- Score: No. 2 Southern N.H. 4, No. 7 Assumption 3
- Records: Southern N.H. (37-12, 22-6 NE10), Assumption (26-19, 14-12 NE10)
- Location: Hooksett, N.H. (Penmen Field)
- The Lead: An aggressive approach by No. 2 Southern N.H. in the bottom of the ninth paid off for the Penmen, leading to a 4-3 walk-off win over the No. 7 Assumption Greyhounds in the opening round of the NCAA East Regional hosted by Southern N.H. The Hounds will play an elimination game tomorrow, May 17, at 3:30 p.m.
HOW IT HAPPENED:
-With two outs in the bottom of the ninth, Marcus Chavez hit a ball into right field and aggressively tried turning a single into a double. He succeeded and even moved up to third on the throw, setting up the winning run just 90-feet away for the Penmen. Sam Henrie singled in Chavez the very next at-bat, leading Southern N.H. to a 4-3 walk-off win over the Hounds.
-The walk-off capped off a wild ending to Thursday's regional matchup that saw four lead changes and ties through the final two innings with Assumption tying the game on two separate occasions. With two outs and a full count in the bottom of the eighth, Kevin Alexy hit a ball over the right field wall to give Southern N.H. a 3-2 lead. The lead didn't last long though. With two outs, a runner on third and a 0-2 count to pinch-hitter Matt Schneider (Dalton, Mass. / Wahconah Regional) in the top half of the ninth, Penmen pitcher Jeffrey Praml threw a pitch over Schneider's head and to the backstop, allowing R.J. Libby (Middleton, Mass. / Bishop Fenwick), who singled and moved up on two occassions, to come home on the play, tying the game at three.
-It was the second time the Hounds came back to tie it in the later half of Thursday's game. Down 2-0 in the top of the sixth, Alex Richardson (Rehoboth, Mass. / Bishop Feehan) doubled in Dillon Koster (Woburn, Mass. / Woburn / Marist College) to bring the Hounds within one, 2-1. Two innings later, in the top of the eighth, Richardson knocked in Koster again to tie the game at two, this time on a single into the left field gap.
-Richardson's RBI-hit broke a deadlock between two dominant pitchers early on in the game. Southern N.H. built an early 2-0 lead thanks to an RBI-single by Joshua Goldstein in the bottom of the second and later an RBI-double by Jake Coro in the bottom of the fourth, but Assumption starter Cole Chudoba (Oxford, Conn. / Oxford High School) never let his team fall out of it. He stranded three runners through his final three frames and finished after seven spectacular innings, allowing only the two runs on seven hits while striking out three.
INSIDE THE NUMBERS:
-Richardson led the Hounds' offensive efforts by going 2-for-4 with two RBIs. Koster went 2-for-4 with two runs, while Libby added two hits and two walks. Alex Kennedy led the Penmen at the plate, going 3-for-4 with one run. Coro also added two hits.
-Chudoba was spectacular on the mound for the Hounds, allowing only two runs through seven innings on seven hits and three walks while striking out three. He matched power pitcher and Southern N.H. ace Jake Wilkinshaw, who only went six innings and allowed one run (zero earned) and six hits and two walks while striking out five. The Hounds were able to get to Walkinshaw consistently too, producing five hits through the first five innings and getting at least one hit in all but one inning against Walkinshaw.
-Praml ended up with the win for the Penmen, improving to 5-0 on the year. Patrick Harrington (Bedford, NH / Bedford High School) earned the loss for the Hounds and fell to 1-2.
-Assumption will face the loser of tonight's matchup between No. 3 LIU Post (36-14) and No. 6 Felician (30-21) at 3:30 p.m. tomorrow, May 17. The Hounds are 2-2 against LIU Post this season, winning the final two games between the two teams and both games of a doubleheader on March 17. They have not faced Felician this season.