Baseball Tops Merrimack, 8-6

Senior James DeAlto led the Skyhawks with three hits and two RBI (PHOTO BY Richard Orr)

DeAlto's two RBI leads Stonehill past Merrimack

NORTH ANDOVER, Mass. (May 4, 2013) – The Stonehill College baseball team defeated the Merrimack College Warriors, 8-6 in a Northeast-10 Conference matchup Saturday afternoon at the Warrior Diamond in North Andover, Mass.

Senior James DeAlto (Briarcliff Manor, N.Y./Briarcliff) led the way for Stonehill. DeAlto went 3-for-5 with two RBI and a run scored. Freshman Brian Hocking (Duxbury, Mass./BC High) also registered two RBI for Stonehill in the victory.

Senior John Pastyrnak Jr. (Bristol, Conn./Bristol Eastern/Northeastern) paced the Warriors offense, going 1-for-2 with two walks and a RBI. Senior Joe Mantoni (Northbridge, Mass./Hopedale) recorded the only other RBI for Merrimack in the contest.

Junior Zach Soulier (Milford, Conn./Jonathan Law) pitched seven innings, giving up three runs (one earned) on six hits and three walks, while striking out three to earn the victory for the Skyhawks. Sophomore Armand Rugel (Middletown, R.I./Middletown) pitched two-thirds of an inning to earn the save. Rugel held the Warriors hitless and scoreless in the outing.

Sophomore pitcher Junior Vasquez (Lawrence, Mass./Lawrence) yielded five earned runs on six hits and five walks to take the loss for the Warriors. Senior Mike Laracy (Weymouth, Mass./Weymouth) also gave up two earned runs for Merrimack in the loss.

Junior Zach Soulier collected the win in a seven inning effort for the Skyhawks (PHOTO BY Bert Lane)

The Skyhawks got the scoring started with one run in the first inning. With the bases loaded and one out, junior Billy Karalis (Pawtucket, R.I./Bishop Feehan) grounded out to the first baseman to drive in Brian Campbell (Franklin, Mass./Mount Saint Charles) for the first run of the game.

Stonehill added a run in the top of the fourth to extend its lead to 2-0. After DeAlto walked and stole second base, Campbell roped a single to right field to score DeAlto and make it 2-0 Stonehill.

The Skyhawks extended their lead to 5-0 with three runs in the fifth inning. Hocking stepped to the plate with the bases loaded and laced a two-run single down the left field line. Later in the inning Christian Baglini (Milford, Conn./Notre Dame High) drove in Karalis when he successfully completed a suicide squeeze, making it 5-0 Skyhawks.

The Warriors fought back with two runs in the bottom of the sixth to cut the lead to 5-2. With a runner on third, Pastyrnak hit a sacrifice fly to right field to drive in the first run of the game for the Warriors. Two batters later, freshman Mike Forgione (North Branford, Conn./North Branford) scored on an error by the catcher to cut Stonehill's lead to three.

The Skyhawks responded with two runs in the seventh to regain a five-run lead. With a runner on third base and one out, sophomore Eric Schneider (Camarillo, Calif./St. Bonaventure) hit a RBI-single up the middle to make it 6-2. The next batter, DeAlto, drove in Schneider when he singled to right field, making it 7-2. DeAlto added a RBI-single to right center field in the ninth inning to make it 8-3 Stonehill.

The Warriors launched a comeback bid in the ninth, trailing by five. With runners on second and third and one out, Mantoni hit a RBI-single to left field to cut the lead to four. After the Warriors scored their fifth run on a balk by the pitcher, they got another when Mantoni scored on an error by the center fielder. That was as close as Merrimack got, as Rugel came in and closed it out for the Skyhawks.

Stonehill (23-21, 9-11 NE-10) and Merrimack (25-17, 11-9 NE-10) return to action tomorrow afternoon at 3:30 pm for the regular season finale.

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