FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Franklin Pierce exploded for 14 runs, while Southern New Hampshire needed just one during the opening day of the 2017 Northeast-10 Conference Baseball Championship. Here's how Thursday's action played out at New Haven -
#2 NE Franklin Pierce 14, #4 SW Pace 1 | BOXSCORE
WEST HAVEN, Conn. – Franklin Pierce had 10 straight batters reach base without the ball leaving infield, thanks to a combination of walks, hit batters and defensive lapses in their half of the seventh. In all, the Ravens would send 19 men to the plate in the inning and score 13 runs on just five hits to break things open on the way to a 14-1 win on the first day of the NE10 Championship.
With the win, Franklin Pierce - the Northeast Division's second seed - improves to 32-13, while Southwest Division two-seed Pace falls to 29-18. Franklin Pierce advances to play at 12:30 p.m. Friday against Southern New Hampshire, who won game two on Thursday.
Pace will face elimination at 10 a.m. Friday as they'll take on New Haven in a battle of Southwest Division foes.
After the first out, 16 straight batters would reach base before the second out was recorded. Junior center fielder Harrison Smoske poked a ball towards first base. Pace senior first baseman Garrett De Lotto elected to play the ball off to the side, but came up empty, with the ball escaping into right field for an error. After Smoske stole second, senior shortstop Lucas Luopa was hit by a pitch, which spelled the end of the day for the Pace starter, sophomore left-hander Dan Wirchansky.
Pace answered immediately, with a run in the top of the second to tie things up. Junior left fielder Michael Gulino opened the inning with a double the other way into the gap in right-center. He moved to third on a groundout and later scored on a sacrifice fly to left by senior right fielderCory Capaldi.
Junior right-hander John Amendola started on the mound for the Ravens and threw 96 pitches (67 strikes) before departing after seven with a suddenly-gigantic lead. Over seven innings of work, he allowed one run on five hits, did not issue a walk and struck out five on the way to the win (7-3).
For Pace, Wirchansky (4-5) logged 6.1 innings on 118 pitches (68 strikes). He was ultimately charged with three runs (two earned) on three hits, walked four, hit a batter, threw a wild pitch and struck out seven while taking the loss.
#1 NE Southern New Hampshire 1, #2 SW New Haven 0 | BOXSCORE
WEST HAVEN, Conn. - In a game that saw 251 pitches thrown, all it took was one swing on one of those pitches to make the difference as redshirt-junior Ryan Sullivan crushed an eighth-inning solo home run and fifth-ranked Southern New Hampshire opened NE10 Championship Weekend with a 1-0 win against New Haven on Thursday at Frank Vieira Field.
SNHU, the top seed in the Northeast Division, advances to the winner's bracket semifinal where it will meet the Northeast's second seed and in-state rival Franklin Pierce on Friday at 12:30 p.m. The Southwest Division's No. 2 seed, New Haven will play Pace, the fourth seed from the Southwest, in an elimination game at 10 a.m. Friday.
After seven-and-a-half innings of dueling pitchers, Sullivan decided it was time the bats received some of the spotlight. He greeted the new pitcher for New Haven by launching a 1-2 pitch deep to left and out of the spacious park to put the Penmen on top, 1-0.
Graduate student Stephen Fortuna, who came on in relief of lights-out redshirt-junior starter Jake Stearns in the eighth, set down the first two New Haven batters of the ninth before Jack Zagaja extended the game with a single through the right side. Fortuna then came back to get Joe Caico swinging to end it.
Stearns retired the first six batters he saw and faced the minimum through three. New Haven was only was only able to get one base runner past first base against Stearns, who left the man stranded at second in the fourth. The Chargers were able to push another runner to second in the eighth against Fortuna, who recorded two quick outs before allowing back-to-back singles, but wound up leaving a pair in the inning.
Stearns twirled seven shutout innings, allowing just two hits, while striking out three and walking a batter. Fortuna (4-0) tossed a pair of shutout frames, striking out two and not issuing a walk, while allowing three hits.
New Haven's Tim Kennedy matched Stearns, blanking the Penmen for seven innings, relinquishing just four hits, while fanning 12 and walking three.
Tuesday, May 9th– First Round (single elimination)
Game 1: #4 SW Pace 5 #1 SW Southern Connecticut 2
Game 2: #2 SW New Haven 3, #3 SW Le Moyne 0
Game 3: #1 NE Southern New Hampshire 2, #4 NE Bentley 1, Final - 10 Innings
Game 4: #2 NE Franklin Pierce 8, #3 NE Merrimack 0
Thursday, May 11 - Saturday, May 13 - Championship Weekend
Hosted by the University of New Haven
Thursday, May 11th
- Game #5: #2 NE Franklin Pierce 14, #4 SW Pace 1
- Game #6: #1 NE Southern New Hampshire 1, #2 SW New Haven 0
Friday, May 12th
- Game #7: #2 SW New Haven vs. #4 SW Pace - 10:00 AM
- Game #8: #1 NE Southern New Hampshire vs. #2 NE Franklin Pierce - 12:30 PM
- Game #9: Game 7 winner vs. Game 8 loser - 3:00 PM
Saturday, May 13th
- Game #10: Game 9 winner vs. Game 8 winner - 11:00 AM
- Game #11: If necessary, 35 minutes after completion of Game #10
Information for this release provided by the athletic communications staffs at New Haven and Pace
ABOUT THE NE10
The NE10 is an association of 15 diverse institutions serving student-athletes across 24 NCAA Division II sports. Together we build brilliant futures by embracing the journey of every student-athlete.
Each year, 4,500 student-athletes compete in conference championships, making the NE10 the largest DII conference in the country in terms of sport sponsorship. Leading the way in the classroom, on the field and within the community, the NE10 is proud of its comprehensive program and the experience it provides student-athletes.