MANCHESTER, N.H. – The Saint Anselm College baseball team posted back-to-back losses in Saturday's Northeast-10 Conference doubleheader against nationally-ranked Southern New Hampshire University at Penmen Field.
The Hawks (5-15, 1-4 NE10) dropped the opening game by a narrow 3-1 margin before the Southern New Hampshire (18-6, 4-1 NE10) offense pounded 16 hits in a 13-2 win. The Penmen are ranked seventh in the country by the National Collegiate Baseball Writers Association.
Sophomore Will Conaton (Windham, N.H.) pitched seven strong innings in the first game, striking out seven batters and yielding only two hits but the Hawks relievers combined to allow two earned runs in one inning of relief.
A seven-run bottom of the fourth inning for Southern New Hampshire was the difference-maker for the hosts in the second game. Senior Oscar Larranaga (Tucson, Ariz.) picked up two of his team's five hits in the final game of the Saturday afternoon doubleheader.
Sunday's game against the Penmen will be played at 9 a.m. in a game time that was moved up due to anticipated inclement weather.
Game 1 – No. 7 Southern N.H. 3, Saint Anselm 1 (Box Score)
In the home half of the second inning, Southern New Hampshire scored the day's first run on a balk by Conaton.
Saint Anselm rebounded for a single run in the top of the seventh inning, tying the contest at one. Freshman Jack Dunklee (Wilbraham, Mass.) drove in classmate Enzo Merlonghi (Monroe, Conn.) who led off the inning with a single to third base, advancing to third on a sacrifice attempt and a fielding error by the Penmen pitcher.
The Penmen put the game out of reach in the bottom of the seventh inning as a leadoff walk and a base hit came around to score with one out in the inning. Freshman Alex Kennedy had the big hit in the game for Southern New Hampshire, singling through the right side to drive home the go-ahead runs.
Saint Anselm finished with the edge in hits, seven-to-five, but the Penmen eked out the victory. Jeffrey Praml earned the win for the home team, pitching three hitless innings while striking out four of the nine batters he faced in relief of starter Endy Morales.
Game 2 – No. 7 Southern N.H. 13, Saint Anselm 2 (Box Score)
The Penmen raced out to a 10-0 lead through the first five innings. Saint Anselm saw two runs score in the top of the sixth inning, the first coming home on a groundout by senior Connor Parent (Katy, Texas). The final run crossed the plate thanks to a wild pitch as Dunklee came around to score.
Southern New Hampshire tacked on three more runs during its final two turns up at bat, finishing the game with 16 hits and 11 runs batted in. Kennedy and Dakota Mulcay each had three hits for the hosts.
Chris Murphy pitched for Southern New Hampshire, striking out 11 batters across six innings. Zachary Merchant and Jake Walkinshaw combined for three scoreless innings of relief.
The tandem of freshman David Hunter (Middleton, Mass.) and sophomore Danny Graceffa (Duxbury, Mass.) yielded six earned runs across eight innings. Hunter punched out four batters in the first four innings before making way for Graceffa, who fanned one.