Rindge, N.H. - The St. Thomas Aquinas College baseball team came up short in a 6-3 loss to Southern New Hampshire University in the NCAA Division II Baseball East Regional in Rindge, N.H. The Spartans try to stay alive Saturday at 3:00 pm against the loser of Stonehill vs. Wilmington. STAC falls to 28-18-1 with the loss, while SNHU improved to 31-13 in staving off elimination.
Starter Nick May struggled with his control from the outset, walking Manny Cruz with one out in the first. Cruz stole second with two down and scored on a Mike Montville single to put SNHU on the board. The Penmen loaded the bases with nobody out in the second but failed to score after a lineout and a 5-5-3 twin-killing initiated by Stanley Susana at third.
May's day would come to an end as the lefty llasted just two innings, as Anthony Morris emerged from the pen. Morris tossed a scoreless third but was tagged for a run in the fourth, three in the fifth, and a solo homer in the sixth.
Southern New Hampshire increased their lead to 2-0 after two were out and none on in the fourth, as Tyler Fontanascio singled and Zach Goldstein brought him around with a double. SNHU would break the game open in the fifth when, with one out and bases loaded, Lorenzo Papa brought in a run with a single and Fontanascio brought in a pair with a hit of his own to make the score 5-0.
After recording the first out of the sixth, Morris served up a deep homer to left to Casey Helms, spelling the end of the day for the sophomore and a 6-0 deficit for STAC. Frankie Moscatiello came on in relief and was outstanding the rest of the way, working 3.2 hittless relief innings.
STAC hit the ball hard at times but did not break through on Penmen starter Alex Person until the home eighth inning. With one out, Rich Baerga stroked a single to center and Joseph Pena worked out a walk. Stanley Susana followed by scorching a two-run double down the third base line, advancing to third on the throw. He would then score on a Nick Gargan grounder to make the score 6-3, but the Spartans would not have another runner as Stephen Fortuna worked a scoreless ninth for the save.
May fell to 6-2 with the loss, with Person improving to 8-1 with the win. Susana and Baerga each had two hits for STAC, while SNHU's 12-hit attack was paced by Alejandro Diaz with a 3-for-5 outing.
Due to Commencement at Franklin Pierce on Saturday, game times are 3:00, 6:30, and 10:00 pm. There are now five teams remaining after Friday's games.
St. Thomas Aquinas will play Stonehill in Game 7, an elimination game at 3:00 pm Saturday. If STAC wins, they will play again in Game 9 at 10:00 pm against Wilmington, which has not lost in the tournament.
If STAC loses either game, they are eliminated. If STAC wins both Game 7 and Game 9, they will advance to the final game of the tournament, Game 11, Sunday at 5:00 pm, to play for the East Regional Championship.
Provided by the St. Thomas Aquinas Sports Information Department.