RINDGE, N.H. (March 27, 2019) – The Franklin Pierce University baseball team returned home to Dr. Arthur and Martha Pappas Field for the first time in 2019 on Wednesday afternoon and did so in style, with a 7-0 shutout of Saint Anselm in the Northeast-10 Conference, Northeast Division opener for both teams. Junior first baseman Jonel Ozuna (New York, N.Y.) led the way with a 4-for-4 performance, which included a double and three runs batted in, while four Franklin Pierce pitchers combined to author a three-hit shutout.
With the win, Franklin Pierce improves to 10-9 (3-0 NE10, 1-0 NE Div.), while Saint Anselm falls to 5-13 (1-2 NE10, 0-1 NE Div.). The two teams will meet again on April 10 at Franklin Pierce and April 24 at Saint Anselm to round out the three-game season series.
Franklin Pierce picked up the only run it would need on Wednesday in the bottom of the first inning. Senior left fielder Brad Roberto (San Diego, Calif.) walked leading off, moved to second on a sacrifice, went to third on a single through the left side of the infield by junior shortstop James Boria (Massapequa, N.Y.) and scored on an RBI single into left-center by Ozuna.
The Ravens added single runs in the fourth and fifth to push the lead out to 3-0. In the fourth, junior second baseman Justin Perez (Willimantic, Conn.) drove a ground-rule double down the right-field line to lead off, moved to third on a balk and scored on a sacrifice fly to left by freshman center fielder Graham Smith (Wilmington, Mass.). In the fifth, sophomore right fielder Nicholas Martino (East Brunswick, N.J.) took a leadoff walk, moved to second on a Boria single and scored on an RBI double deep down the right-field line by Ozuna.
After stranding the bases loaded later in the fifth, the Ravens finally broke the game open with a three-spot in the last of the seventh. A Boria single up the middle, an Ozuna single to right and an RBI double into the gap in right-center by freshman third baseman Jethro Hurt (New York, N.Y.) combined to plate one run and leave runners at second and third with still nobody out. Perez made it 5-0 with an RBI single over the drawn-in infield and into right-center, while the inning's third run scored on a wild pitch.
Martino walked and later scored on an RBI single by Ozuna in the eighth to cap the scoring.
Senior right-hander Zach Hart (Wallingford, Conn.) started on the mound and threw 66 pitches (37 strikes) over the opening 3.1 innings for Franklin Pierce. He did not allow a run or a hit, but walked five and hit one, while striking out four. Graduate student right-hander Ryan Covelle (Medford, Mass.) would take over for the following 3.2 innings and pick up the win (3-1) out of the bullpen. He did not allow a run on three hits, walked two, hit a batter and struck out four.
Junior left-hander Ryan Schworer (0-1) took the ball and threw 61 pitches (32 strikes) over the first three-plus innings for Saint Anselm and suffered the loss. He allowed two runs on five hits, walked three and did not record a strikeout.
The Ravens return to the field on Saturday and Sunday, March 30-31, when they remain home to host a three-game, NE10 Northeast Division series against Saint Michael's. The two teams are scheduled to meet for a noon doubleheader on Saturday and a single game at 1 p.m. Sunday.
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).