HOOKSETT — Not even a 64-minute rain delay disrupted Rob Frank’s rhythm on the mound Friday.
Frank tossed a complete game and struck out 13 to help the St. Thomas Aquinas College baseball team defeat Southern New Hampshire University 6-1 on the second day of the NCAA Division II Baseball Championship’s East Regional Tournament.
Frank, a senior, collected the school-record 17th victory of his college career. It was his first complete game of the season.
“He did a great job today,” SNHU coach Scott Loiseau said. “Shut us down. I just think that kid did a good job.”
Frank, who was making his ninth appearance (all starts) of the season, entered the game with a 4-2 record and a 3.35 ERA. He held SNHU to four hits, and had seven of his 13 strikeouts after wet conditions caused a delay of just over an hour in the fifth inning. He struck out the side in the sixth, and also retired the game’s final three batters on strikeouts.
“All my pitches were working today,” Frank said. “I felt like I was able to locate my breaking ball very well, and it was a good one today.
In all honesty I think my stuff got better because of that break for some reason. Knowing that it might be my last start I just wanted to leave it all out on the field.”
Goffstown’s Riley Palmer singled in Manny Cruz to give the top-seeded Penmen a 1-0 lead in the first inning, but fourth-seeded St. Thomas took the lead for good when right-fielder Nick D’Angelo, the team’s No. 9 hitter, hit a two-run home run off SNHU starter Tim Viehoff (5-3) in the third inning. St. Thomas, which is located in Sparkill, N.Y., led 3-1 after three innings, and added two runs in the fifth and one in the seventh.Both teams are 1-1 in the double-elimination tournament.
SNHU is scheduled to face the winner of Friday night’s game between Wilmington and Dowling today at 11 a.m.
Loiseau said Nashua’s Mike Robert, Bedford’s Cole Warren and Nashua’s Joe McCarthy are the candidates to start on the mound for the Penmen today.
“We still have to talk about it, but it will probably be one of those three,” Loiseau said.
In addition to Palmer’s RBI single in the first, SNHU received singles from Cruz, left fielder Al Stanton and center fielder Brendan O’Brien. O’Brien also stole his 51st base (in 52 attempts) of the season.
The No. 5 through No. 9 hitters in SNHU’s batting order were hitless. Frank threw 142 pitches.
“That pitcher did a good job,” Loiseau said. “We didn’t have a lot of chances today.”
Felician 5, Franklin Pierce 0: The second-seeded Ravens failed to score for the second time in as many games and were eliminated from the tournament. First baseman Scott De Jong hit two home runs for sixth-seeded Felician, which scored three runs in the sixth and two in the eighth. Franklin Pierce completed its season with a 35-18 record.