No. 13 Franklin Pierce tops SNHU
Maloney fires gem to lead Ravens to victory
RINDGE, N.H. – Senior left-hander Brian Maloney allowed just one hit and struck out 12 over eight innings, while senior designated hitter Derek Ingui clubbed a pair of home runs to drive in five runs on Sunday afternoon to lead No. 13 Franklin Pierce to a 7-2 victory against Southern New Hampshire in Northeast-10 Conference play at Dr. Arthur and Martha Pappas Field.
With the win, Franklin Pierce improves to 26-6 (12-2 Northeast-10), extends its current win streak to five games and remains one-half game behind first-place Southern Connecticut State, which won, 4-0, at New Haven on Sunday. With the loss, Southern New Hampshire falls to 14-14 (3-6 Northeast-10).
The Ravens opened the scoring with a pair of runs with two outs in the bottom of the first inning. First, junior catcher Mike Dowd let a slow curveball hit him on the hip before Ingui deposited a two-run home run onto the path leading to Sodexo Field beyond the fence in left-center field. It was the team-leading seventh home run of the season for Ingui.
Franklin Pierce added a run in the bottom of the fourth inning when freshman first baseman Zach Mathieu led off the frame and clubbed a home run to left-center, his second of the season.
Meanwhile, Maloney was perfect on the hill through the early innings. He struck out the first seven batters he faced and recorded eight strikeouts during SNHU's first trip through the order. Maloney would not allow a baserunner until a one-out walk to sophomore shortstop Matt Boulter in the top of the fifth and held the Penmen without a hit until the top of the sixth.
However, that one hit allowed SNHU to cut the deficit to 3-1, as junior catcher Kevin Spatkowski led off the inning and yanked his first home run of the season to straightaway left field. Maloney bounced back and retired the next eight batters he faced and nine of the last 11 men he faced, with the only exception being back-to-back two-out walks in the eighth.
Still holding on to the 3-1 lead, the Ravens picked up a quartet of insurance runs in the bottom half of the eighth to extend the lead to 7-1. Junior second baseman Dan Hennigan started the inning with a single into left-center field and went first-to-third after he bluffed a steal and senior right fielder Mike Munoz pushed a single through the hole vacated by the second baseman. Dowd was next and chopped a ball to third base which drove home Hennigan, as SNHU senior third baseman Tim Rines' only play was to first base. However, Rines sailed the throw over the head of the first baseman, which allowed Munoz to take third and Dowd to move to second. The positioning of the runners proved academic however, as Ingui followed, turned on a pitch and torched a three-run home run down the left-field line and deep into the parking lot beyond the fence.
Southern New Hampshire picked up one last run in the top of the ninth against the Ravens bullpen to create the 7-2 final. With one out, freshman left fielder Albert Stanton worked a walk and moved to second on a single through the right side by graduate student right fielder Chris O'Neil. Stanton would move to third on a flyout to center field and scored when senior first baseman Robert Wronski bounced an RBI single back through the middle of the diamond.
Maloney fired eight innings of one-hit ball and allowed just the one run to pick up the win (6-1) for Franklin Pierce. He issued three walks and struck out 12.
Junior right-hander Brad Monroe made the start and took the loss (3-2) on the hill for Southern New Hampshire. Over seven-plus innings, he allowed five runs on seven hits, walked one, hit a batter and struck out five.