LYNDHURST, N.J. (March 17, 2019) – The Franklin Pierce University baseball team led 4-1 through the top of the sixth on Sunday afternoon, but trailed 5-4 after seven and went on to suffer a 9-4 defeat at Felician. The Ravens allowed one in the sixth, four in the seventh and four more in the eighth to turn what looked to be a likely victory into the five-run defeat. Only two of the nine runs were earned, thanks to three errors and a pair of passed balls, while the offense left 12 men on base over the course of the afternoon.
With the loss, Franklin Pierce falls to 7-9, while Felician improves to 6-11. Combined with Saturday's doubleheader split, Felician took two of the three games in the weekend series.
Franklin Pierce took the lead on Sunday, with a run in the third and two more in the fourth. In the third, senior left fielder Brad Roberto (San Diego, Calif.) was hit by a pitch with one out, moved to second on a walk, went to third on a wild pitch and scored on an RBI single to left by freshman first baseman Jethro Hurt (New York, N.Y.). In the fourth, freshman center fielder Graham Smith (Wilmington, Mass.) reached with a one-out single in front of sophomore right fielder Nicholas Martino (East Brunswick, N.J.), who was hit by a pitch. After a walk loaded the bases, junior designated hitter Jonel Ozuna (New York, N.Y.) cashed in both runs with a two-run, ground-rule double down the right-field line.
Felician cut into the lead with a run in the bottom of the sixth. Senior second baseman Danny Healey Jr. led off with a triple to left field and scored two batters later on a passed ball.
Franklin Pierce got the run back in the top of the seventh, to make it 4-1. Senior catcher Ural Forbes (Freeport, Bahamas) led off with a double to right field, later moved to third on a double-play ball and came in to score on a wild pitch.
It all came undone in the home half of the seventh though, as Felician scored four runs to take a 5-4 lead. After a single by freshman second baseman Nick Vincelli and a double by junior first baseman Jordan Folgers to open the inning, a wild pitch scored one run, before freshman shortstop Jake Stoller brought in the second with an RBI groundout. Later, senior center fielder L.T. Struble reached on an error, Healey was hit by a pitch and sophomore left fielder Anthony Condito walked to load the bases. After a passed ball plated the third run of the inning, junior third baseman Jasson Corniel gave Felician the lead with an RBI single to right.
The Golden Falcons added a quartet of insurance runs in the bottom of the eighth to pull away for the 9-4 victory. All four were unearned, thanks to an error early in the inning, but Felician did its share of the damage as well. Folgers, junior right fielder Mike Martinez and Condito all had triples in the inning, with the latter driving in a pair of runs with his three-bagger to cap the day's scoring.
Freshman right-hander Danny Gracia (Wilmington, Mass.) made his first collegiate start on the mound for the Ravens and threw 99 pitches (64 strikes) over 6.1 innings of work. He allowed three runs (two earned) on six hits, hit a batter and struck out six. Senior left-hander Evan Glew (North Andover, Mass.) worked just one-third of an inning in relief, but suffered the loss (0-2). He allowed a pair of unearned runs on one hit, walked one and hit a batter.
Sophomore right-hander Kyle O'Neill started for Felician, but was long gone before the game was decided, as he lasted only 3.2 innings and 78 pitches (40 strikes). He was charged with three runs on four hits, walked three, hit four batters and struck out five to fill out a busy stat line. Junior right-hander Diego Quinones (1-0) was the only Felician reliever to allow a run, but picked up the win anyway, as he threw the top of the seventh, before his teammates rallied in the bottom half. He allowed one run on two hits and a walk.
The Ravens return to the field on Saturday, March 23, when they open Northeast-10 Conference play with a cross-division doubleheader at New Haven. First pitch is set for noon at Vieira Field in West Haven, Conn.
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).