Kelley (Lincoln, N.H./Lin-Wood) tossed seven-plus innings, striking out seven and allowing just one earned run before sophomore Barry Maily (Moosup, Conn./Plainfield) gave up one hit in the final two frames.

First-year Chris Hoyt (Walpole, Mass./Xaverian Brothers) had two hits and a run for Stonehill, while junior Billy Karalis (Pawtucket, R.I./Bishop Feehan) was 1-for-2 with an RBI. Junior Zach Soulier (Milford, Conn./Jonathan Law) took the loss.

After Stonehill took a 1-0 lead in the first inning, the Purple Knights tied the contest in the fourth when Begnoche hit a double to knock in Elderton. The hosts struck for three more runs in the fifth, as Caddigan, Moore and sophomore Don McGuirl (Warwick, R.I./Saint Sebastian's School) all scored. Saint Michael's tacked on four runs in the seventh inning, with Buteau, Moore and Valley all notching RBIs. One more run came in the eighth when Begnoche plated McGuirl.

In game two, Feeney hit 2-for-4 and scored, Buteau was 2-for-4, and McGuirl and Valley each had a hit and an RBI. Elderton drove in a run, while first-year Curt Echo (Shelburne, Vt./Champlain Valley Union) took the setback as the first of three Saint Michael's pitchers.

Hoyt was 3-for-5 with an RBI and two runs, senior James DeAlto (Briarcliff Manor, N.Y./Briarcliff) went 3-for-4 with an RBI and two runs, and junior Dan Fratus (Plymouth, Mass./Plymouth North) batted 2-for-4 with a pair of RBIs. Sophomore Neal Horan (Mashpee, Mass./Boston College HS) struck out eight batters over 8.1 innings to notch the win, while classmate Steve Pike (Stoughton, Mass./Catholic Memorial) earned the save.

The Skyhawks scored once in the first inning before adding three more runs in the third. McGuirl and Valley picked up RBIs in the bottom of the third to cut the Purple Knights' deficit to two. Stonehill scored runs in the sixth and eighth frames, and Elderton hit a sac fly that scored Feeney in the bottom of the inning. The hosts couldn't strike for any more runs for the remainder of the game.

Saint Michael's is back on the field on Tuesday when it hosts nationally-ranked Southern New Hampshire University at 3:30 p.m.