Embrace The Championship: Cary - Here We Come! SNHU Wins East Regional Title

Embrace The Championship: Cary - Here We Come! SNHU Wins East Regional Title



Penmen Post Perfect 4-0 Weekend to Win East Regional Crown

PLEASANTVILLE, N.Y. - Graduate student Shane McDonald fired a one-hit, complete-game shutout, striking out a career-high 15, to lead fourth-seeded Southern New Hampshire to a 6-0 whitewash of second-seeded and 17th-ranked St. Thomas Aquinas on Monday at Pace University's Finnerty Field, as the Penmen captured their second NCAA East Regional Championship and completed the regional a perfect 4-0.

Southern New Hampshire secured the program's second College World Series berth and first since 2012 with the victory, as it avenges last season's regional final loss to St. Thomas Aquinas. The Penmen will now await their seeding and first matchup at the CWS, which begins Saturday, May 26.

SNHU grabbed a 1-0 lead in the bottom of the second when redshirt-senior Ryan Sullivan doubled to the gap in right-center, moved to third on a groundout to the right side from freshman Sam Henrie and scored when freshman Idelson Taveras legged out what was scored a two-out error by the STAC second baseman.

The Penmen expanded the lead in the third, as sophomore Tom Blandini laced a double into the right field corner before graduate student Thomas Buonopane smacked a two-run homer to left-center and raced around the bases pumping his fist to make it 3-0. McDonald cruised through four no-hit innings before a double from Anthony Maisano broke up the bid in the fifth. McDonald would strike out the side, however, to get out of the tough spot.

Southern New Hampshire nudged its lead to 4-0 in the sixth when Henrie led off the frame with a double to left-center, before redshirt-sophomore Joshua Goldstein delivered a single to center to plate him. The Penmen looked to add another run when Blandini ripped a base hit to right, but a good throw from Giovanni Dingcong and an out-of-position home plate umpire combined to call Goldstein out, despite sliding in ahead of the tag.

The Penmen widened the gap in the seventh, when singles from Buonopane and senior Caleb Potter, followed by a walk to freshman Dakota Mulcay, loaded the bases with no outs. Sullivan followed with a ground-rule double to left that caromed off the foul pole and out of play to make it 6-0.

McDonald retired nine of the last 10 after that to end it. The graduate student (7-2) allowed just one hit over nine innings, fanning 15 and walking just two, as he reached career highs with the Penmen in strikeouts and innings pitched. Buonopane (two RBI, two runs), Sullivan (two RBI, run) and Potter (run) all went 2-for-5, while Blandini finished 2-for-4 with a walk and a run scored. Goldstein was 1-for-3 with a walk and an RBI, with Henrie going 1-for-4 with a walk and a run.

- Information for this release provided by the athletic communications staff at SNHU

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