Stonehill Splits Sunday Doubleheader With American International

Senior shortstop Dan Fratus went 3-for-4 with a home run, two walks, and three RBI today as Stonehill split a doubleheader with AIC in Florida.

Skyhawks drop opener, 4-2, before rebounding with 12-9 victory in game two

FORT LAUDERDALE, Fla. (March 8, 2015) – The Stonehill College baseball team continued its 12-game spring break trip today, splitting a non-conference doubleheader of seven-inning contests with American International College on the campus of Nova Southeastern University in Fort Lauderdale, Florida. Stonehill dropped the opener, 4-2, before rebounding to earn a 12-9 triumph in game two.

Senior shortstop Dan Fratus (Plymouth, Massachusetts/Plymouth North) led the Skyhawks at the plate, going 3-for-4 over the twinbill with a home run, three RBI, two walks, and three runs scored. Junior Chris Hoyt (Walpole, Massachusetts/Xaverian Brothers) went 3-for-7 with a double, two walks, and two runs, while sophomore Ben Monte (New Haven, Connecticut/Guilford) turned in a 2-for-5 effort with a double, two walks, and a run. Classmate Steve Lee (Braintree, Massachusetts/Braintree) and junior Brian Campbell (Franklin, Massachusetts/Mount Saint Charles) chipped in with two hits each and combined to score five runs.

Senior outfielder David Kerlejza (Unionville, Connecticut/Farmington) paced the Yellow Jackets offensively, as he went 4-for-6 at the dish with a walk, a double, a home run, two RBI and two runs. Graduate student Dave Clark (West Springfield, Massachusetts/West Springfield) and junior Eddie Ritch (Dobbs Ferry, New York/Dobbs Ferry) recorded two hits and one RBI each, while Clark also stole a base and scored three runs.

American International 4, Stonehill 2

Both teams received strong contributions in the opener from their starters, as Stonehill righthander Neal Horan (Mashpee, Massachusetts/BC High) struck out five and gave up two earned runs over five frames, while junior Colin Sledzik (Higganum, Connecticut/Haddam-Killingworth) picked up the win for American International with 6.2 innings of two-run ball.

Fratus keyed a Stonehill offense that recorded six hits with a 2-for-3 effort, including a two-run homer. American International was able to score four runs despite totaling just five hits, while only one Yellow Jacket reached base twice and none had more than one hit.

AIC took a 1-0 lead in the first inning on an RBI double by junior third baseman Tyler Geffert (Hopedale, Massachusetts/Mount Saint Charles), before scoring again in the second on a wild pitch.

Fratus tied the score at two in the top of the fourth with a two-run shot to left field, his first homer of the season, but the Yellow Jackets regained a one-run lead in the bottom of the fifth on an RBI single by freshman Alex Lafayette (Ludlow, Massachusetts/Ludlow).

AIC added an insurance run the next inning on a Stonehill throwing error, and the Skyhawks were unable to capitalize on a bases loaded situation in their final at-bat, as junior reliever Derek Azzopardi (Redwood City, California/Woodside) came on to record the final out for the Yellow Jackets.

Junior Chris Hoyt went 3-for-7 with a double, two walks, and two runs today.

Stonehill 12, American International 9

Stonehill posted two separate five-run innings to erase a five-run deficit and secure a 12-9 victory in game two. Hoyt and Monte led the way for the Skyhawks at the plate, recording two hits each out of the top two spots in the batting order, while Fratus scored two runs and drew a pair of walks.

Junior John Hauck (Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania/Penn-Trafford) started on the mound for Stonehill but was chased after just 1.2 innings, as he gave up six runs on five hits and two walks. Sophomore Pat Hurley (Roslindale, Massachusetts/Catholic Memorial) took over for Hauck and earned his first career victory, as he struck out four and gave up just one run on two hits over 3.2 frames of work, while sophomore Aubrey Solomon (Groton, Massachusetts/Lawrence Academy) nailed down his first career save, striking out four batters over the final 1.2 innings.

For the second consecutive game, AIC took a 1-0 lead in the first inning, this time on a wild pitch by Hauck. Stonehill answered with a run in the bottom of the first to tie things up, but AIC exploded for five runs in the second, taking a commanding 6-1 lead. Ritch and Clark recorded back-to-back RBI singles, and after a sacrifice fly by Geffert, Kerlejza capped the big inning with a two-run shot.

Two innings later, the Skyhawks posted their first of two five-run frames to tie the score for a second time. Fratus got it started with an RBI single, and Lee followed with a bases loaded walk, before freshman first baseman Joe Klingensmith (Topsfield, Massachusetts/Masconomet) plated two more with a single to right field. Lee would later come around to score on a wild pitch for Stonehill's sixth run of the contest.  

AIC took its final lead of the game in the top of the fifth on an RBI double by sophomore catcher Garrett Demers (Cranston, Rhode Island/Cranston West), but Stonehill exploded for five more runs in the bottom half of the fifth to take control of the game. Monte highlighted the big inning with a two-out, bases clearing double to right center after the Skyhawks had already scored two runs on another bases loaded walk and an RBI groundout. Stonehill added its 12th and final run the next inning on an RBI single by senior Christian Baglini (Milford, Connecticut/Notre Dame High).

Solomon got himself into some trouble in the seventh, putting two runners on base with HBPs and allowing AIC to get back within three runs with a wild pitch, but he struck out the final two batters of the contest to prevent further damage.

Stonehill (8-2, 0-0 NE-10) will be back in action tomorrow with a single game against Nyack College at 11:30 a.m. The Skyhawks defeated Nyack 9-2 on February 21st in Myrtle Beach, South Carolina. American International (1-3, 0-0 NE-10) is set to take on Palm Beach Atlantic University tomorrow night at 6 p.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.