HAVERHILL, Mass. – Freshman MacNeill Finnegan (Old Saybrook, Conn.) drove in a pair of runs, but the Saint Anselm College baseball team suffered an 8-2 loss against 12th-ranked Southern New Hampshire University on Thursday evening at Trinity Stadium.
The Hawks, who had won three of their last five, drop to 9-14 on the season, including 3-3 in both the Northeast-10 and Northeast Division. The Penmen, who have won nine of the last 12, improve to 19-7, 7-3 NE-10, 4-2 NE-10 NE.
Southern New Hampshire snapped a scoreless tie with a four-run third inning against sophomore starter Tom Hudon (Merrimack, N.H.), despite not collecting a hit in the frame. The Penmen took advantage of a pair of Saint Anselm errors, as well as five walks, including four with the bases loaded, to push the four runs across.
Freshman Joseph Levasseur (Rowley, Mass.) recorded a strikeout to get the Hawks out of the third and leave the bases packed with Penmen, but SNHU would get to him in the fourth. Riley Palmer plated the fifth run with a one-out infield single, while Mike Mastroberti's ground out to shortstop made it 6-0.
Saint Anselm grabbed those two runs back in the bottom of the fourth. Following a strikeout to begin the inning, junior Joe Morin (Salem, N.H.) smoked a single to right and moved up to second when freshman Nick Bragole (Newburyport, Mass.) was hit by a pitch. Senior Matt Wojichowski (Portsmouth, R.I.) then singled to center to load the bases before Finnegan's base hit up the middle brought a pair home to trim the deficit to 6-2. Senior Kyle Grumoli (So. Hadley, Mass.) drew a walk to re-load the bases, but back-to-back strikeouts kept the bases jammed.
The Penmen capitalized on two more Saint Anselm errors in the fifth, scoring a run on the second one before Al Stanton's run-scoring single to right pushed the lead to 8-2.
Hudon (2-2) allowed four runs – none earned – on two hits, while striking out three and uncharacteristically walking five over 2.2 innings. Levasseur worked 1.1 innings and gave up two runs on two hits to go along with a pair of strikeouts and a walk. Freshman Autrey Gates (Pembroke, N.H.) was tagged with two runs – none earned – on a hit in 0.1 inning. Sophomore Terrence Walsh (Milton, Mass.) struck out the only batter he faced, while classmate Seve Llanio (Glen Arm, Md.) tossed 1.1 shutout innings, allowing a hit with a strikeout and a walk. Freshman Christopher Bunero (Budd Lake, N.J.) was impressive out of the bullpen as he threw 3.0 scoreless innings, giving up two hits, while striking out four and walking none.
Finnegan was 1-for-4 with the two RBI. Wojichowski went 2-for-3, while Morin was 1-for-3 with a walk and a run scored.
SNHU starter Derrick Sylvester and reliever Tim Viehoff combined to strike out 22 batters, which is the most in a nine-inning game in NCAA Division II history and the second-most in any game in DII ever. Stonehill College struck out 26 SNHU batters over 18 innings in a 2007 game. The previous Division II nine-inning record of 21 occurred four times, including the most recent in 2002 as Georgia College struck out 21 Piedmont College batters.
The Hawks return to action Saturday, April 5 at Southern Connecticut State University in doubleheader action that begins at noon. Stay up-to-date with the latest news, including game previews and recaps, directly from the Saint Anselm College athletic department by liking us on Facebook and following us on Twitter @STAHawks.