Baseball Responds with Sunday Sweep of Saint Rose, 6-0 and 5-3

Photo credit: Luke Tracy.
Photo credit: Luke Tracy.

RINDGE, N.H. (April 7, 2019) – A day after being swept at home for the first time in over a decade, the Franklin Pierce University baseball team looked much more like its usual self on Sunday afternoon at Dr. Arthur and Martha Pappas Field. In the first game of a cross-division Northeast-10 Conference doubleheader against Saint Rose, junior right-hander Derek Duffy (Farmington, Conn.) fired eight innings of two-hit ball and struck out seven to lead the Ravens to a 6-0 victory. In the second game, the Ravens trailed 3-1 through six, but rallied with a four-run seventh, including a key two-run double from junior catcher Dylan Jones (Palm Beach Gardens, Fla.), to pull out a 5-3 victory and finish off the sweep of the Golden Knights.

With the wins, Franklin Pierce improves to 14-13 (7-4 NE10), while Saint Rose falls to 7-15 (3-7 NE10).

Game 1: Franklin Pierce 6, Saint Rose 0

Duffy (3-0) was the story in the first game of the day, as he used 100 pitches (67 strikes) to hang up eight scoreless innings. He allowed two hits, one walk and hit three batters while recording seven strikeouts along the way. Duffy allowed only six total baserunners over the eight innings, did not allow a runner to reach third base and allowed only three to reach second base. Following a leadoff infield single in the fourth, he retired 14 of the final 16 batters he faced on the day.

The Ravens got Duffy the only run he would need in the bottom of the third inning. With one out, senior left fielder Brad Roberto (San Diego, Calif.) took a walk, before an infield single by senior catcher Ural Forbes (Freeport, Bahamas) and a walk to junior first baseman Jonel Ozuna (New York, N.Y.) loaded the bases. Sophomore third baseman Josh Tower (Auburn, Mass.) put the ball in play, with a short grounder on the right side and picked up an RBI, as the pitcher was left with only a play at first.

Two runs in the fourth and two more in the sixth opened the lead up to 5-1. In the fourth, a walk to senior second baseman Carmine Giordano (New Rochelle, N.Y.), a sacrifice, a walk to sophomore right fielder Nicholas Martino (East Brunswick, N.J.) and a stolen base put runners at second and third with one away. Junior shortstop James Boria (Massapequa, N.Y.) knocked a sacrifice fly to left field to cash in Giordano, and then walks to Roberto and Forbes loaded the bases for Ozuna, who legged out an infield single to drive home Martino.

In the sixth, Roberto and Forbes opened the inning with home runs on back-to-back pitches. Roberto turned on a 1-1 pitch and drove his third of the season an estimated 340 feet down the right-field line. On the very next pitch, Forbes clubbed his second of the campaign an estimated 365 feet to straightaway left.

The Ravens tacked on a run in the eighth to create the 6-0 final, as Tower tripled over the head of the center fielder and scored on an RBI single through the left side of the infield by junior designated hitter John Mead (Washington Township, N.J.).

Senior left-hander Brandon Budlong (1-1) took the ball for Saint Rose and struggled with his command, as he needed 92 pitches (45 strikes) to get through just four-plus innings of work. He allowed three runs on three hits, walked eight, hit a batter, threw a wild pitch, struck out three and suffered the loss.

Game 2: Franklin Pierce 5, Saint Rose 3

Trailing 3-1 through six innings, Franklin Pierce turned the second game around with a four-run bottom of the seventh inning. Mead knocked the first pitch of the inning into center field for a single and moved around to third on a double into the gap in right-center by Giordano. The back-to-back hits prompted a visit to the mound from the Saint Rose dugout, but the Golden Knights elected to stick with their starter, junior right-hander Frankie Pizzo, for one more batter.

The one more batter was Jones, who worked a 3-1 count and then smoked the ball on a line into left-center field for a game-tying double which plated both Mead and Giordano. That was the end of the line for Pizzo, who gave way to junior right-hander Joe Guerette. Freshman center fielder Ricky Perry (Londonderry, N.H.) welcomed Guerette with a sacrifice attempt, but wound up safe at first, as Saint Rose senior first baseman Nicolas Teitter misplayed the ball. Two batters later, Roberto hit a towering fly ball down the right-field line, which banged off the fence for an RBI double to plate Jones and give the Ravens the lead. Ozuna later nearly bounced into an inning-ending double play, but wound up with an RBI fielder's choice to make it 5-3, as the relay throw to first pulled Teitter off the bag.

The Ravens turned the ball over to sophomore left-hander Patrick Hannon (Willington, Conn.) with a two-run lead to start the eighth, and he made sure to slam the door shut. He needed just 16 pitches (11 strikes) to retire all six batters he faced – all via groundouts – to record his first collegiate save.

The runs in the seventh made a winner (1-0) out of sophomore right-hander Jack Wallace (Winthrop, Mass.), who pitched in both ends of the doubleheader, and had logged the previous 1.2 innings before ceding the mound to Hannon. Wallace did not allow a run on one hit and struck out two in relief of senior left-hander Evan Glew (North Andover, Mass.), who threw 92 pitches (59 strikes) over the opening 5.1 innings. Glew allowed three runs (one earned) on seven hits, walked one and struck out eight.

The seventh inning also made a loser out of Pizzo (0-2) on the other side of the ledger. He threw 92 pitches as well (58 strikes) over six-plus innings of work, but faced three batters without recording an out in the seventh, and all three would score. Pizzo was ultimately charged with four runs on four hits, walked five, hit a batter, threw a wild pitch and struck out two.

The Ravens return to the field on Wednesday, April 10, when they remain home to host Saint Anselm in an NE10 Northeast Division contest. First pitch is set for 3 p.m. 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).