No. 14/25 Baseball Falls to No. 22 SNHU, 5-1, on Third Day of NCAA Championship East Regional
Roche hits solo home run in defeat
Roche scored and drove in the lone run for the Ravens on Saturday night with his sixth-inning solo home run.
MANCHESTER, N.H. (May 19, 2012) – Sophomore right-hander Junior Mendez threw a six-hitter on Saturday night to lead No. 22 nationally ranked, top seed and host Southern New Hampshire to a 5-1 win over the No. 14/25 and third-seeded Franklin Pierce University baseball team on the third day of the NCAA Baseball Championship East Regional at Penmen Field. Graduate student center fielder James Roche (Arlington, Mass.) launched a solo home run for Franklin Pierce in defeat.
With the loss, Franklin Pierce falls to 38-18-1 and will face elimination at noon on Sunday against second-seeded Le Moyne (42-14-1). With the win, Southern New Hampshire improves to 41-13 and advances to the championship round of the East Regional at 4 p.m. Sunday. SNHU will face the winner of the Franklin Pierce/Le Moyne contest.
Mendez was the story of the night, as he held the Franklin Pierce offense at bay for the duration. He allowed one run, scattered six hits, walked three, hit a batter and struck out two on the way to his fifth complete game of the season and the win (6-2).
SNHU opened the scoring and got Mendez all he would need with four runs in the top of the third inning. Freshman third baseman Bryan Toland opened the frame with a single through the right side and moved to second when sophomore first baseman Riley Palmer worked a walk. Sophomore center fielder Brendan O'Brien followed with an RBI single to center field to drive home Toland. Senior catcher Kevin Spatkowski dropped down a sacrifice bunt, but reached on an errant throw by sophomore first baseman Zach Mathieu (Derry, N.H.) that loaded the bases. That spelled the end of the day for sophomore right-hander Kevin McGowan (Derry, N.H.), who was relieved by junior left-hander Vladimir Camacho (Jamaica Plain, Mass.). He was greeted by back-to-back RBI singles to left by junior shortstop Matt Boulter and junior designated hander Andy Lalli. On the Boulter single, an error by sophomore left fielder Calvin Graves (Boston, Mass.) allowed a second run to score. After the two singles, Camacho got a double play and picked off a runner who broke for second too early and was caught stealing.
Franklin Pierce got on the board in the bottom of the sixth to cut the lead to 4-1. Roche led off with a solo home run to left-center field, his team-leading 17th of the season, extending his own program record.
SNHU created the 5-1 final with a run in the top of the ninth. With two outs, Spatkowski turned on a ball and pulled a double inside third base and down the left-field line. He moved to third on a wild pitch and scored two batters later on a bloop RBI single into left field by Lalli.
McGowan started on the mound and suffered the loss (6-3) for Franklin Pierce. He was chased from the hill after just two-plus innings, was charged with four runs (three earned) on two hits, walked two and struck out two. Camacho allowed just one run over the final seven innings to keep the Ravens within striking distance. He scattered seven hits, walked five, hit a batter and struck out four.
For more information on Franklin Pierce Athletics, please visit the official website of Franklin Pierce Athletics (http://athletics.franklinpierce.edu). Also be sure to follow the Ravens through the Department of Athletics' official Facebook page (http://www.facebook.com/FranklinPierceRavens), its YouTube channel (http://www.youtube.com/franklinpiercesports) and its Twitter feed (http://twitter.com/FPUathletics).