NE-10 TOURNAMENT: Comeback Falls Short As #3 Stonehill Drops 6-5 Contest To #1 Southern New Hampshire

Senior Billy Karalis paced Stonehill's offense with three doubles, but the Skyhawks fell to Southern New Hampshire, 6-5.

Skyhawks will take on Adelphi later this evening in an elimination contest

MANCHESTER, N.H. (May 10, 2014) – Third-seeded Stonehill College recorded 14 hits, but the Skyhawks were unable to come back from two separate three-run deficits in a 6-5 loss to top-seeded Southern New Hampshire University this afternoon in the double elimination round of the Northeast-10 Conference Championship at Penmen Field. Stonehill will take on Adelphi University later this evening in an elimination game.

Senior outfielder Billy Karalis (Pawtucket, Rhode Island/Bishop Feehan) led Stonehill at the plate with three doubles, while sophomores Chris Hoyt (Walpole, Massachusetts/Xaverian Brothers) and Brian Campbell (Franklin, Massachusetts/Mount Saint Charles) and junior Christian Baglini (Milford, Connecticut/Notre Dame) had two hits apiece.

Freshman Jeremy Roberts (Reading, Massachusetts/Malden Catholic) took the loss for the Skyhawks after giving up four runs (three earned) on nine hits in 4.2 innings.

Freshman shortstop Manny Cruz (Wolcott, Connecticut/Wolcott) paced the Southern New Hampshire offense, as he went 3-for-4 with two RBI, while senior outfielder Anthony Aceto (North Providence, Rhode Island/North Providence) was 3-for-3 with two runs and two RBI.

Freshman Alex Person (Foxboro, Massachusetts/Xaverian) picked up the win for the Penmen after pitching 2.2 frames of relief and giving up two runs on five hits.

Karalis got the top of the first started with a double to right field, and two batters later, Campbell, who led the NE-10 with 14 doubles in the regular season, drove him in with an opposite field two-bagger that bounced off the left field fence.

Southern New Hampshire came right back to tie the score in the bottom of the first. After the leadoff batter flied out, Cruz and senior Al Stanton (Sandwich, Massachusetts/Sandwich) recorded consecutive singles. Senior Riley Palmer (Goffstown, New Hampshire/Goffstown) struck out for the second out of the inning, but junior Mike Mastroberti (Ramsey, New Jersey/Saint Joseph Regional) followed with the Penmen's third single of the inning, an infield hit to shortstop. Senior Dan Fratus (Plymouth, Massachusetts/Plymouth North) knocked the ball down, but his throw to first in an attempt to retire Mastroberti sailed over the first baseman's head, allowing Cruz to score.

Freshman third baseman Steve Lee (Braintree, Massachusetts/Braintree) walked with two outs in the second and tried to score as sophomore Brian Hocking (Duxbury, Massachusetts/BC High) doubled off the left center field fence, but he was thrown out at the plate to keep the score tied.

Sophomore Brian Campbell went 2-for-5 with two RBI today.

The Penmen then plated a pair of runs in the bottom of the second to take a 3-1 lead. Junior Tyler Fortanascio (Oradell, New Jersey/Saint Joseph Regional) led off with a single to left field, and after a fly out Aceto doubled down the left field line, putting both runners in scoring position. Roberts got the next batter to pop out to third base for the second out of the inning, before Cruz drove in both runners with a towering double that hit off the top of the center field fence.

Southern New Hampshire added another run in the third on junior Alejandro Diaz's (Old Bridge, New Jersey/Old Bridge) first homer of the season, and the Penmen maintained their three-run advantage until the top of the fifth.

Stonehill loaded the bases in the fifth on singles by Hoyt, Baglini, and junior Eric Schneider (Camarillo, California/St. Bonaventure), before Fratus drew a walk to plate a run. Senior Anthony Pagano (Cranston, Rhode Island/Cranston West) came up with the bases still loaded, and a wild pitch allowed Baglini to score and Schneider and Fratus to move into scoring position. Pagano walked to re-load the bases, and Lee grounded out to end the threat, but Stonehill had pulled to within one run at 4-3.

The Skyhawks nearly tied the contest the following inning, but stranded runners on the corners. Karalis recorded his second double of the afternoon with one out, and two batters later Campbell singled through the right side to put runners on first and third. Baglini came up with a chance to tie the game with a hit, but he struck out looking to end the inning.

Southern New Hampshire took its second three-run lead of the contest in the bottom of the sixth, as Aceto belted a two-run homer to left field.

Stonehill continued to fight back, however, as Karalis led off the eighth with his third double of the contest. Hoyt followed with another double, scoring Karalis, before taking third on an error. Campbell brought the Skyhawks back to within a run with an RBI groundout, but Fratus lined out two batters later to end the inning.

Freshman Ben Criscuolo (Branford, Connecticut/Xavier) retired the side in order in the ninth, as Southern New Hampshire held on for the 6-5 victory.

Stonehill (30-19, 17-10 NE-10) will take on Adelphi (23-22, 14-12 NE-10) later this evening an elimination game. The winner will advance to Sunday's action against Southern New Hampshire (38-12, 20-7 NE-10) but will need to win twice to capture the NE-10 title.

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