CARY, N.C. (March 9, 2019) – Three runs in the first four innings and 7.1 innings without allowing an earned run by graduate student right-hander Anthony Matarazzo (Medford, Mass.) was enough to get the job done on Saturday afternoon for the Franklin Pierce University baseball team. Senior left fielder Brad Roberto (San Diego, Calif.) and junior first baseman Jonel Ozuna (New York, N.Y.) added a pair of hits each, as the Ravens posted a 6-3, non-conference victory over Cedarville, on the team's second day at the USA Baseball National Training Complex.
With the win, Franklin Pierce improves to 5-2, while Cedarville falls to 4-7.
The Ravens, who played as the visiting team Saturday, opened the scoring with a run in the top of the third and added two more in the fourth to open up a 3-0 lead early. In the third, sophomore right fielder Nicholas Martino (East Brunswick, N.J.) reached on an error with one out, stole second, stole third and scored on an RBI single to center by Roberto.
In the fourth, an Ozuna single and a double by senior catcher Ural Forbes (Freeport, Bahamas) set the table for senior third baseman Carmine Giordano (New Rochelle, N.Y.) who cashed in the first run with an RBI groundout. Freshman second baseman Zach Landry (Mashpee, Mass.), who was making his collegiate debut, followed with an RBI double to center to drive home Forbes.
Cedarville got on the board with an unearned run in the home half of the fifth. Senior shortstop Ross Melchior picked up the RBI with a two-out sacrifice fly, to drive in freshman left fielder Turner White, who had reached earlier in the inning with a single to center.
Franklin Pierce tacked on three in the ninth, which proved to be important insurance runs. Giordano singled home Ozuna in the frame, while Martino later had an RBI single of his own to plate Giordano. Forbes also scored a run on an errant pickoff throw in the inning, after he drew a walk and went first-to-third on the Giordano single.
Cedarville responded with two runs in the bottom of the ninth, but the five-run deficit proved too large to close. Junior first baseman Logan Eby singled leading off to cap a 3-for-4 day, and a pinch runner later scored on a balk. White had a single in the inning as well, and later scored when junior catcher Matthew Biermann bounced into an RBI fielder's choice. Freshman right-hander Danny Gracia (Wilmington, Mass.) came on with one out and the tying run at the plate, and retired both batters he faced to notch his second save of the season.
The save locked up a win for Matarazzo (2-0), who was strong over 99 pitches (73 strikes) across 7.1 innings. He surrendered just the one unearned run in the fifth, walked two and struck out seven.
Senior right-hander Hunter Kraynak (0-2) did not fare as well for Cedarville, as he was bounced after four innings of work and 63 pitches (38 strikes). He allowed three runs (two earned) on four hits, walked three and struck out two.
The Ravens continue their trip to North Carolina on Sunday, as they meet up with Slippery Rock for the second time in three days. First pitch is set for 5 p.m. at the USA Baseball National Training Complex.
For more information on Franklin Pierce Athletics, please visit the official website of Franklin Pierce Athletics (https://www.fpuravens.com). 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 (https://www.fpuravens.com/store).