- Updated: May 20, 2023
Game 1 Score: #10/22 (#1 seed) Southern New Hampshire University 6, (#5 seed) Pace University 3
Game 2 Score: #10/22 (#1 seed) Southern New Hampshire University 14, (#5 seed) Pace University 4
Records: SNHU 40-11, Pace 34-20
Freshman Kyle Lavigne reached base in eight of his 10 plate appearances and homered twice, as the No. 10/22 and top-seeded Southern New Hampshire University baseball team won a pair of games against fifth-seeded Pace University to capture the NCAA Baseball Championship East Regional I pod Friday at Penmen Field.
- Lavigne – 5-7, 3 RBI, 6 R, 2 HR, 2B, 3 BB
- Freshman Dyrenson Wouters (Oranjestad, Aruba) – 3-7, 5 RBI, 2 R
- Sophomore Harry Vargas Segura (Bronx, N.Y.) – 2-6, 2 RBI, 2 R, 2 BB
- Sophomore Anderson Moreno (Bronx, N.Y.) – 3-9, 4 RBI, R, HR, 2 BB
- Redshirt-junior Cristian Mercedes (Providence, R.I.) – 3-9, 3 R, BB
- Graduate student Josh Roberge (Chelmsford, Mass.) – 7.0 IP, 9 H, 3 R, 3 ER, 3 BB, 5 K (game 1 win; 8-4)
- Junior Trevor Anibal (Bedford, N.H.) – 2.0 IP, 0 H, 0 R, 0 ER, 0 BB, 6 K (game 1 save; 3)
- Sophomore Frankie Sanchez (Kendall Park, N.J.) – 7.0 IP, 6 H, 4 R, 4 ER, 3 BB, 5 K (game 2 win; 6-1)
KEY MOMENTS – GAME ONE
- Southern New Hampshire set the tone early as junior Danniel Rivera (New Britain, Conn.) belted the second pitch of the game over the fence in left-center to make it 1-0.
- The Penmen doubled their lead in the fourth on a leadoff home run to dead center off the bat of Lavigne. RBI singles by Moreno and junior Mike La Rocca (Vero Beach, Fla.) later in the inning made it a three-run frame that stretched the lead to 4-0.
- Lavigne did it again one inning later, mashing a solo homer off a tree in left-center to extend the Penmen advantage to 5-0.
- Pace clawed its way back into it with a three-run fifth that was keyed by a two-run single by Anthony Labita. A Mitchell McCabe sacrifice fly trimmed the deficit to 5-3.
- SNHU slammed the door on a potential Setter rally in the bottom of the seventh. Mason Baronian’s two-out single to left looked like it could score a run, but Hunter Goldstein was cut down at the plate on a perfect relay throw from Mercedes to keep it a two-run game.
- Anibal then locked the door, striking out all six batters he faced to seal the victory.
- Junior Cam Caraher (Plymouth, Mass.) hit a solo shot to center in the top of the ninth.
INSIDE THE BOX SCORE – GAME ONE
- Lavigne finished 3-for-4 with two RBI, two runs scored, the two home runs and a walk.
- Rivera was 2-for-4 with an RBI, a run scored and the home run.
- Moreno went 1-for-3 with an RBI and a pair of walks.
- Caraher (RBI, run, home run), La Rocca (RBI, walk), Wouters (run) and Vargas Segura (run) were all 1-for-4.
- Brendan McCann started for Pace and allowed five runs on eight hits over six innings, while striking out four and walking three.
- In three innings of relief, Dan Brown gave up just one run on two hits, while punching out three and walking one.
- Labita was 2-for-4 with a pair of RBI for Pace, while Josh Miller went 2-for-5 and scored a run.
KEY MOMENTS – GAME TWO
- Southern New Hampshire moved out to a 1-0 lead in the bottom of the first when Rivera led off with a triple into the right field corner and scored on an RBI groundout to second by Moreno.
- The Penmen manufactured another run in the second when Lavigne drew a leadoff walk, moved to second on Mercedes’ infield single, went to third on a sac bunt by Wouters and scored on Vargas Segura’s sac fly to right.
