NCAA TOURNAMENT: #2 Stonehill Eliminated From East Regional With 8-0 Loss To #6 St. Thomas Aquinas

Junior Chris Hoyt went 1-for-3 with a walk and a single in Stonehill's loss to St. Thomas Aquinas today. 

Skyhawks season comes to a close at 34-15-1

RINDGE, N.H. (May 16, 2015) – The second-seeded Stonehill College baseball team had its run at the NCAA East Regional Tournament ended this afternoon with an 8-0 setback to sixth-seeded St. Thomas Aquinas College at Pappas Field on the campus of host Franklin Pierce University.

Stonehill (34-15-1, 16-7 NE-10), which tied a program record for wins and earned its third NCAA Tournament bid in program history this spring, sees its season come to a close on day three of the East Regional. St. Thomas Aquinas (29-18-1, 14-10 ECC) will take on fourth-seeded Wilmington University at 10 p.m. this evening, with the winner advancing to Sunday's title game.

The Stonehill offense was led by junior center fielder Chris Hoyt (Walpole, Massachusetts/Xaverian Brothers), who went 1-for-3 at the plate with a walk and a single to go with one stolen base. Senior shortstop Dan Fratus (Plymouth, Massachusetts/Plymouth North) and sophomore third baseman Steve Lee (Braintree, Massachusetts/Braintree) also posted 1-for-3 efforts with a walk and a single, while senior catcher Eric Schneider (Camarillo, California/St. Bonaventure) and freshman right fielder Alex Hurley (Rumford, Rhode Island/Worcester Academy) each went 1-for-4.

The Skyhawks struggled on offense largely due to the efforts of St. Thomas Aquinas senior left-hander Nick May (Middletown, New York/Burke Catholic), who tossed a 136-pitch complete-game shutout, striking out 11 batters while allowing just five hits.

Senior Dan Fratus recorded a walk and a single in his final collegiate game.

The first four batters in the Spartans' lineup accounted for eight of the team's 11 hits, while the last four contributed one RBI each. Senior Stanley Susana (Puerto Plata, Dominican Republic/Cardinal Hayes) led the way, going 2-for-3 with a double and three RBI. Junior Nicholas Gargan (Nesconset, New York/St. Anthony's) recorded three singles and scored one run, while freshman Giovanni Dingcong (Brooklyn, New York/The Beacon School) walked, doubled twice and scored a run out of the cleanup spot.

Stonehill senior right-hander Neal Horan (Mashpee, Massachusetts/BC High) struck out five batters over 4.1 innings, but also struggled with his control, issuing five walks and giving up five runs on six hits in a losing effort.

After stranding two runners on base in the bottom of the first, St. Thomas Aquinas jumped out to a 2-0 lead in the second despite recording just one hit. Horan retired the first two batters in the inning, before loading the bases with three straight five-pitch walks. Susana came through with a two-out single through the left side of the infield, plating the first two runs of the game.

Stonehill had its chances early, but stranded four runners on base over the first three innings, including three in scoring position. The Skyhawks nearly cut their deficit in half in the fifth, when senior Christian Baglini (Milford, Connecticut/Notre Dame High) came up with one out and runners on first and third, sending a pop fly into shallow right field that appeared as if it was going to drop in for a hit, but St. Thomas Aquinas freshman second baseman Joseph Pena (Brooklyn, New York/The Perkiomen School) made an over-the-shoulder catch before doubling up Hurley at first base to end the inning.

Horan ran into trouble in the bottom of the fifth, giving up a single to Gargan and a double to Dingcong before intentionally walking the next batter to load the bases. After another walk brought in a run, Horan was replaced by sophomore left-hander Jeremy Roberts (Reading, Massachusetts/Malden Catholic). The Spartans would plate two additional runs in the inning on an RBI groundout by senior Rich Baerga (Pomona, New York/Pendleton) followed by a wild pitch, as they led 5-0 after five frames.

St. Thomas Aquinas tacked on another run in the sixth on an RBI double by Susana, before capping the scoring with two runs in the eighth.

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