Baseball Avoids Sweep With 5-4 Walk-Off Win Over Franklin Pierce

White pitched 8.2 innings, struck out five, retired 16-straight batters

Sabo knocks in three runs, scoring one of his own and batting 1-for-3 in the victory

EASTON, Mass. (April 22, 2018) – The Stonehill College baseball team snapped a four-game losing streak and avoided a series sweep against Northeast-10 Conference divisional opponent Franklin Pierce University, who is ranked fourth in this week's National Collegiate Baseball Writer's Association (NCBWA) Regional Poll, with a 5-4 walk-off win Sunday afternoon at Lou Gorman Field.

For the Skyhawks, Harrison Sabo (Wilton, Connecticut/Wilton) went 1-for-3 at the plate with one run scored and three RBI and a walk, while Patrick Downey (Cheshire, Connecticut/Xavier) went 1-for-4 with a RBI. Michael White (Stamford, Connecticut/Stamford/Canterbury School) pitched 8.2 innings striking out five batters, allowing seven hits and at one point retired 14-straight batters in his ninth outing this season. Jeremiah Vargas (Waterbury, Connecticut/Kennedy High/Taft School) closed out the game for the Skyhawks pitching a third of an inning, walking and striking out one batter for his first-career win on the mound.

White allowed the Ravens to get two hits on the board in the top of the first, but he got out of a two out jam with runners on first and second with a fielder's choice grounder to third base that got Brad Roberto, the lead off runner, out. Franklin Pierce's Ryan Covelle retired six-straight batters in the first and second innings, with three grounders in the first and three strikeouts in the second.

Stonehill finally got their first hit on the board as Downey singled up the middle, but the Skyhawks stranded two runners on after John Orzechowski (Monroe, Connecticut/Masuk) was hit by a pitch to get runners on first and second.

Between the first and top of the sixth innings, White retired 16-straight batters and Stonehill capitalized on the outing with a lead off single by Thomas Quinn (Wilbraham, Massachusetts/Wilbraham Monson). Quinn was moved over to second on a sacrifice bunt by Orzechowski and Matthew Rocco (Newington, Connecticut/Newington) followed with a hit by pitch to put runners on first and second. With one out, Tyler Carey (Raynham, Massachusetts/Bridgewater-Raynham) reached on a throwing error and Sabo was also hit by a pitch to score the first run of the game, 1-0. Back-to-back strikeouts ended the inning for the Skyhawks, leaving the bases loaded for the first time in the game.

Franklin Pierce was able to rally on two outs as Roberto hit a solo shot out to right center tying the game at one, 1-1, in the top of the sixth. After a walk, Stephen Octave also blasted a long ball out to center field, driving in two more runs for the Ravens, taking a 3-1 lead.

In the top of the seventh, Franklin Pierce saw another run across the dish to extend the lead to three, 4-1, as James Boria flied out to right field to easily score Zack Tower on the tag up play.

Vargas earns his first-career victory as he came in to close against the Ravens

The Ravens fought hard in the top of the ninth to bring more runs across, but with one hit allowed, two walks, and a wild pitch Vargas was able to fend off the bases loaded situation with his lone strikeout of the game against Mike Coggeshall.

The Skyhawks had some work to do in the bottom of the frame to come from behind, but Justin Nicklas (Foxboro, Massachusetts/St. Sebastian's) led off with a pinch-hit single down the right field line and was moved over by Orzechowski's second sacrifice bunt of the day to get in scoring position for Sabo. With the bases loaded, Sabo singled to left center bringing home Nicklas and Rocco to cut the deficit to one, 4-3. On a wild pitch by Sam Steeves, Carey scored to tie up the game, 4-4, and Sabo advanced to second. With runners on first and third, William Kelleher (Mansfield, Massachusetts/Mansfield) stole second base and Rob Duarte (Raynham, Massachusetts/Bridgewater-Raynham) loaded the bases with a walk, bringing up Downey who drew four balls and a strike for the winning walk, scoring Sabo as the winning run.

Stonehill (13-18, 6-12 NE10) is scheduled for a few days off before taking on Bentley University for its Purple and White game on Wednesday, April 25 at Lou Gorman Field with a start time of 3:30 p.m.

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