Baseball Earns Split with No. 1 Southern New Hampshire University

Sophomore Isiah Nunez hit his first career homerun today in the opening game win over SNHU.

Skyhawks claim program's first win over a No. 1 nationally ranked team, defeating the Penmen 11-8 in the opener

MANCHESTER, N.H. (April 30, 2016) –  The Stonehill College baseball team earned a split with Southern New Hampshire University, ranked No. 1 in this week's Collegiate Baseball Magazine Division II Coaches' Poll, in Northeast-10 Conference Northeast Division play today at Penmen Field. The Skyhawks rallied from an early four run deficit in the opener to earn the program's first win over a No. 1 nationally ranked opponent, 11-8, before dropping the nightcap 12-2.

Southern New Hampshire came into today's game off to its best start in program history, having won 24 of its last 26 games and earning the number one ranking in the country according to Collegiate Baseball Magazine Division II Coaches' Poll. The contest was the first televised game in Stonehill baseball history and was broadcasted by NESNplus and NESN National.

Sophomore Isiah Nunez (Brooklyn, New York/Berkshire School) had a career day at the plate, reaching base six times on three walks and a hit-by-pitch, while finishing 2-for-4 with his first career homerun, three RBI and three runs scored. Senior Brian Campbell (Franklin, Massachusetts/Mount Saint Charles) worked two walks, while recording a pair of hits and four RBI. Classmate Brian Hocking (Duxbury, Massachusetts/BC High) connected on a mammoth homerun and laced a double to go with two RBI and two runs, while senior Eric Schneider (Camarillo, California/St. Bonaventure) registered a hit and three RBI, including the go-ahead double in the opener.

Junior Jeremy Roberts (Reading, Massachusetts/Malden Catholic) took the mound in game one and picked up his fourth win of the season, pitching 6.2 innings while allowing five runs (three earned) on eight hits to go with five strikeouts. Senior John Hauck (Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania/Penn-Trafford) started game two but was chased after one inning, picking up his first lose after starting the season 4-0.

Junior Carson Helms (Farmington, Connecticut/Farmington/Virginia Tech) paced Southern New Hampshire at the plate, finishing 6-for-10 with a homerun, two doubles, six RBI and three runs. Classmate Manny Cruz (Wolcott, Connecticut/Wolcott) went 5-for-9 with five runs, while graduate student Ryan Gendron (Nashua, New Hampshire/Nashua South/UMass Lowell) hit a homerun and stole two bases.

Senior Tim Viehoff (Derry, New Hampshire/Pinkerton Academy) started game one for Southern New Hampshire and walked a career-high eight batters and allowed five runs to earn his first loss of the season. Junior Alex Person (Foxboro, Massachusetts/Xaverian) improved to 8-0 on the year after pitching seven innings of two run ball to go with eight strikeouts.

Stonehill 11, Southern New Hampshire 8

Senior Brian Campbell drove in four runs today to lead the Skyhawks.
Southern New Hampshire set the tone early in game one, scoring two runs in the first inning and two more in the second to put Stonehill in an early four run deficit. The lead was especially daunting as the Penmen had their ace on the mound in Viehoff, who came into the game ranked first in the conference in wins (8), second in strikeouts (82) and second in ERA (1.65). With the Penmen rolling offensively, Viehoff went to work on the mound, holding the Skyhawks hitless through five innings. Viehoff's no-hitter through five innings was a bit misleading however, as the lefty walked seven batters in the first five innings and struggled with his command.

Stonehill pounced on Viehoff's miscues in the sixth as Hocking led the inning off with a double to center field and advanced to third on a wild pitch. After sophomore Justin Nicklas (Foxboro, Massachusetts/St. Sebastian's) walked, Nunez connected on his first career homerun to left center field to plate three runs. After the dust settled from the celebration, senior Chris Hoyt (Walpole, Massachusetts/Xaverian Brothers) singled to left center and junior Steve Lee (Braintree, Massachusetts/Braintree) was hit by a pitch to put two runners on base with two outs. Schneider then stepped to the plate and delivered the go-ahead two run double to left center field to put the Skyhawks ahead for good.

After Roberts put Southern New Hampshire down in order in the bottom of the sixth inning, Stonehill added three runs to its tally in the seventh. Hoyt drew a bases loaded walk to force in a run and Campbell hit a bases loaded single to right field, scoring Nunez and Nicklas.

Southern New Hampshire used a hit, a walk and an error to respond with a run in the bottom half of the seventh, but Stonehill scored twice more to cushion its lead in the eighth. Junior Ben Monte (New Haven, Connecticut/Guilford) singled to center field and Hocking drove him home on a monster homerun to left center field to give the senior his 12th homerun of his career.

Senior Mike Krupczak (Springfield, Massachusetts/Cathedral) came on in relief of Roberts in the seventh and recorded the final out of the inning and worked his way through the eighth before coming out for the ninth inning. Krupczak got the first batter to fly out and struck out the next batter to put the Skyhawks just one out away from the historic victory. With two outs, Gendron homered to left field and sophomore Taylor Olmstead (Greenwich, Connecticut/Greenwich/Connecticut) singled to keep the rally alive. Not wanting to take any chances, junior Aubrey Solomon (Groton, Massachusetts/Lawrence Academy) came on in a non-save situation and closed the door on the Penmen, giving the Skyhawks the first win of the doubleheader.

Southern New Hampshire 12, Stonehill 2

Game two started much like the opener, with Southern New Hampshire jumping out to an early 5-0 lead and Stonehill battling back.

Down five runs, Stonehill got to work in the top of the third. Sophomore Alexander Joyce (Newton, Massachusetts/Newton North) worked a one out walk and advanced to second on a wild pitch. After Nunez walked, Hoyt singled to the shortstop to load the bases with one out. Campbell proved to be clutch once again, as the senior singled to right field, driving in Nunez and Joyce to cut the deficit to three.

That's as close as Stonehill would come, as Southern New Hampshire scored five runs over the next two innings and capped the scoring in the game when Helms crushed his seventh homerun of the season in the sixth inning.

Stonehill (24-15, 12-8 NE-10) and Southern New Hampshire (39-5, 24-3 NE-10) will return to Penmen field tomorrow for a single contest starting at 10:30 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.