May 21. 2018 7:59PM

College Baseball: SNHU heads to World Series

Staff report


SNHU's Shane McDonald delivers a pitch during his one-hit shutout against St. Thomas Aquinas on Monday in the NCAA East Regional final. (COURTESY)

With a spot in the NCAA Division II College World Series on the line, the Southern New Hampshire University baseball team turned to Shane McDonald to keep its season alive. The left-hander did not make the Penmen regret that decision.

McDonald fired a one-hitter in a 6-0 win over second-seeded St. Thomas Aquinas on Monday to help fourth-seeded SNHU capture the NCAA East Regional title. The win earned the Penmen a trip to the USA Baseball National Training Complex in Cary, N.C., for the Division II Championship finals, which begins its eight-team, double-elimination tournament on Saturday.

SNHU last appeared in the World Series in 2012, when it went 1-2.

After two SNHU pitcher combined to two-hit St. Thomas Aquinas on Sunday, McDonald went a step further for the Penmen on Monday. The graduate student tossed 4⅓ no-hit innings before a double by the Spartans in the fifth, which amounted to nothing as McDonald struck out the next two batters to end the inning.

McDonald fanned 15 in all, striking out five of the first six batters he faced while posting at least one strikeout in eight of nine innings. He threw 123 pitches and notched six 1-2-3 frames.

While McDonald silenced the Spartans bats, the Penmen did their share at the plate. SNHU scored in four of nine turns at the plate and had four players produce two-hit efforts.

Thomas Buonopane and Ryan Sullivan were among those with two hits and each posted two RBIs for the Penmen. 

Buonopane socked a two-run homer in the third to make it 3-0 SNHU while Sullivan had a two-run double to cap the scoring in the seventh. 

Bow’s Tom Blandini was also in on the act for SNHU with two hits and a run scored.