action:article | category:SPORTS22 | adString:SPORTS22 | zoneID:40

Home » Sports » College Sports

May 15. 2014 8:52PM

College Baseball: Sylvester, SNHU roll in tournament opener

SNHU's starting pitcher Derrick Sylvester had a lot of help with the bats against Felician in a 9-3 win during the NCAA Division II Baseball Championships held at Southern New Hampshire University on Thursday. (Thomas Roy/Union Leader)

HOOKSETT — To a man, everyone in the Southern New Hampshire University dugout agreed that the top-seeded Penman couldn’t have asked for a better start in the NCAA Division II Baseball Championship East Regional Tournament.


Franklin’s Derrick Sylvester set the tone, striking out the first three batters, and the SNHU bats surged out of the gate with a seven-run first inning on route to a 9-3 victory over No. 6 Felician College on Thursday to lead off the double-elimination tournament.

Sylvester, a senior, gave up three runs (two earned) on seven hits, with eight strikeouts, over seven innings. He improved his record to 9-2 on the season, and, in the process, earned his 20th career win, breaking the SNHU record of 19 set by Marc Perec from 1996-99.

“There’s no better start to a game than that,” said Sylvester. “I mean, I was able to go out, get some swings on some good pitches, and then the offense came out firing on all cylinders. After that, it took a lot of pressure off and allowed me to settle in and throw strikes. At that point, when you’re up, 7-0, you don’t have to do too much, you can just kind of let your defense work for you.”

SNHU (40-12) plays next Friday at 1 p.m., against the loser of Thursday night’s nightcap between third-seeded Wilmington and No. 4 seed St. Thomas Aquinas College. Felician plays in an elimination game today at 10 a.m. against Franklin Pierce, which fell 3-0 to Dowling later Thursday afternoon. Dowling will play today at 4 p.m. against the winner of the Wilmington-St. Thomas game.

Senior outfielder Al Stanton sparked the SNHU offense, driving a two-run homer over the left-centerfield wall to plate Manny Cruz in the first inning.

“I’m just happy to be the catalyst and get things started,” said Stanton. “It was obviously a huge game for us and ... usually we start slow, so it was kind of a nice change for us to get going early and get Sly comfortable.”

The early onslaught continued when shortstop Michael Mastroberti doubled and Alejandro Dias singled him home with a gap shot to left field. Dias stole second and advanced to third when Tyler Fortanascio reached on an error. Bryan Toland pushed both runners across the plate with a double, and then back-to-back base hits by Anthony Aceto and Brandon O’Brien resulted in two more runs.

“Sylvester really threw the ball well today” said SNHU manager Scott Loiseau. “He competed for seven innings, threw a lot of pitches (124) ... he didn’t have his best stuff today, but he really set the tone for us early with those three strikeouts.

“And the (hitters), you know, I think we scored five runs with two outs in the first inning there,” said Loiseau. “One guy after another just coming up and coming through big. It just loosens everyone up when you’re playing with a seven-run lead in the first inning. In a tournament, it definitely helps everyone, coaches included.”

After a scoreless second and third, Felician managed to muster some offense in the fourth inning, loading the bases behind two one-out singles and a walk before Jordan Tackett hit a deep sacrifice fly to right field to score Joe Petosa.

The Golden Falcons (29-19) notched two more runs in the fifth inning. Gabriel Fellin singled with one out and Aaron Brill reached after being hit by a pitch. Both advanced on a passed ball before Fellin scored on a Scott De Jong fly out, and Brill came home on a Petosa single.

The Penmen provided themselves some breathing room in the bottom of the seventh inning when junior catcher Fortanascio led off with a single, followed by a double from Toland. The runners advanced on a passed ball and then O’Brien drove both to the plate on a single to extend the lead to 9-3.

Including his four-RBI performance Thursday, O’Brien has reached the 70-hit, 50-stolen base benchmark for the season, said his coach.

“Those two runs were huge,” said Loiseau. “As an offense, a four-run lead and a six-run lead is a big difference. You know, with a four-run lead, one swing can tie the game, so that hit put a lot of pressure on them.”

Junior Sam Fuller struck out two while pitching a scoreless eighth for SNHU. Sophomore Joe McCarthy capped the victory, forcing three-straight groundouts in the ninth.Dowling 3, Franklin Pierce 0: Dowling’s Tyler Badamo threw a five-hitter while striking out eight. He did not issue a walk.

Dowling’s Daniel Parisi provided the bulk of the victors’ offense with a two-run home to left field in the third inning.

Matthew O’Herron had a double and a single for FPU (35-17). Dowling improved to 34-15.

 NH Sports Angle more
Links to news and happenings around the world of sports with a Granite State connection, updated daily.

'Smoke' blows into New Hampshire with the law in his rear-view mirror

Man found unconscious at Winchester Speedpark Saturday

Too young to drive, but old enough for NHMS

Police examine speed, possible horseplay in golf cart fatality

Mass. man, 27, dies in golf cart accident at The Links at Outlook

Hanover's Sarah Groff competes in the women's triathlon final during the 2012 London Olympic Games.

Hanover Olympian in spotlight at Las Vegas Super Sprint

FHL makes it official, team planned for Berlin will play in North Adams, Mass. instead

Can NH soccer star Charlie Davies make a comeback?

Inside NIKEs secret sports lab; born in Exeter, now located in Oregon.

Concord Monitor decries gender pay gap in professional tennis

FHL franchise slated for Berlin may go to North Adams, Mass. instead

Eagles' Kelly says he learned his offense by studying defense while at UNH

Former Concord area youth baseball coach sentenced to 30 more years in prison

Maine boxer Brandon Berry making Fight to Educate history

Hudson family, classmates working to keep Alvirne soccer standout Raul Stedile in U.S.

Israel unrest moves meet for NH swim star

Race date for Oxford 250 moved from July to Aug. 30 next year

NH's Groff a highlight for U.S. at ITU World Triathlon Series Grand Final

Maine fighters Lamour, Berry on New Hampshire boxing card

Q&A with Matt Bonner as he weighs free agency

Keene State mum on suspension of veteran track coach

Morgan Andrews speaks: Notre Dame star undeterred by U.S. U-20 World Cup snub

Mo'ne Davis, and why no one should laugh at the idea of a woman in Major League Baseball

Curt Schilling says smokeless tobacco caused oral cancer


 New Hampshire Events Calendar


Upcoming Events

 New Hampshire Business Directory