WILMINGTON, Del. -- While it was not in the manner in which it had hoped, the Felician College baseball team has advanced to the championship round of the Central Atlantic Collegiate Conference Baseball Tournament for the first time since 2006.
Felician (27-23), the event's No. 1 seed, was knocked into the losers' bracket with a 4-2 setback to tournament host and No. 2 seed Wilmington (Del.) University on Friday afternoon at Frawley Stadium. The Golden Falcons rebounded for a 7-4 victory over No. 3 seed Dominican (N.Y.) College in an elimination game on Friday evening, setting up the championship round match-up with Wilmington.
Felician plays the Wildcats at 11 a.m. on Saturday at Frawley in the championship round, needing to defeat defending champion Wilmington twice to claim its first CACC championship. As the top seed, the Golden Falcons would be the designated home team and bat last in both games.
In Friday's winners' bracker final, Felician led, 2-0 through six innings on RBI singles by Joe Petosa (Spotswood, NJ) in the first inning and Kevin Whitehead (Tonawanda, NY) in the fourth. But Golden Falcon right-hander D.J. Stinsman (Egg Harbor Township, NJ) (5-5), who had allowed one hit through the first six, faltered in the seventh.
Wilmington (31-16) loaded the bases with one out on a single sandwiched by a pair of walks. Leadoff man B.J. Janney (Elkton, MD) then lined a triple to the left-center field gap to plate all three runners and give the Wildcats the lead. Janney scored two batters later on a single by Mike Godwin (Hockessin, DE).
Wildcat closer Jordan Oncay entered with runners on second and third and two outs in the eighth and got the final four outs for his 10th save. David Hatt (Toronto, Canada) (5-1) allowed two runs on six hits over seven innings for the victory.
In the night game, Felician met a Dominican squad which was playing its third elimination game of the tournament. The Golden Falcons drew eight walks and took advantage of five Charger errors. Team captain Mickey Zudonyi (Holmdel, NJ) went 2 for 4 and scored three runs in his school-record 200th career game, and freshman Eric Pecoraro (Toms River, NJ) was 2 for 2 plus two walks and scored twice.
Felician answered Dominican's run in the top of the first inning with a three-spot in the bottom of the frame. Whitehead drew a bases-loaded walk, Jay Collazo (Wall Township, NJ) scored on a wild pitch, and Petosa came home on a fielding error. The Golden Falcons led, 5-1, after four.
Golden Falcon senior right-hander Kenny Monteith (Denville, NJ) (5-1) pitched into the seventh inning, yielding four runs (three earned) on five hits with five strikeouts in six-plus frames. Jack Fowler (Shrewsbury, NJ) worked out a bases-loaded, one-out situation in the inning and pitched a perfect eighth, and Matthew Facendo (Hazlet, NJ) worked a 1-2-3 ninth for his school-record eighth save.
Farrell recorded his 100th career base hit in the fifth, the 20th Golden Falcon to reach that milestone.