GARDEN CITY, N.Y. (March 3, 2018) – Senior right-hander John Amendola (Wallingford, Conn.) allowed just one earned run over nine full innings, and needed just 108 pitches to do so, but it was still not enough to earn him his first win of the season on Saturday afternoon. Instead, the defense conspired to allow a pair of unearned runs, while the offense hit into a trio of double plays, and the Franklin Pierce University baseball team suffered a 4-3, 10-inning defeat to Adelphi in non-conference play at Bonomo Field. Junior first baseman Thomas Colombo provided the walk-off single in the last of the 10th for the home-standing Panthers.
With the loss, Franklin Pierce fell to 4-2, while Adelphi opened its season at 1-0. The two teams will meet again on Sunday, for a doubleheader to round out the weekend series. First pitch is set for noon at Bonomo Field, and the twinbill will feature a nine-inning game followed by a seven-inning contest.
Franklin Pierce opened the scoring on Saturday with an unearned run in the top of the first inning. Junior center fielder Brad Roberto (San Diego, Calif.) took a walk leading off, moved to second on a groundout, advanced to third on an error and scored on an RBI infield single by senior catcher Stephen Octave (New Windsor, N.Y.).
Adelphi had one of the game's key innings in the bottom of the fifth, when the Panthers struck for a pair of unearned runs courtesy of an untimely Franklin Pierce error. Sophomore shortstop Tyler Becker singled to right field leading off, before senior catcher Kory Cassara followed and dropped down a would-be sacrifice bunt. However, Franklin Pierce senior third baseman Zack Tower (Auburn, Mass.) charged and threw the ball away, which allowed Becker to score and put Cassara aboard at third. The latter would score from there when senior second baseman Steven Withers followed with a sacrifice fly to right field.
Franklin Pierce answered immediately with a pair of runs in the top half of the sixth, to jump to a 3-2 lead. Roberto started things again, this time with a single to center, and he would move around to third as senior right fielder Adam Chase (Bridgewater, Mass.) and senior second baseman John Friday (Southborough, Mass.) followed with two more singles to load the bases with nobody out. Octave bounced into a fielder's choice, which plated Roberto, but erased Chase at third, before another fielder's choice moved Friday to third. Friday would score from there on a wild pitch.
Adelphi tied the game with a run in the home half of the sixth. Junior left fielder Brandon Morse singled to right leading off, moved to second on a groundout and later scored from there on a two-out, RBI single back up the middle by Becker.
Franklin Pierce got a runner to third in the top of the seventh, but left him there, and then neither team threatened for the remainder of the regulation. Franklin Pierce went in order in the top of the first extra inning, which set the stage for Adelphi's bottom of the 10th inning.
With one out, junior center fielder Jonathan Iadevaia singled to center field and then stole second. He would score from there two batters later, on a two-out, game-winning single back through the middle of the infield by Colombo.
Of his 108 pitches, 80 went for strikes, as Amendola pretty much breezed through nine innings on the mound for Franklin Pierce. He piled up 14 groundball outs, allowed three runs (one earned) on seven hits, walked one, hit a batter and struck out two. Sophomore right-hander Derek Duffy (Farmington, Conn.) took over for the 10th and suffered the loss (0-1) after allowing the game-winning run on two hits in the inning.
Junior pitcher Ed Baram started on the hill for Adelphi and threw 79 pitches (55 strikes) over five innings of work. He allowed one unearned run on four hits, walked one, struck out three and did not factor in the decision. Senior David Butler (1-0) threw a perfect top of the 10th to pick up the win out of the bullpen for the Panthers.
For more information on Franklin Pierce Athletics, please visit the official website of Franklin Pierce Athletics (http://athletics.franklinpierce.edu). Also be sure to follow the Ravens through the Department of Athletics' official Facebook page (http://www.facebook.com/FranklinPierceRavens), its YouTube channel (http://www.youtube.com/franklinpiercesports) and its Twitter feed (http://twitter.com/FPUathletics). Fans wishing to purchase Franklin Pierce baseball apparel can do so at the Department of Athletics' online store (http://athletics.franklinpierce.edu/store).