NORTHBORO, Mass. - The Saint Michael's College baseball team was swept by No. 8 Southern New Hampshire University, 6-4 and 11-0 in seven innings, during a non-conference twinbill on Saturday at the New England Baseball Complex. The Purple Knights are 0-4, while the Penmen, whose national ranking is according to Collegiate Baseball, improved to 7-0 while extending their regular-season winning streak to 21 games. Southern New Hampshire qualified for the past six NCAA Tournaments.
Junior Trevor Allen (Dennis, Mass./Dennis-Yarmouth Regional) was 3-for-4 with an RBI and a double for the visitors, tying Nick Nelson '14 for 10th in program history with 20 career two-baggers. Sophomore Connor Hopkins (Windham, N.H./Windham) went 2-for-3 with a run, an RBI and a walk, and first-year Danté Moran (Saint Petersburg, Fla./Dixie Hollins) finished with one hit, one run, an RBI and a stolen base. Junior Drew Farris (Andover, Mass./Saint John's Prep) spun four innings of six-hit, shutout ball, striking out four and walking one, while taking a no-decision. Among three relievers, classmate Christian Devine (Exeter, N.H./Exeter) took the loss after allowing five runs in 1.1 innings.
Sophomore Phoenix Hernandez led four Penmen with multiple hits, going 3-for-5 with two RBIs and two doubles. Junior Matthew Messier allowed one run on four hits over seven innings, striking out 10 and walking two to nab the win, and first-year Jeffrey Praml got five outs from four batters to earn the 1.2-inning save.
Farris left six runners in scoring position during his four shutout frames, and the Purple Knights broke through for the game's first run when Hopkins' one-out single scored first-year Iset Maldonado (Brooklyn, N.Y./Saint Francis Prep) in the fifth inning. Hernandez countered with a tying RBI double in the sixth, and Devine came out of the bullpen and saw the hosts leave the bases loaded. However, they broke the deadlock with five runs in the seventh, including four with two out. Saint Michael's trimmed its deficit with three runs on five hits in the eighth, as Moran, Allen and junior Sean Winthrop (Hopkinton, Mass./Lawrence Academy) came through with RBI singles. Praml ended the threat by inducing an inning-ending double play with runners at first and second before retiring the Purple Knights in order in the ninth.
In the nightcap, Maldonado was 1-for-2 with a double and a walk, and first-year Julien Giroux-Harvey (Montreal, Québec/Collège Jean-de-Brébeuf) walked twice in three plate appearances. Senior Patrick Martin (Wilton, N.H./Wilton-Lyndeborough Coop/Saint Joseph's [Maine]) took the loss after allowing seven runs in 1.1 innings.
Redshirt senior Ryan Sullivan batted 2-for-2 with three runs, three RBIs, a hit-by-pitch and a home run for the Penmen, sophomore Tom Blandini drove in three with a triple, and classmate Jake Coro walked three times. Junior Endy Morales tossed five innings of one-hit, shutout baseball, fanning eight and walking four.
Junior Joe Robertson (Essex Junction, Vt./Essex) walked with two down in the first inning before moving to third on Allen's single, but the next batter tapped out to Morales, and the Penmen scored three runs in the home half. Stanton plated the first run with a single before coming home on Sullivan's two-run homer. Blandini's three-run triple triggered a five-run second, and two more runs came around in the fourth. Saint Michael's loaded the bases with no one out in the fifth, as Giroux-Harvey and Maldonado walked before first-year Anthony Azpeitia (Tampa, Fla./King) was hit by a pitch, but Morales struck out three straight pinch-hitters to end his outing. The Penmen plated a final run in the home half.
The Purple Knights return to action with eight games in Fort Myers, Fla., between March 11 and 15. They take on Wisconsin Lutheran College on the opening day for a 12 p.m. doubleheader.