RINDGE, N.H. (April 25, 2019) – Junior right-hander Derek Duffy (Farmington, Conn.) racked up a career-best 13 strikeouts over six scoreless innings on Thursday afternoon to lead the way for the Franklin Pierce University baseball team in a 12-2 win over visiting Stonehill in Northeast-10 Conference Northeast Division play at Dr. Arthur and Martha Pappas Field. Junior shortstop James Boria (Massapequa, N.Y.) and freshman third baseman Jethro Hurt (New York, N.Y.) each clubbed a home run in the win, as the Ravens finished off the three-game season sweep of the Skyhawks.
With the win, Franklin Pierce improves to 20-16 (13-7 NE10, 9-5 NE Div.) and has won four in a row, while Stonehill falls to 16-24 (7-13 NE10, 3-11 NE Div.). Franklin Pierce has now won at least 20 games in 20 consecutive seasons.
Duffy (4-1) put together one of the stronger starts of his career for the Ravens on Thursday. He threw 100 pitches (70 strikes) over six innings of scoreless work, scattered seven hits, walked one and struck out 13 on the way to the win. It was Duffy's second double-digit strikeout game of the season, as he fanned 12 against Saint Michael's on March 31. He struck out the side in both the second and fourth innings and did not allow an extra-base hit in his outing.
Meanwhile, the Ravens' offense got the scoring started with a pair of runs in the bottom of the third. Freshman center fielder Joel Lara (Boston, Mass.) led off with a single through the left side and came all the way around to score two batters later when senior left fielder Brad Roberto (San Diego, Calif.) rifled a line drive to right field which one-hopped up against the fence for an RBI double. Roberto later scored on a two-out RBI double down the right-field line by junior right fielder John Mead (Washington Township, N.J.).
Franklin Pierce broke the game wide open with six runs in the bottom of the fourth to push the lead out to 8-0. With two runs already home in the inning and the bases still loaded, junior first baseman Jonel Ozuna (New York, N.Y.) provided the signature hit of the frame, as he went the other way and drove a three-run double deep into the gap in left-center to turn a 4-0 lead into a 7-0 one. Also in the inning, Boria had an RBI single, senior catcher Ural Forbes (Freeport, Bahamas) socked an RBI triple and Roberto drove in a run with a bases-loaded walk.
Franklin Pierce added two in the sixth and two in the seventh, with a two-run home run in each inning. In the sixth, Hurt demolished a 2-2 breaking ball and clubbed it an estimated 380 feet to straightaway left, clearing the first row of cars in the adjacent parking lot. In the seventh, Boria came up just short of the same parking lot, as he socked the eighth pitch of his at-bat an estimated 370 feet to left. It was the third home run of the season for each player.
Stonehill scratched out a pair of runs in the ninth against the Franklin Pierce bullpen, but they only served to spoil the shutout, as the game was well out of reach.
Junior right-hander Richard Ryan (3-4) took the ball and the loss for Stonehill on Thursday, as he lasted just three innings and 61 pitches (36 strikes). He was charged with two runs on four hits, walked one and struck out three. Sophomore right-hander Connor Williams followed and allowed five runs on three hits and two walks over just one-third of an inning in the ill-fated fourth.
The Ravens return to the field on Saturday and Sunday, April 27-28, when they travel to Merrimack for a three-game NE10 Northeast Division series. The teams will meet for a doubleheader at 2 p.m. Saturday and a single game at noon Sunday at Trinity Stadium in Haverhill, Mass.
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).