MANCHESTER, N.H. – For the second time this season, the Saint Anselm College baseball team hung with nationally-ranked Southern New Hampshire University, but the Hawks fell 4-3 to the eighth-ranked Penmen on Friday afternoon at Sullivan Park.
Saint Anselm (7-20, 3-8 NE-10) took an early 1-0 lead only for Southern New Hampshire (28-3, 13-1 NE-10) to take a 4-2 lead in the middle innings. The Hawks mounted a rally in the bottom of the sixth but stranded the tying run 90 feet away, as the Penmen held on for their 10th consecutive win.
The Penmen evened the score at 1-1 in the top of the third with an unearned run off Autrey Gates. Sean Webster singled with one out, advanced to third on an errant pickoff throw and scored on a grounder off the bat of Zach Goldstein.
Carson Helms led off the top of the fourth with a solo home run to center to give SNHU the lead at 2-1. The Hawks responded in the bottom of the frame as Shaine Carpenter plated Paul Trabucco after Trabucco singled, advanced to second on a wild pitch and moved to third on a grounder.
In the top of the sixth, the Penmen took the lead for good, scoring twice on a fielder's choice. With the bases loaded and nobody out, Gates fanned Ryan Gendron but Derek Bauer hit a grounder and beat out a double play to allow two runs to score.
The Hawks again hit right back, cutting their deficit in half in the bottom of the sixth when Bragole doubled in Morrisino with one out after Morrisino singled and stole second. A wild pitch left Bragole at third as the tying run with one out, but Justin Valdespina escaped the jam with a pair of strikeouts.
SNHU threatened to add to its lead in the eighth but Aaron Crandall gunned down a runner at the plate from left field. Crandall was also the lone Saint Anselm hitter with multiple hits, going 2-for-3, while Morrisino was 1-for-3 with a walk, two runs and two stolen bases.
Valdespina picked up his second win against the Hawks this season by allowing three runs on five hits in seven innings while fanning nine. Mitchell Powers earned the save with two perfect innings of relief.
Gates went seven innings, allowing four runs (three earned) on six hits with four walks and two strikeouts for Saint Anselm. Adam Krol allowed one hit in two scoreless innings with one strikeout in relief.
Saint Anselm returns to the diamond on Saturday, April 16 for a doubleheader against Stonehill. First pitch is at noon between the Hawks and Skyhawks.