NCAA TOURNAMENT: #2 Stonehill Opens East Regional With 5-2 Win Over #5 Dowling

Freshman righthander Michael Young set the tone for the Skyhawks on the mound again with 7.1 strong innings against Dowling. (PHOTO BY Mike Tureski/SportsPix)

Skyhawks match program record with 34th victory

RINDGE, N.H. (May 14, 2015) – Making its first NCAA Tournament appearance since 2010, the second-seeded Stonehill College baseball team opened the East Regional with a 5-2 victory over fifth-seeded Dowling College this afternoon at Pappas Field on the campus of host Franklin Pierce University.

Stonehill (34-13-1, 16-7 NE-10), which tied a program record today with its 34th win of the season, will be back in action tomorrow night at 7 p.m. against the winner of the No. 3 Southern New Hampshire University/No. 4 Wilmington University matchup. Dowling (27-16, 15-9 ECC) will take on top-seeded Franklin Pierce, which had its program-record 27-game winning streak snapped earlier today, in an elimination contest tomorrow morning at 11 a.m.

Freshman right-hander Michael Young (Mashpee, Massachusetts/Pope John Paul II), the Northeast-10 Conference's Rookie Pitcher of the Year, took the ball for the Skyhawks this afternoon and turned in yet another impressive outing, as he held Dowling to one earned run and scattered seven hits over 7.1 innings. Young struck out four batters and walked two, improving to 5-2 this season in the process.

The Stonehill offense was powered by sophomore first baseman Eddie Bowler (Hingham, Massachusetts/Hingham), who went 2-for-3 at the plate with a home run and three RBI. Junior left fielder Brian Campbell (Franklin, Massachusetts/Mount Saint Charles Academy) walked, singled twice and scored two runs, while sophomore third baseman Steve Lee (Braintree, Massachusetts/Braintree) added two hits and senior catcher Eric Schneider (Camarillo, California/Saint Bonaventure) went 1-for-3 with one RBI and one run scored.

Senior Kyle DeMeo (Franklin Square, New York/Frank Carey) took the loss for Dowling after giving up four runs on five hits in five innings of work.

Sophomore Eddie Bowler delivered a two-run single and solo home run for the Skyhawks today. (PHOTO BY Mike Tureski/SportsPix)

Junior Michael Rizzitello (Ronkonkoma, New York/Connetquot) led the Golden Lions at the plate with a pair of hits, while senior John Cruz (Levittown, New York/Levittown Division) went 1-for-3 with a sacrifice fly and two RBI and junior Michael Richter (Dumont, New York/Dumont) singled and scored two runs.

The Skyhawk offense got right to work in the first inning, staking Young to an early lead with three runs on two hits. Senior second baseman Christian Baglini (Milford, Connecticut/Notre Dame) doubled down the left field line with one out, and Campbell followed with a walk before Schneider was hit by a pitch two batters later to load the bases. Junior designated hitter Brian Hocking (Duxbury, Massachusetts/BC High) came up next and worked a two-out walk to drive in the game's first run, and with the bases still loaded Bowler delivered a bloop two-run single down the line in shallow right field.

Dowling had an opportunity to cut into its deficit in the second, loading the bases with two down in the inning, but a ground out ended the threat. Stonehill turned its second double play of the contest in the third, and Young retired the side in order in the fourth.

The Golden Lions finally broke through with an unearned run in the top of the sixth, as Richter led off and reached second base on a throwing error, before taking third on a ground out and scoring on a sacrifice fly by Cruz.

Stonehill would regain its three-run lead in the bottom of the inning, however, as Bowler sent a solo home run over the right field fence, the first of his collegiate career. The Skyhawks went up 5-1 in the seventh as Schneider recorded an RBI single, and Dowling capped the scoring the following inning on an RBI ground out by Cruz.

Sophomore closer Aubrey Solomon (Groton, Massachusetts/Lawrence Academy) came on for Stonehill in the ninth and retired the side in order, earning his NE-10-best ninth save of the season.

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