EASTON, Mass. (April 21, 2018) – It was full steam ahead for the Franklin Pierce University baseball team offensively on Saturday afternoon on the road at Stonehill. The Ravens piled up 19 runs on 28 hits over the course of a doubleheader sweep of the Skyhawks, as Franklin Pierce posted wins of 12-4 and 7-3. Senior center fielder Adam Chase (Bridgewater, Mass.) hit a grand slam as part of a five-RBI outing in the first game at Lou Gorman Field, while junior right-hander Zach Hart (Wallingford, Conn.) struck out seven over eight innings of work in the second game of the Northeast-10 Conference, Northeast Division double-dip.
With the wins, Franklin Pierce improves to 23-10-1 (12-4 NE10, 7-3 NE Div.), while Stonehill falls to 12-18 (5-12 NE10, 4-8 NE Div.). The two teams will meet again at Stonehill for a single game on Sunday to wrap up the three-game weekend series. First pitch is set for 1 p.m. at Lou Gorman Field.
In the first game, Franklin Pierce opened the scoring with a pair of runs in the top of the first inning. Junior left fielder Brad Roberto (San Diego, Calif.) singled to left with one out and graduate student first baseman Mike Coggeshall (Shrewsbury, Mass.) followed with a single to right. On the latter play, Stonehill sophomore right fielder John Orzechowski misplayed the ball, which allowed Roberto to come around to score, while Coggeshall wound up at third base. Senior catcher Stephen Octave (New Windsor, N.Y.) then cashed in Coggeshall for the second run with a single to left.
Stonehill evened things with a pair of its own in the home half of the first. Junior shortstop Matthew Rocco reached on an infield single leading off, but was erased while senior center fielder Tyler Carey reached on a fielder's choice. Junior first baseman Harrison Sabo followed with a single and then junior second baseman William Kelleher and senior third baseman Isiah Nunez provided RBI singles later in the inning.
The Ravens sent 10 men to the plate and tallied six runs in the top of the second to take control of the game for good. Chase provided the keynote address with a two-out grand slam to center field, his first home run of the season. Sophomore third baseman Joe Napolitano (Port St. Lucie, Fla.) had an RBI single in the inning, while Octave drew a bases-loaded walk to drive in a run as well.
Coggeshall had an RBI single and Chase worked a bases-loaded walk to drive in a run in the third, while Octave clubbed an RBI double and later scored on an error in the fifth, as the Ravens built the lead as high as 12-2. Stonehill got an RBI fielder's choice from Orzechowski in the sixth and an RBI single from Sabo in the ninth to create the 12-4 final.
Senior right-hander John Amendola (Wallingford, Conn.) took the ball in the first game for Franklin Pierce and left with a big lead after five innings. He allowed two runs on six hits, walked one and struck out six on the way to the win (4-1).
Meanwhile, senior left-hander Patrick Hurley (0-5) started and did not escape the third inning on the mound for Stonehill. Over 2.1 innings, he was shelled for 10 runs (three earned) on 11 hits, walked two and struck out two while taking the loss.
In the second game, Franklin Pierce jumped out front with a trio of runs in the top of the third inning. Sophomore shortstop James Boria (Massapequa, N.Y.) walked leading off, moved to second on a sacrifice bunt and scored from there on an RBI double down the left-field line by Coggeshall. Octave followed with a single to plate Coggeshall, and then Chase tripled into the gap in right-center to drive home Octave.
In the fourth, the Ravens pushed the lead to 4-0, as sophomore second baseman J.R. DiSarcina (Barnstable, Mass.) singled leading off and eventually scored on a sacrifice fly by Napolitano.
Stonehill cut the gap all the way down to 4-3 with a three-spot in the bottom of the sixth. Senior right fielder Alex Hurley and sophomore left fielder Rob Duarte opened the inning with back-to-back singles. Two batters later, junior designated hitter Patrick Downey cracked a three-run home run to left field, his second of the season.
Franklin Pierce plated a trio of insurance runs in the top of the ninth to create the 7-3 final. Senior right fielder Zack Tower (Auburn, Mass.) yanked a two-run single into left field to plate Napolitano and Coggeshall, while DiSarcina drove in Chase with an RBI single to center.
Hart (6-1) fired 107 pitches (76 strikes) over eight innings on the rubber to pick up the win in the second game for the Ravens. He allowed three runs on six hits, did not issue a walk and struck out seven. It was Hart's fifth win in as many starts, with four of the outings being seven innings or longer.
Freshman left-hander Jared Brooks (4-2) started and threw 108 pitches (72 strikes) over the first six innings for Stonehill. He surrendered four runs on nine hits, walked two, threw a wild pitch and struck out five while taking the loss.
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).