MANCHESTER, N.H. - The Saint Michael's College baseball team stood tied until the eighth inning of the opener of a doubleheader sweep at the hands of No. 5 Southern New Hampshire University, 6-5 and 6-2, on Friday at Penmen Field. The Purple Knights, who are amid a run of nine games in seven days to end the regular season, are 1-22 overall and 1-20 in the Northeast-10 Conference, while the Penmen improved to 32-7 and 18-2. Their national ranking is according to the National Collegiate Baseball Writers Association (NCBWA).
Sophomore Trevor Allen (Dennis, Mass./Dennis-Yarmouth Regional) batted 3-for-4 with one run, two RBIs, a home run and a double during the opener. Classmate Harry Southworth (Taunton, Mass./Coyle & Cassidy) finished 1-for-3 with a run, a hit by pitch and a stolen base, while sophomores Matt Downing (Hanover, Mass./Archbishop Williams) and Calvin Holland (Hopkinton, Mass./Hopkinton) both picked up a hit and an RBI. Sophomore Denis Cooney (Pittsfield, Mass./Pittsfield) took a no-decision after tossing 5.2 innings, allowing five runs on seven hits. He struck out four and walked four. Junior Steve Knable (Manalapan, N.J./Saint John Vianney) took the loss after yielding the winning run during the 1.2 frames of relief. He fanned two.
Redshirt junior Taylor Olmstead finished 3-for-3 with a run and a walk for the Penmen, junior Caleb Potter was 2-for-4 with a run, two RBIs and a home run, while redshirt sophomore John Stanton hit 2-for-4 with two runs, an RBI and a homer. Graduate student Stephen Fortuna nabbed the win in relief, allowing one hit and no runs over 1.2 innings.
Allen's two-out, two-run homer to center gave the visitors a 2-0 lead in the opening frame before the Penmen plated the next four runs. Potter knocked an RBI single in the first, the Penmen manufactured two runs in the third on a sacrifice fly and a steal of home on a corners steal, and another sac fly made it 4-2 in the fourth.
Holland's RBI single cut the deficit to one in the sixth before Stanton swatted a solo homer in the bottom half in response. The Purple Knights knotted the game in the seventh on sophomore Dan Flynn's (Williamstown, Mass./Mount Greylock Regional) RBI groundout and Downing's two-out RBI single, but Potter led off the eighth with a tie-breaking home run. In the ninth, Allen led off with a single, moved up on sophomore Joe Robertson's (Essex Junction, Vt./Essex) sac bunt and took third on a groundout, but a fly ball to right ended the contest.
First-year Connor Hopkins (Windham, N.H./Windham) matched his career high in hits by going 3-for-4 with a double in the nightcap, and junior PJ Jasak (Palmer, Mass./Wilbraham & Monson Academy/Le Moyne) drove in two runs while notching a hit and a walk. Sophomore Sean Winthrop (Hopkinton, Mass./Lawrence Academy) scored twice, and junior Patrick Martin (Wilton, N.H./Wilton-Lyndeborough Coop/Saint Joseph's [Maine]) took the loss by allowing all six runs, but three earned, in seven frames. He struck out three with no walks.
Redshirt junior Ryan Sullivan was 3-for-3 with two runs, two RBIs, a double and a home run for the hosts, while graduate student Zach Goldstein went 1-for-3 with two runs, two RBIs, two hit by pitches and two steals. Junior Joe DeSarro notched the win after yielding just one unearned run in 7.2 innings, surrendering four hits while striking out 10.
Sullivan's two-run homer in the first inning gave the Penmen the lead for good, and three unearned runs came home in the fourth with two down, as Goldstein's two-run single keyed the frame. Potter tripled in another run to make it 6-0 in the fifth. In the seventh, Winthrop and Hopkins were both in scoring position with no one out, and Jasak's RBI single produced the lone run. Jasak's RBI groundout in the ninth accounted for the final run.
The Purple Knights return home for a three-game weekend series with Stonehill College, starting with a single contest tomorrow at 10 a.m.