LYNDHURST, N.J. – Felician College senior second-baseman Mickey Zudonyi (Holmdel, NJ/Holmdel) recorded his 200th career base hit as the Golden Falcons moved into second place in the Central Atlantic Collegiate Conference by sweeping a CACC baseball doubleheader from visiting Caldwell College, 5-2 and 17-2, on Wednesday evening at the Lyndhurst Recreation Complex. Zudonyi was 6 for 10 on the day and had a triple in each game.
Zudonyi becomes the fourth player in the 13-year history of the Felician program to reach the 200-hit plateau, but the first to play his entire career in the school's "wood-bat era" (since 2008). As the Golden Falcons' leadoff hitter, he went 2 for 4 in Game 1, had his pop-up get lost in the sun for a hit to start Game 2, then hit a hard ground ball through the left side for the milestone in the fourth. His current total of 202 hits trails by 12 the Felician all-time record held by Marcos Torres (2007-10).
In the day's opening game, each team pounded out 11 base hits, but Felician (15-16, 8-2 CACC) made better use of them, as Caldwell left 14 runners on base. Golden Falcon right-hander Stephen Paladino (Brooklyn, NY/St. Peter's Boys) (2-1) allowed only one unearned run in six innings of work. Paladino struck out eight batters and walked three while giving up seven hits.
Junior designated hitter Kevin Whitehead (Tonawanda, NY/Kenmore East) sparked the Felician offense. He got the hosts on the scoreboard with an RBI single as part of a two-run second inning, then hit his first career home run, a two-run shot to right field, in the fourth. George Hajjar (Utica, NY/Whitesboro) added an RBI single in the fifth.
The Cougars (7-16, 6-3) brought the tying run to the plate in each of the final three innings off of the Felician bullpen. But they managed to score only one run in that period, an RBI single by Stephen Dodd (Milford, PA/Delaware Valley) in the eighth, and strand seven runners. Felician freshman Matthew Facendo (Hazlet, NJ/Raritan) worked around a walk and a single in the ninth to earn his first career save.
Felician put together a season-high 18 hits in the nightcap, scoring four times in the first inning and leading, 9-0, by the end of the fourth. Freshman right-hander Chet Godfrey (Millville, NJ/Millville) (3-3) was the beneficiary of the offensive explosion, giving up two runs on three hits with eight strikeouts in six innings.
Zudonyi went 4 for 6 with three runs scored and four RBI, including a bases-loaded triple in Felician's six-run seventh inning. Joe Petosa (Spotswood, NJ/Spotswood) was 4 for 5 with three RBI, and Jimmy Simpson (Biscayne Park, FL/Coral Gables) added three hits. Hajjar drove in three runs and Whitehead added two more RBI.
Stephan Luczaj (North Merrick, NY/Mepham) had a two-run inside-the-park home run in the sixth for the Caldwell scoring. Petosa had six hits and scored five runs on the day.