RINDGE, N.H. (April 6, 2019) – The Franklin Pierce University baseball team used eight pitchers and nearly 400 pitches to find its way through a doubleheader at home on Dr. Arthur and Martha Pappas Field on Saturday afternoon. In the end, only one member of the octet of arms would escape without allowing a run, as the Ravens were swept in a cross-division Northeast-10 Conference doubleheader by visiting Le Moyne. In the first game, the Dolphins used an eight-run fifth to surge out front and later held on for a 16-12 victory. In the second game, sophomore right-hander Ryan Murphy went the distance and authored a four-hitter to deal Franklin Pierce an 8-1 defeat.
With the losses, Franklin Pierce falls to 12-13 (5-4 NE10), while Le Moyne improves to 12-16 (3-5 NE10).
The losses marked the first time in nearly 11 years Franklin Pierce was swept in a doubleheader at home, a stretch which dated to April 21, 2008, when Pace posted 6-4 and 9-8 (11 inn.) wins at Pappas Field. It was also just the third time the Ravens have been swept in a doubleheader at Pappas Field, which is in its 15th season as the team's home field. The remaining occurrence was also in 2008, when Bentley picked up 8-4 and 3-2 victories on April 12, as Franklin Pierce was swept at home twice in just over a week, and then not again for more than a decade.
All-time, Saturday marked the 80th doubleheader Franklin Pierce has hosted at Pappas Field. Across those 80 twinbills, the Ravens have swept their opponent 57 times, split the two games 20 times, and been swept by the opposition three times.
Game 1: Le Moyne 16, Franklin Pierce 12
The afternoon's first game was anything but a pitcher's duel, as the two teams combined for 28 runs on 31 hits. The contest hinged on an eight-run frame for Le Moyne in the top of the fifth inning, when the Dolphins sent 12 men to the plate and knocked out five hits, to go with three walks and an error. Le Moyne's top of the lineup, sophomore second baseman Brian O'Mara and freshman shortstop Nick Nevins had the biggest blows of the inning, as they posted back-to-back, two-run doubles with one out. Senior first baseman Andrew Taft provided an RBI double in the frame as well, while junior third baseman Nicholas Jacques plated a run with a sacrifice fly, senior left fielder David DiNorcia took a bases-loaded walk, and another run was forced home via catcher's interference.
The eight-run inning staked Le Moyne to a 10-2 lead, which it would wind up nursing through the late innings. Franklin Pierce would plate two in the fifth, two in the seventh, three in the eighth and three in the ninth, but the hole would prove too large to dig out of. Le Moyne brought around three important insurance runs in the seventh and three more in the ninth to hold the lead and go on to the 16-12 victory.
For Franklin Pierce, senior catcher Ural Forbes (Freeport, Bahamas) drove in three runs in the game, with an RBI single in the first, an RBI double in the fifth and a sacrifice fly in the eighth. Junior first baseman Jonel Ozuna (New York, N.Y.) clubbed a two-run double in the seventh as part of a three-RBI game of his own, while junior shortstop James Boria (Massapequa, N.Y.) finished the game 3-for-5.
There were three home runs in Saturday's first game. In the second inning, Jacques took a 2-0 pitch an estimated 365 feet the other way to straightaway right field for a two-run homer, his fourth of the season. In the seventh, it was a two-run shot for Taft, his ninth of the season, as he blasted the ball an estimated 385 feet to the power alley in right-center field. It was Franklin Pierce junior right fielder John Mead (Washington Township, N.J.) who had the most impressive blast though, as he launched a three-run dinger in the bottom of the ninth to cap the scoring. The ball traveled an estimated 390 feet to straightaway right and landed on the adjacent multipurpose Sodexo Field.
Senior right-hander Anthony Matarazzo (Medford, Mass.) threw the first two innings for Franklin Pierce, before leaving prior to the third with an apparent injury. He allowed two runs on one hit, walked three and struck out four. Freshman right-hander Danny Gracia (Wilmington, Mass.) would log the next 2.1 innings and suffer the loss (0-3) out of the bullpen. He was ultimately charged with seven runs (six earned) on five hits, walked four and struck out one.
For Le Moyne, senior right-hander Sam Walsh (3-3) started and needed 115 pitches (67 strikes) to get through five innings, but picked up the win. He allowed four runs on eight hits, walked one, threw two wild pitches and struck out six. By virtue of pitching at least the final three innings with the lead, sophomore right-hander Sam Byrns notched his third save of the season, though he was anything but effective. Over four innings of work, he was tagged for eight runs (seven earned) on seven hits, walked one, hit two batters, threw a wild pitch and struck out four.
Game 2: Le Moyne 8, Franklin Pierce 1
Saturday's second game was a little closer to garden variety. Le Moyne held a 2-1 lead through seven innings and then used a five-run eighth to seize control of the game for good. The Dolphins sent 10 batters to the plate, but collected only three hits, was they were the beneficiaries of three walks and a hit batsman along the way in the inning. Nevins had the key blow with a two-run, one-out single, which capped the inning's scoring. O'Mara drove in a run with a single, while the remaining two runs scored via a bases-loaded walk and a bases loaded hit batter, back-to-back.
Franklin Pierce's only run in the second game came in the bottom of the fourth. Senior left fielder Brad Roberto (San Diego, Calif.) doubled down the left-field line with one out, moved to third on an infield single by Forbes and scored on an RBI single through the left side by Ozuna.
Graduate student right-hander Ryan Covelle (Medford, Mass.) took the ball in the second game for Franklin Pierce and threw 98 pitches (59 strikes) over 4.1 innings. He allowed two runs (one earned) on two hits, walked five, hit a batter, struck out five and suffered the loss (3-3).
On the other side of the ledger, Murphy (3-3) went the distance on 108 pitches (74 strikes) for Le Moyne. He allowed just the one run on four hits, walked two and piled up 10 strikeouts.
The Ravens return to the field on Sunday, April 7, when they remain home to host Saint Rose in another cross-division NE10 doubleheader. First pitch is set for noon at Pappas Field.
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).