March 2, 2012

No. 19 Mercyhurst Edges Baseball, 2-1, With Late Rally

LANTANA, Fla. -- Felician College surrendered a pair of eighth inning runs and lost its non-conference baseball game to Mercyhurst College, 2-1, during the Palm Beach Challenge on Friday evening at the Santaluces Sports Complex. Mercyhurst is ranked No. 19 in the most recent NCAA Division II national writers' poll.

Joe Petosa (Spotswood, NJ) went 3 for 4 plus a walk for Felician (4-5), which left 14 runners on base. Mike Farrell (Lincroft, NJ), Kevin Whitehead (Tonawanda, NY) and Jay Collazo (Wall, NJ) added two hits apiece for the Golden Falcons, who out-hit Mercyhurst, 11-5 in the metal-bat contest.

Felician left fielder Brett Hauber (Deposit, NY) threw out a runner at home plate in the bottom of the first inning who was trying to score from second base on a single. The Golden Falcons carried that momentum into the top of the second, loading the bases with one out on three singles. A run scored on George Hajjar's (Utica, NY) high chopper to the pitcher, but Felician settled for one.

The pitchers took over from there. Felician freshman right-hander Chet Godfrey (Millville, NJ) making his first career start, allowed three hits, struck out four and walked none over six shutout innings. Mercyhurst senior righty Eric Aschley (Callery, PA) danced into and out of trouble for 7 1/3 innings, allowing nine hits with seven strikeouts and two walks. Neither figured into the decision.

In the decisive eighth, the Lakers (8-3) loaded the bases with one out on a single, hit batsman and walk off of reliever Brian Dudzinski (Lincroft, NJ) (0-2). A wild pitch scored Jake Janeczko (Lewiston, NY) with the tying run, and after another hit-batsman, Mercyhurst took the lead on a Zak Blair (Jefferson, OH) groundout.

The Lakers' Dan Altavilla (Greenock, PA) (2-0) earned the victory with 1 2/3 innings of two-hit relief, working out of a second-and-third, one-out jam in the eighth before dancing around two base-runners with two outs in the ninth.