- SNHU scored four more in the third, with a leadoff home run into the Penmen bullpen in left by Moreno getting it going, before an RBI double to left-center by Caraher and a two-run, opposite-field single by Wouters brought in a pair that made it 6-0.
- The Penmen plated a pair in the fifth and stretched the lead to 9-0 in the seventh on an RBI single to left-center by Vargas Segura.
- Pace jumped on the board with a four-run eighth inning, highlighted by a three-run shot by Labita.
- SNHU answered with five in the home half to break it open at 14-4. A two-run single from Wouters and RBI base hits by Lavigne and Moreno did most of the damage.
INSIDE THE BOX SCORE – GAME TWO
- Mercedes was 3-for-4 with a walk and three runs scored.
- Lavigne (RBI, four runs, double, two walks) and Wouters (five RBI, run) were each 2-for-3.
- Moreno went 2-for-6 with three RBI, a run scored and the home run.
- Vargas Segura finished 1-for-2 with two RBI, a run and two walks.
- Caraher was 1-for-4 with an RBI, two runs scored and a double.
- Rivera (run, triple) and La Rocca (double) were both 1-for-6.
- Junior George Welch (Derry, N.H.) fired a pair of scoreless frames in relief for the Penmen, striking out three and relinquishing just one hit.
- Robert Gilchrist (4-1) was charged with six runs on five hits in his start of two-and-two-thirds innings for Pace, striking out a pair and walking three.
- Baronian (RBI), McCabe (run, double, walk) and Miller (run, walk) were all 1-for-3. Labita went 1-for-4 with three RBI, a run scored and the home run.
- Southern New Hampshire, ranked 10th in the National Collegiate Baseball Writers Association (NCBWA) Division II Top 25 and 22nd in the Collegiate Baseball Division II Poll, has won 29 of its last 32.
- The Penmen reach 40 wins in a season for the eighth time, including the sixth consecutive year that a full season has been played (the NCAA played abbreviated seasons in both 2020 and 2021). In the seasons head coach Scott Loiseau has been at the helm, SNHU has won 40 or more games in eight of those last nine campaigns, including seven straight.
- SNHU, the two-time defending East Region Champion, improves to 39-24 (.619) all-time in the NCAA postseason, including 3-0 against Pace.
- In the third season under the format, the Penmen advance to the NCAA East Super-Regional for the third time. They will take on the winner of the East Regional II pod in a best-of-three series May 26-27 at Penmen Field. The East Regional II pod still has three teams remaining and is slated to wrap up either Saturday or Sunday.
- The Penmen better their record to 16-2 (.889) at home this season and are now 132-29 (.820) at Penmen Field since the beginning of the 2014 season.
- Southern New Hampshire now leads the all-time series with Pace, 14-13, and has won 10 of the last 12 meetings with the Setters, including six-in-a-row at home. This was the first meeting between the two teams since March 10, 2020.
- Mercedes made a handful of sparking defensive plays at third base.
- Caraher’s home run was his 14th of the season, moving him into a three-way tie for the SNHU single-season record. The blast was also the 22nd of his career, moving him into a tie with Rivera for second place on SNHU’s all-time home run list.
- Rivera’s homer was his nine of the season.
- Moreno’s long-ball was his fifth of the season and of his Penmen career.
- Lavigne’s two deep drives give him three in his first season with the team.
- Caraher has a hit in 17 of his last 18, including 12 straight, while Wouters has a hit in nine of 10, including seven-in-a-row.
- The Penmen have now scored 490 runs in 51 games (9.6). The 490 runs rank second in the program’s single-season record book, with the top mark of 494 runs being held by the 2016 squad.
- The Penmen will host the NCAA East Super-Regional, which begins Friday (May 26) at Penmen Field. SNHU will take on the winner of the East Regional II pod, which wraps up either Saturday or Sunday, in a best-of-three series.
Those who would like to help New Hampshire Hardball promote baseball in the Granite State can do so by purchasing a New Hampshire Hardball membership or by making a donation below. Sponsorship inquiries can be sent to firstname.lastname@example.org. Your support is greatly appreciated.