Stonehill Rides Strong Pitching Past Saint Thomas Aquinas, 7-1

Duff earns second win of 2014 with six shutout innings

Junior Christian Baglini went 2-for-3 with a double and two RBI in Stonehill's 7-1 win today.

APOPKA, Fla. (March 8, 2014) – The Stonehill College baseball team returned to action for the first time in two weeks today with a 7-1 win against  two-time defending East Coast Conference champion Saint Thomas Aquinas College in non-conference action at Wekiva High School's Baseball Complex. The game was the first of ten that Stonehill will play in Florida over the next week.

Junior pitcher Jim Duff (Garden City, N.Y./Garden City) posted his second strong outing in as many starts this season, as he shut down Saint Thomas Aquinas over six innings today, allowing no runs and just four hits. Duff also struck out three and walked just one in the second consecutive start in which he has allowed no runs over 6+ innings. In Stonehill's second game of the season, Duff pitched seven shutout innings in an 8-0 win over Caldwell College.

Junior third baseman Christian Baglini (Milford, Conn./Notre Dame) led Stonehill's offense today, as he went 2-for-3 at the plate with a double, a run, a walk and two runs batted in. Seniors Anthony Pagano (Cranston, R.I./Cranston West) and Dan Fratus (Plymouth, Mass./Plymouth North) each went 1-for-3 with one RBI, while sophomore second baseman Chris Hoyt (Walpole, Mass./Xaverian Brothers) recorded one hit, one walk, and scored two runs. Sophomore Brian Campbell (Franklin, Mass./Mount Saint Charles) added a two-run single as well.

Saint Thomas Aquinas junior infielder Stanley Susana (Puerto Plata, Dominican Republic/Cardinal Hayes), the East Coast Conference preseason Player of the Year, opened his season with a 3-for-5 performance at the plate, including two singles, a double, and one RBI. Seniors Kenny Kirshner (Cornwall-on-Hudson, N.Y./Cornwall Central) and C.J. Ferriggi (Bellmore, N.Y./Kellenberg Memorial), and junior Rich Baerga (Pomona, N.Y./Pendleton) added a hit apiece for the Spartans.

Junior Jim Duff picked up his second win of the season after going six shutout innings with three strikeouts.

Sophomore Robert Naughton (Levittown, N.Y./Chaminade) and freshman John Bednarek (Cinnaminson, N.J./Cinnaminson) each pitched four innings for Saint Thomas Aquinas, with Naughton taking the loss. Bednarek entered the contest in the fifth inning and gave up five runs on four hits, after Naughton had allowed two runs on two hits and walked four.

Stonehill was able to stake Duff to an early 1-0 lead, as the Skyhawks got on the board in the bottom of the first inning. Hoyt advanced to third on a wild pitch after singling with one out in the inning, and two batters later Baglini doubled home the game's first run.

Stonehill added another run in the third inning, as Pagano was hit by a pitch after Naughton walked the bases loaded. Duff worked out of several jams, including a bases loaded situation in the sixth, to keep the Spartans scoreless.

In the bottom half of the sixth, Pagano led off with a single, and Fratus followed with another single. After freshman Steve Lee (Braintree, Mass./Braintree) pinch hit and reached base after being hit by a pitch, Pagano scored Stonehill's third run on a wild pitch. Campbell tacked on two more with his single later in the inning, and Stonehill led 5-0 after six. The Skyhawks would score two more times in the bottom of the seventh after Saint Thomas Aquinas broke through with its first run of the game in the top half of the inning.

Sophomore Mike Krupczak (Springfield, Mass./Cathedral) and freshman Aubrey Solomon (Groton, Mass./Lawrence Academy) pitched the final 2.1 innings for Stonehill without allowing a hit.

Stonehill (4-2, 0-0 Northeast-10) will be back in action tomorrow afternoon with a pair of contests against the University of Bridgeport at Alfond Stadium on the campus of Rollins College in Winter Park, Florida. The first game is slated for a 2 p.m. start. Saint Thomas Aquinas (0-1, 0-0 ECC) will take on NE-10 foe Bentley University tomorrow at 11:00 a.m.

For the latest on Stonehill Athletics, follow the Skyhawks via social media on Twitter and Facebook. Fans can also download the Stonehill Skyhawks mobile app on iTunes and the Android Market.

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