Baseball Able to Stop Skid, Salvage Doubleheader Split at Felician

Baseball Able to Stop Skid, Salvage Doubleheader Split at Felician

LYNDHURST, N.J. (March 16, 2019) – At first, the nightmare week continued on Saturday afternoon for the Franklin Pierce University baseball team, as five errors led to another double-digit day for the opposition in an 11-3 loss to Felician to open a non-conference doubleheader at Lyndhurst Recreation Complex. The Ravens were able to bounce back in the second game though, and halt their losing streak at five games. Senior left fielder Brad Roberto (San Diego, Calif.) cranked a long, solo home run in the sixth, which stood as the winning run in a 2-1 victory in the seven-inning contest.

With the split, Franklin Pierce now stands at 7-8, while Felician moves to 5-11. The two teams will meet again on Sunday for the rubber match of the three-game weekend series. First pitch is set for 1 p.m. at the Lyndhurst Recreation Complex.

The loss in the first game marked the first five-game losing streak for Franklin Pierce since a five-game skid from March 1-10, 2013, a span of more than six years. It also marked the first time in nearly 18 years the team had allowed double-digit runs in three straight games, which last happened March 22-23, 2001.

Game 1: Felician 11, Franklin Pierce 3

In the front end of the twinbill, Franklin Pierce opened the scoring in the first on a sacrifice fly by junior first baseman Jonel Ozuna (New York, N.Y.), but Felician answered with three in the bottom of the third, courtesy of back-to-back-to-back RBIs from junior right fielder Mike Martinez on a sacrifice fly, sophomore left fielder Anthony Condito on a triple, and senior second baseman Danny Healey Jr. on an infield single. Franklin Pierce drew even at 3-3 with a run in the fourth on an RBI single by senior designated hitter Ural Forbes (Freeport, Bahamas) and another in the fifth on a sacrifice fly by graduate student center fielder Harrison Smoske (Burlington, Mass.), but the tie was short lived.

Felician took the lead for good with three in the home half of the fifth and then pulled away from there. It was the same part of the lineup which did the damage as before, as Condito stroked an RBI single and Healey followed with an RBI triple, and then came around to score on an error. The Golden Falcons added two in the seventh and three in the eighth to expand the final deficit to 11-3. Things were particularly ugly in the seventh, when the Franklin Pierce defense did all the damage to itself, as three errors allowed the two runs to score without so much as an RBI.

Graduate student right-hander Ryan Covelle (Medford, Mass.) took the ball in the first game for Franklin Pierce, and though he allowed 10 hits over seven innings and 102 pitches (70 strikes) of work, he was largely victimized by his defense. Of his eight runs against, only two were earned, and he issued just one walk against seven strikeouts while suffering the loss (1-1).

On the other side of the ledger, junior right-hander Alex Schwartz (1-1) toed the rubber and also logged seven innings, on 107 pitches (75 strikes). He allowed three runs (two earned) on six hits, walked one and struck out eight on the way to the win.

Game 2: Franklin Pierce 2, Felician 1 (7 innings)

The second game was a scheduled seven-inning affair, and went much more quietly, as neither side made an error and Franklin Pierce salvaged the doubleheader split. The Ravens opened the scoring with a run in the top of the second. Forbes singled to center with one out, moved over to third on a ground-rule double down the right-field like by freshman first baseman Jethro Hurt (New York, N.Y.) and scored on a sacrifice fly to center by freshman third baseman Jake Miller (Waltham, Mass.).

Felician evened things up at 1-1 with a run in the bottom of the fourth. Healey was hit by a pitch with two outs, moved to second on a single by junior first baseman Jasson Corniel and scored on an RBI single to right by freshman designated hitter Nicholas Vincelli.

The Ravens would take the lead for good in the top of the sixth, as Roberto took matters into his own hands to create the 2-1 final. With one out and nobody on, the senior clubbed a long home run to right-center field, his second of the season.

Senior right-hander Shane Kittila (Warwick, R.I.) started on the mound for the Ravens in the second game and threw 64 pitches (39 strikes) over the first 4.1 innings. He allowed one run on four hits, walked two, hit a batter and struck out two. Sophomore left-hander Patrick Hannon (Willington, Conn.) took over in the fifth, stranded an inherited runner and went on to throw shutout ball over the final 2.2 innings to pick up the win (1-0) out of the bullpen. He allowed two hits, walked one and struck out one.

Senior left-hander Jacob Nappi (1-3) tossed 77 pitches (50 strikes) over the opening 5.2 innings for Felician. He allowed both runs on five hits, walked two and struck out five in the losing effort. 

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