MANCHESTER, N.H. (April 2, 2019) – Back-to-back two-out hits from junior designated hitter Dylan Faircloth and junior third baseman Jake Coro were the difference on Tuesday afternoon, as the Franklin Pierce University baseball team dropped a 5-2 decision to No. 7/15 nationally ranked Southern New Hampshire on the road at Penmen Field. The Ravens had scored runs in the sixth and seventh to tie the Northeast-10 Conference, Northeast Division affair, but the pair of two-out hits drove in three runs in the home half of the seventh to lift SNHU to the victory.
With the loss, Franklin Pierce falls to 12-11 (5-2 NE10, 3-2 NE Div.), while SNHU improves to 20-6 (6-1 NE10, 5-0 NE Div.). The two teams are scheduled to meet again on April 16 at Franklin Pierce and April 30 at SNHU to wrap up the three-game season series.
SNHU opened the scoring on Tuesday, with a run in the bottom of the third. Back-to-back one-out singles by junior shortstop Tom Blandini and junior second baseman Joshua Goldstein, plus an error in the field, put runners at second and third for sophomore right fielder Sam Henrie, who singled through the right side to plate Blandini.
The Penmen made it 2-0 with another run in the fifth. With two outs, Henrie doubled into the gap in right-center and then came around to score on an RBI single back through the middle of the infield by freshman left fielder Alex Kennedy.
Franklin Pierce answered with single runs in the sixth and seventh to tie the game at 1-1. In the sixth, sophomore designated hitter Josh Tower (Auburn, Mass.) singled through the left side leading off, moved to second on a groundout and scored on a two-out RBI single to right-center by senior left fielder Brad Roberto (San Diego, Calif.). In the seventh, senior catcher Ural Forbes (Freeport, Bahamas) led off and clubbed a solo home run to center field, his first in a Franklin Pierce uniform.
The game would turn on the bottom of the seventh inning though, as the Penmen plated three runs to ultimately create the 5-2 final. Blandini led off with a single to center and then moved around to third as Henrie reached on an error, before a walk to Kennedy loaded the bases with one out. Graduate student right-hander Ryan Covelle (Medford, Mass.) got a big strikeout of sophomore catcher Dakota Mulcay for the second out, but then surrendered back-to-back two-out RBI hits. Faircloth stroked a two-run single into left field, and then Coro followed with a run-scoring single back through the middle.
Senior right-hander Zach Hart (Wallingford, Conn.) started on the mound for Franklin Pierce and threw 90 pitches (67 strikes) over the opening six innings. He allowed two runs on 10 hits, walked one and struck out four. Covelle (3-2) suffered the loss after allowing the three unearned runs on three hits, with a walk and three strikeouts, in the seventh.
Graduate student right-hander Jake Walkinshaw (4-0) took the ball for SNHU and threw 98 pitches (66 strikes) over seven innings of work. He allowed two runs as well, on five hits, walked two, struck out five and picked up the win after the Penmen plated the three seventh-inning runs. Sophomore right-hander Jeffrey Praml would later strike out the final two batters of the game to notch his sixth save of the season.
The Ravens return to the field on Saturday, April 6, when they return home to host Le Moyne in a cross-division NE10 doubleheader. First pitch is set for noon at Pappas Field in Rindge.
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).