Stonehill Sweeps Bridgeport, 6-0 and 6-5

Junior Billy Karalis went 2-for-2 with three RBIs to lead the Skyhawks in game one (PHOTO BY Bert Lane)

WINTER PARK, Fla. (March 15, 2013) – The Stonehill College baseball team defeated the Bridgeport Purple Knights in a pair of games Friday afternoon on the campus of Rollins College in Winter Park, Fla.

Stonehill 6, Bridgeport 0

Karalis' three RBIs help Stonehill cruise past Bridgeport in game one.

Junior Billy Karalis (Pawtucket, R.I./Bishop Feehan) went 2-for-2 with three RBIs to lead the Skyhawks. Karalis posted a single, a double, and two walks in game one. Senior Michael Zeiner (Simsbury, Conn./Simsbury) and junior Dan Fratus (Plymouth, Mass./Plymouth North) also chipped in with RBIs. Zeiner went 1-for-4 with a two-RBI single and Fratus had two hits, including an RBI double.

Sophomore Jim Duff (Garden City, N.Y./Garden City) collected the win for Stonehill in a complete-game shutout. Duff struck out six batters and gave up just three hits during game one. The sophomore faced 29 of a possible 27 batters in the game, throwing just 77 pitches in the outing.

Junior pitcher Mike Nowak (Latham, N.Y./Schenectady County) was charged with the loss of the Purple Knights. Nowak pitched six innings, giving up four earned runs on four hits and three walks, while striking out seven. Ryan Garcia (Franklin Square, N.Y./Valley Stream North) and Nick Zieniuk (Margate, N.J./Holy Spirit) each pitched a scoreless inning of relief for Bridgeport.

Stonehill jumped out to a 2-0 lead in the third inning. After Chris Callahan (Southington, Conn./Holy Cross High) walked and Chris Hoyt (Walpole, Mass./Xaverian Brothers) reached on a fielder's choice, James DeAlto (Briarcliff Manor, N.Y./Briarcliff) sacrificed them to second and third with a bunt. Karalis brought in the pair with an RBI single down the left field line to give the Skyhawks a two-run lead.

Stonehill padded its lead in the fifth inning. Hoyt reached base when he was hit by a pitch, leading to Karalis' RBI double to make it 3-0. Fratus followed suit when he cracked an RBI double of his own to give the Skyhawks a 4-0 lead.

Zeiner would put Stonehill up 6-0 in the seventh. DeAlto, Karalis and Fratus walked to load the bases for Zeiner who roped a two-RBI single up the middle to give the Skyhawks a six-run advantage. Duff shut the Purple Knights down the rest of the way, letting just one runner reach base after the third inning.

Stonehill 6, Bridgeport 5

DeAlto singles home the winning run as Stonehill walks-off to take game two.

Sophomore Jim Duff pitched a complete-game shutout, facing 29 of 27 possible batters in Stonehill's game one victory (PHOTO BY Bert Lane)

DeAlto went 3-for-4 with an RBI and two runs scored to pace the Skyhawks. The senior outfielder knocked in the game-winning run with an RBI single in the bottom of the seventh to seal the victory for Stonehill. Karalis went 1-for-1 with an RBI single and three walks, while junior Anthony Pagano (Cranston, R.I./Cranston West) added a triple and an RBI of his own.

Junior Armand Rugel (Middletown, R.I./Middletown) pitched two innings of relief to earn the victory for Stonehill. Rugel gave up four hits and one unearned run, striking out three Purple Knights on the way to his third victory of the season. Zach Soulier (Milford, Conn./Jonathan Law) earned the start and collected a no-decision for the Skyhawks.

Senior Mike Olszyk (Hamden, Conn/Sacre Heart) was tagged with the loss for Bridgeport. Olszyk gave up two earned runs on three hits in 1.1 innings of relief. Manning got the start for the Purple Knights, giving up two earned runs on one hit and seven walks, while striking out three.

Senior James DeAlto hit a walk-off single to give Stonehill a 6-5 victory in game two (PHOTO BY Richard Orr)

Bridgeport took the lead in the third inning. With runners on first and third, Brock Roggie (Lowville, N.Y./Jefferson) singled through the left side to open a 1-0 lead for the Purple Knights. Two batters later Ross Graham (Kingston, Ontario, Canada/Monroe) reached on an error to score another for Bridgeport. Olszyk added the third run of the inning when he singled home Roggie.

Stonehill responded in the bottom of the inning with two runs of its own. DeAlto, Karalis, and Fratus posted back-to-back-to-back walks to load the bases for Eric Schneider (Camarillo, Calif./St. Bonaventure). Schneier recorded an RBI walk to make it 3-1. Three batters later, Pagano walked home Karalis to cut the Bridgeport lead to one run.

The Skyhawks grabbed the lead in the bottom of the fourth. After DeAlto doubled down the left field line, Karalis tied the game with an RBI single. With Karalis scored on a wild pitch later in the inning to give the Skyhawks its first lead of the game.

After Bridgeport took the lead in the fifth on a sacrifice fly from Tim Bickford (Wallingford, Conn./Monmouth), the Purple Knights took the lead when Anthony Ciuffo (Stamford, Conn./Trinity Catholic) scored on a throwing error by the catcher.

The Skyhawks rallied in the seventh to get two runs and earn the victory. With one out in the inning, Pagano roped a triple to right field. Two batters later Hoyt knotted the game at three when he drove in Pagano with an RBI single. After Hoyt stole second base to put himself in scoring position, DeAlto ended it with an RBI single.

Stonehill (11-5, 0-0 NE-10) returns to action tomorrow afternoon at 2:30 pm for a matchup with non-conference foe Pace University. Next up for Bridgeport (3-7, 0-0 ECC) is a meeting Southern Connecticut State University Wednesday, March 20.

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