Skyhawks advance to NE-10 Tournament for third-straight season
|Senior Bryan Galligan pitched seven
shutout innings for Stonehill.
EASTON, Mass. (May 6, 2012) – Stonehill College, ranked sixth overall in the latest NCBWA East Regional Poll, posted a 3-0 victory over Merrimack College in its final regular season game on Sunday afternoon at Lou Gorman Field in Northeast-10 Conference (NE-10) Northeast Division action.
The Skyhawks entered the week needing to win its four remaining games left on the schedule to advance to the NE-10 Tournament and they did just that. On Wednesday, Stonehill claimed a 10-6 win on the road against UMass Lowell and swept Merrimack College in a three-game weekend set taking a pair of games yesterday at Lou Gorman Field, 7-2 and 1-0, while also winning today.
Stonehill (30-18, 18-11 NE-10, 13-8 Northeast Division) will take on Franklin Pierce University (33-15-1, 20-7-1 NE-10, 14-6-1 Northeast Division) on Tuesday, May 8 in Rindge, N.H. at Dr. Arthur and Martha Pappas Field in a single elimination NE-10 Tournament First Round matchup at 4 p.m.
Senior Bryan Galligan (Brockton, Mass./Brockton) bumped his record to 4-4 overall pitching seven shutout innings, yielding seven hits, one walk and three strikeouts. Freshman Armand Rugel (Middletown, R.I./Middletown) notched his team-leading third save of the season on two innings pitched, two hits, one walk and one strikeout.
Junior Joe Mantoni (Northbridge, Mass./Hopedale) suffered the loss in six-plus innings of work, four hits, one run (earned), three walks and a game-high nine strikeouts. Classmate Brett Julian (Weymouth, Mass./Weymouth) went one-and-one-thirds innings, allowing two hits, two runs (both earned), one walk and one strikeout. Sophomore Travis Terrill (Hudson, N.H./Alvirne) recorded two outs while fanning one hitter.
|Freshman Dan Pidgeon knocked in the game-winning run in the seventh.|
In the top of the fifth inning, Stonehill used two superb defensive plays to keep the Warriors off of the scoreboard and keep the game scoreless at 0-0. Senior left fielder Michael White (Lisbon, N.H./Lisbon Regional) robbed senior Paul Arce (West Hartford, Conn./Hamden Hall Country Day) off an extra base hit and a possible RBI with a fully outstretched, diving catch in the left center gap for the second out of the inning. Freshman shortstop Casey Cotter (Northampton, N.H./Dean CC) followed with a double down the right field line but sophomore outfielder Billy Karalis (Pawtucket, R.I./Bishop Feehan) one-hopped his relay throw to senior first baseman Steven Popp (Unionville, Conn./Farmington) who corralled the baseball and delivered a strike at home to sophomore catcher Colin Shepard (Boxford, Mass./Masconomet) tagging out Joe Burnham (Woburn, Mass./Woburn) to end Merrimack's scoring threat.
In the bottom of the seventh, freshman third baseman Dan Pidgeon (Darien, Conn./Darien) provided the game-winning RBI for Stonehill with a single through the left side for a 1-0 lead. Popp jump started the Skyhawks offense with a leadoff single through the left side, advanced to second base on an opposite field single to left off the bat of senior Michael Magnussen (Carver, Mass./Coyle & Cassidy) and moved to third on a fly out to right field from Shepard before scoring.
Stonehill tacked on two more runs in the eighth as Popp launched a triple to left field plating sophomore second baseman Dan Fratus (Plymouth, Mass./Plymouth North) and Karalis.
Popp turned in a defensive gem of his own in the ninth snaring a line drive destined for right field off the bat of Mark O'Flynn (Ipswich, Mass./Ipswich) at first base to record a double play as sophomore Eddie Newton (North Billerica, Mass./Arlington Catholic) advanced to far off of the bag. Newton led off the inning with a single to left field.
Dionys Quezada (Lawrence, Mass./Lawrence) followed with an infield single to short and Alan Pastyrnak (Bristol, Conn./Bristol Eastern) drew a walk to put the tying run at the plate but Rugel fanned pinch-hitter Rob Crocitto (Staten Island, N.Y./St. Joseph by the Sea) with a breaking pitch to push Stonehill into the NE-10 Tournament.
Merrimack's season ends at 17-32 overall, 8-21 in NE-10 play and 4-17 in the Northeast Division.
|Postgame Interview With Head Coach Patrick Boen|