NE-10 First Round Preview: #3 Stonehill And #2 SNHU To Meet For The Fifth Time This Season

Senior Armand Rugel (6-0, 2.08 ERA) will get the start for Stonehill in tomorrow night's NE-10 Tournament first round matchup at SNHU.

First pitch scheduled for 6 p.m. at Penmen Field in Manchester, N.H.

EASTON, Mass. (May 4, 2015) – Third-seeded Stonehill College and second-seeded Southern New Hampshire University will meet for the fifth time this season in the first round of the 2015 Northeast-10 Conference Baseball Tournament tomorrow night at 6 p.m. at Penmen Field in Manchester, New Hampshire.

Admission for tomorrow night's first round matchup will be $6 for adults, $4 for children and senior citizens and $1 for students with a valid ID from a participating school. Live stats will be available via

Stonehill (30-11-1, 15-6 NE-10), ranked third in the latest NCAA East Regional Rankings, is making its 16th appearance all-time in the NE-10 Tournament. The Skyhawks are 21-19 (.525) in 15 trips and have advanced to the championship game on five occasions, winning three titles with the last coming in 2010. Southern New Hampshire (30-11, 16-5 NE-10), ranked No. 18 in the National Collegiate Baseball Writers Association (NCBWA) Division II Poll and No. 2 in the NCAA East Region Rankings, is the defending NE-10 Champion and will be making its third appearance all-time in the conference tournament.

The winner of tomorrow night's contest will advance to the Tournament's double elimination Championship weekend, to be held on the campus of the highest remaining seed from the Southwest Division (excluding Pace University) from Thursday-Saturday.

The NE-10 Northeast Division rivals split four contests this spring, with the Penmen claiming a 4-2, 14-inning victory in Manchester on April 11th and a 6-3 comeback win at Lou Gorman Field last Friday, before the Skyhawks evened the season series with a Senior Day doubleheader sweep on Saturday.

Stonehill's offense, which ranked third in the NE-10 in runs scored (266) and fourth in batting average (.277) during the regular season, is led by junior outfielder and leadoff hitter Chris Hoyt (Walpole, Massachusetts/Walpole). Hoyt is batting a team-best .342 (65-for-190) with seven doubles, 11 walks and 25 RBI to go with 32 stolen bases (2nd in NE-10) and 40 runs scored (T-8th in NE-10). The junior posted a nine-game hitting streak from March 7th-13th and also hit safely in eight consecutive contests from April 12th-22nd.

Senior catcher Eric Schneider (Camarillo, California/Saint Bonaventure) is hitting at a .327 clip with three doubles, nine walks, 19 RBI and 24 runs scored, while junior outfielder Brian Campbell (Franklin, Massachusetts/Mount Saint Charles Academy) checks in at .323 with ten doubles, three home runs, 20 walks, 23 RBI and 41 runs (7th in NE-10). Senior shortstop Dan Fratus (Plymouth, Massachusetts/Plymouth North) and junior designated hitter Brian Hocking (Duxbury, Massachusetts/BC High) have also been key contributors in the middle of the Skyhawk lineup, as Fratus leads the NE-10 with 20 doubles to go with 29 walks and a team-high 33 RBI, while Hocking has recorded five home runs and 32 RBI.

Senior Armand Rugel (Middletown, Rhode Island/Middletown) will get the ball for Stonehill tomorrow night for his eighth start of the season. The right-hander is 6-0 with a 2.08 earned run average and 42 strikeouts in 56.1 innings this spring.

Junior Brian Campbell is hitting .323 with ten doubles, three home runs and 23 RBI this season.

Southern New Hampshire, which had the third-highest team batting average (.289) and scored the second-most runs (312) in the NE-10 during the regular season, is led by graduate student outfielder Mike Montville (Portsmouth, New Hampshire/Portsmouth). Montville was the only player in the NE-10 to hit over .400 this spring with his .405 average, and he also tallied ten doubles, six home runs and 35 RBI to go with 31 walks and 35 runs scored.

Sophomore outfielder Carson Helms (Farmington, Connecticut/Farmington) hit .370 with 11 doubles and 28 RBI, while senior Alejandro Diaz (Old Bridge, New Jersey/Old Bridge) and sophomore Zach Goldstein (Merrick, New York/Calhoun) combined to record 20 doubles and drive in 71 runs.

Sophomore Alex Person (Foxboro, Massachusetts/Xaverian) will likely get the start tomorrow night as the Penmen begin their NE-10 Tournament title defense. Person is 7-0 in nine appearances and three starts this season with a 0.61 ERA and 50 strikeouts in 44.0 innings of work, while holding opponents to a .165 batting average.  

Tomorrow night's contest will serve as the second meeting all-time between Stonehill and Southern New Hampshire in the NE-10 Tournament. The Penmen defeated the Skyhawks 6-5 last season during the Championship weekend in Manchester.

2015 NE-10 Tournament First Round

Game 1:
  #4 SW Adelphi at #1 SW Pace (2:00 PM)

Game 2:  #3 SW New Haven at #2 SW American International College (3:30 PM)

Game 3:  #4 NE Merrimack at #1 NE Franklin Pierce (7:00 PM)

Game 4:  #3 NE Stonehill at #2 NE So. New Hampshire (6:00 PM)

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